Arsenal are looking to bring in two forwards this off-season after narrowly missing out on Champions League football.

With Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah's contracts expiring and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang already leaving in January, the Gunners are in need in attack.

According to reports, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has identified the players to propel his side forward.

TOP STORY – ARSENAL IDENTIFY STRIKER TARGETS    

Arsenal are looking to bring in Victor Osimhen and Gabriel Jesus this off-season, according to Goal.

Jesus' contract at Manchester City expires following the end of the next season, but the Gunners have reportedly been in talks for weeks with his representatives, with a deal early in the window in mind.

Meanwhile, it is understood Osimhen's agent flew to London for a meeting with Arsenal technical director Edu over a possible transfer.

With Napoli having qualified for the Champions League and club president Aurelio De Laurentiis driving a traditionally hard bargain, however, the 23-year-old's transfer will not come cheap.

Although Arsenal may be looking for two forwards, it remains to be seen if they opt for two big-money signings.

ROUND-UP

– Eden Hazard has ruled out an off-season departure from Real Madrid, citing unfinished business after an injury-plagued time at the club, per HLN.

– Sevilla will not be turning Anthony Martial's loan deal from Manchester United into a permanent move, according to the Daily Mail.

– Raphinha has reportedly told Leeds United he wants to leave this off-season to play for Barcelona, Sport reports.

– Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel is set to have a £200m influx of transfer funds as Todd Boehly's takeover nears completion, the Telegraph is reporting.

Real Madrid have set their sights on Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling after missing out on Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe.

The Spanish giants were widely regarded as favourites to land Mbappe until a late change of heart led to him signing a three-year extension to stay in France.

Madrid and City went head to head in the Champions League semi-final, but they may find themselves talking business soon for the England international.

 

TOP STORY – LOS BLANCOS PREPARE BID FOR STERLING

Sterling has spent seven seasons with City, racking up 131 goals in 338 appearances in all club competitions, and has played no fewer than 46 games in any of those campaigns.

Despite this, his playing time waned in the closing stages of this season, culminating in the Champions League when he only played a combined 28 minutes across both fixtures against Madrid.

Sterling set a record at the time for the most expensive transfer of an English player when he was sold to City for £44million plus add-ons in 2015, but Madrid are not looking to overshoot that number by much, with the Daily Star reporting they will offer £50million.

ROUND-UP

– According to Sky Sports, Sadio Mane fancies a move to Bayern Munich in the upcoming transfer window.

– The Telegraph is reporting Tottenham will sign six players, heavily investing in an attempt to convince Antonio Conte to stay.

– The Telegraph is also reporting one player high on Tottenham's wish-list is Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, who also has strong interest from Arsenal.

Arsenal will try to sell as many as seven first-team players in the upcoming transfer window – with Hector Bellerin and Bernd Leno named by The Sun. The Telegraph added that Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans is a key target for the Gunners.

– The Times is reporting Leeds United are set to sign 21-year-old USA international Brenden Aaronson from RB Salzburg for £23m.

Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch credited his players' mentality after they avoided relegation from the Premier League on the final day of the season.

A late goal from Jack Harrison sealed a 2-1 win for Leeds at Brentford, confirming the fate of Burnley, who lost 2-1 at home to Newcastle United.

Newcastle's victory meant a point would have been enough for Leeds, who thought they may have to settle for that after Brentford's Sergi Canos had cancelled out Raphinha's penalty.

Brentford were down to 10 men by the time they levelled in the 78th minute, after Kristoffer Ajer went off injured, with Bees boss Thomas Frank having already made all three substitutions, before Canos was sent off shortly after scoring.

Harrison capitalised on the two-man advantage in stoppage time with Leeds' fourth 90th-minute winner in the Premier League this season, more than any other team. Only champions Manchester City (nine) scored more than their eight total goals in the final minute.

"Hot day – not easy for either team," Marsch told Sky Sports. "We got the lead, which was important. I thought the start was really good.

"When we were up two men, we still didn't want to leave it up to fate, we tried to push the winner to secure our fate. This group has been able to dig deep in injury time and find goals and the character is clear, and it's a privilege to work with these guys.

"We talked about how to play in the heat, how to manage the game, how to stay focused for every moment. Weird that we gave up a goal when we went up a man. We tried to update the players on the Burnley score, but the focus on us was most important.

"It's hard to concentrate and be connected for 90 minutes on days like this, but this is typical of our group – they never stop believing, and it's a credit to our mentality."

Discussion around Marsch's work at Elland Road has pitted him against predecessor Marcelo Bielsa, who was hugely popular among Leeds fans.

"It wasn't easy to manage, and I was trying to think of ways to help the group tactically, and to be fair, we have had good performances; it's just trying to put it all together hasn't always looked perfect," the former RB Leipzig coach added.

"The stress has been high for three months. I've tried to stay calm and focus on us, and you see the quality of the mentality and character.

"There's so much been said about Marcelo Bielsa v me, and there's been people counting us out. I get it; this is high-level stuff, and fans pay attention all over the world.

"It's not a perfect representation of what I want this team to be, but in this situation, we came together well, and I still feel strongly about the group we have and the football we can play. We need to get better and add some pieces, but I love this group, team, character, commitment and spirit.

"We were with our fans enough, and I appreciate the fans singing my name, but that's not the important thing. We are Leeds United, and that's what we will always be as long as I am here.

"I love our fans, but I don't care if they sing my name. It's important we are a committed group and show us that every time on the pitch."

Manchester City sealed the Premier League title in dramatic fashion as they came from behind to beat Aston Villa 3-2.

It meant Liverpool's own comeback win over Wolves was rendered meaningless, as Jurgen Klopp's team finished second, one point off the pace.

Chelsea capped an ultimately underwhelming campaign by beating Watford, who will be joined in the Championship next season by Burnley – the Clarets relegated by a defeat to Newcastle United, while Leeds United beat Brentford to stay up.

Already safe Everton were hammered 5-1 at Arsenal, but the Gunners' big win was not enough to get them into the Champions League as Tottenham thrashed Norwich City.

Elsewhere, Manchester United lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace to end a dismal season for them, but they did at least qualify for the Europa League, as West Ham were beaten 3-1 by Brighton and Hove Albion, meaning David Moyes' team will take a place in next season's Europa Conference League.

For the final time this season, Stats Perform looks at the best facts from across the Premier League's fixtures, using Opta data.

Manchester City 3-2 Aston Villa: Gerrard's dream dashed by Gundogan

Steven Gerrard never managed to win the league with Liverpool but he looked destined to give his old club a huge helping hand when Villa took a 2-0 lead at the Etihad Stadium.

Former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho put Villa 2-0 up midway through the second half, and he has now scored five goals against City in the Premier League, more than against any other team.

However, substitute Ilkay Gundogan became the first player to score twice from the bench for City since Sergio Aguero did so against Everton on the final day of last season, as he inspired a comeback for the ages.

Gundogan scored either side of Rodri's equaliser – there were just 12 minutes and 22 seconds between City going 2-0 down, and then leading 3-2 in the match.

City have now won a sixth Premier League title, with four of those coming in the past five seasons under Pep Guardiola, while it was the first time the club have come from two goals down to win a top-flight game since February 2005.

Liverpool 3-1 Wolves: Salah seals share of Golden Boot but Reds settle for second

There will be no quadruple for Liverpool, who nevertheless have a Champions League final to look forward to on May 28.

Liverpool have finished the season on 92 points, the second-highest total by a side that did not go on to win the title in English top-flight history, behind only their own 97 in 2018-19.

Sadio Mane cancelled out Pedro Neto's opener (the third-earliest Premier League goal for Wolves, timed at 02:11), with the Senegal star having scored six goals on the final day of the Premier League season for Liverpool, the most of any player at the club – three of those strikes have come against Wolves.

Mohamed Salah finally got Liverpool in front in the 84th minute to take him to 23 goals for the season, meaning he shares the Golden Boot with Son Heung-min. Andrew Robertson added a third, which means Wolves have now lost their last 11 league meetings with the Reds by an aggregate score of 24-3.

Arsenal 5-1 Everton, Norwich City 0-5 Tottenham: North London rivals go big

It has been a frustrating end to the season for Arsenal, who let a Champions League place slip out of their grasp and fall into Tottenham's lap.

The Gunners put five past a much-changed Everton team. Arsenal have now scored more goals against the Toffees than any other side has netted against another team in Premier League history (117).

Arsenal are also unbeaten in their final league game in each of the last 17 seasons (W15 D2), winning the last 11 in a row, while Everton have lost their final league game in five of the last six seasons (D1), conceding at least three goals in each defeat.

Only in 1993-94 (22) have Everton lost more games in a Premier League season than the 21 defeats they have suffered in the competition this term, but they have nevertheless stayed up. Norwich were not so lucky, and their place at the bottom was confirmed by a hammering at home to rampant Spurs.

Tottenham ended the season with 71 points, only in three previous Premier League campaigns have they had more points – 86 in 2016-17, 77 in 2017-18 and 72 in 2012-13.

Son Heung-min is the first Asian player to win the Premier League Golden Boot, while Harry Kane has scored nine goals on the final day of Premier League seasons, the joint-most in the competition's history.

Burnley 1-2 Newcastle United, Brentford 1-2 Leeds United: Another late show caps Whites' survival

Leeds defeated Brentford thanks to a last-gasp Jack Harrison goal, and only City (nine) have netted more goals in the 90th minute than the Whites have this season (eight).

That effort, combined with Burnley's defeat at Newcastle, ensured Leeds avoided the drop and it was Burnley who were relegated.

Burnley netted their 300th Premier League goal, the 32nd side to hit that milestone in the competition, but it was not enough to inspire a comeback after Callum Wilson's double.

The Clarets faced a team in form, with only Liverpool (51), City (43) and Tottenham (41) having picked up more points than Newcastle in 2022.

Burnley were relegated from the Premier League after Leeds United dramatically defeated Brentford to leapfrog the Clarets, who fell to a 2-1 loss to Newcastle United on the final day.

Leeds headed into Sunday needing to better Burnley's result due to an inferior goal difference and they were celebrating as news filtered through of Callum Wilson's first-half penalty for Newcastle.

Raphinha converted from the penalty spot at Brentford in the second half to further aid Leeds' cause, with Wilson doubling Newcastle's lead on the hour at Turf Moor after a pass from Allan Saint-Maximin.

However, Maxwel Cornet reduced the deficit for Burnley when he finished past Martin Dubravka and matters worsened significantly for Leeds when substitute Sergi Canos headed to level for Brentford.

But Canos was cautioned for celebrating by taking his shirt off and then dismissed soon after for a foul on Raphinha, with Brentford reduced to nine men after making all their substitutes when they lost Kristoffer Ajer to injury.

And Jack Harrison confirmed Leeds' Premier League status for next season as he smashed in after 94 minutes. It was the Whites' fourth stoppage-time winner in the Premier League, no team this season has scored more.

It meant Leeds became the first side since Wigan in the 2010-11 Premier League season to head into the final day in the bottom three and survive, as Burnley join Norwich City and Watford in the Championship next term.

Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch says he expects to stay with the club regardless of whether the Whites can "outpoint" Burnley in the Premier League relegation battle.

Marsch inherited a struggling side from Elland Road favourite Marcelo Bielsa and has been unable to transform their fortunes, with Leeds in 18th due to an inferior goal difference compared with 17th-placed Burnley.

Everton secured their Premier League status with a dramatic 3-2 win over Crystal Palace on Thursday, when Burnley took the lead but were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa.

Leeds must better Burnley's result on Sunday to escape the drop but face Thomas Frank's Brentford, who are unbeaten in their last 10 home league games against the Whites (W6 D4) since a 2-1 loss in 1950.

Marsch, speaking at a pre-match news conference on Friday, acknowledged the game with Brentford likely represents a must-win clash otherwise Leeds will be reliant on Burnley faltering against Newcastle United.

"[There were] lots of emotions watching it. We can learn a lot from how the other players can handle the pressure differently," he said of watching Thursday's Premier League games.

"We're excited for this challenge – we know we have to be at our best. I never came here to think it would be easy. I knew we'd have to fight for everything. I'll make sure we'll do this on Sunday.

"It would have been a lot easier if we were locked into the league already, but the fact that we have to outpoint Burnley makes it very clear for us. A win gives us the best opportunity.

"I slept well last night because I still have confidence in our group. [It is] better when we control our fate, but that's not the case. [We need] to do whatever we can to get the points."

Marsch will be hoping to call upon Patrick Bamford, who has been out since mid-March with a foot injury, but is yet to make a final decision.

"More than anything, we're not risking him at any level," he said of his star striker. "At the moment I don't believe we would be able to.

"We will have one more meeting tomorrow with Patrick on what it looks like, what the loads have been, how he feels and then do a final assessment of is he available, how many minutes, what's the best strategy and then we have to be ready to let him go and play. That's where we are at."

Regardless of whether Leeds will be playing Championship football next campaign, Marsch plans to still be in charge.

"I'm still planning to be here even in relegation," the American added. "It's a long-term project and the club committed to me in that way. The connections we have made mesh well together.

"The support from everyone has been amazing, but I'm not thinking about the long-term project, only about Sunday and preparing for that."

Manchester City's dramatic Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid this season is apparently cause for another raid on the transfer market.

After already wrapping up Erling Haaland's transfer from Borussia Dortmund, the midfield is the next area of business.

With veterans in the midfield likely on their way out at the Etihad Stadium at this end of this season, replacements could soon be on the way.

TOP STORY – CITY EYE PHILLIPS AS FERNANDINHO REPLACEMENT 

Manchester City have emerged as contenders for the signature of Leeds United and England midfielder Kalvin Phillips, according to the Mirror.

While Manchester United have also identified Phillips as a potential addition for their midfield, the 26-year-old has reportedly made it clear to his inner circle that he will not join Leeds' fierce rivals.

However, Phillips would appear likely to leave Leeds if they are relegated, with West Ham, Aston Villa and Newcastle United all also linked.

Fernandinho will depart City at the end of the season, while Ilkay Gundogan could follow, and the £50million-rated Phillips is a more attainable target than £100m international team-mate Declan Rice.

ROUND-UP

– According to Bild, Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to move on a deal for Liverpool's Sadio Mane amid reports he is stalling on a renewal of his contract, which expires in 2023.

– Incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has added Ajax's Lisandro Martinez to the list of players he wants to bring to Old Trafford, the Telegraph is reporting.

United have also shown renewed interest in Lazio and Serbia midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, per Calciomercato.

– Chelsea want to sign Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of this season, Mundo Deportivo reports.

Barcelona are reportedly in the box seat to land Leeds United winger Raphinha in the next transfer window.

Raphinha, 25, is believed to be finished with Leeds, regardless of if they remain in the Premier League for next season.

After a season where he has so far scored 10 goals and provided three assists in 34 Premier League appearances – including a goal away at Stamford Bridge – the Brazilian international is said to have his selection from some of the world's best clubs.

TOP STORY – BARCA LEAD RACE FOR LEEDS' RAPHINHA

According to 90min, Raphinha favours a move to Barcelona if all things are equal, but the Spanish giants will have plenty of competition for his services.

If Leeds are relegated to the Championship, a release clause in Raphinha's contract will mean he can be had for £25million, although it could be double that – or more – if the Whites retain their Premier League status.

Vying with Barca will reportedly be West Ham, who supposedly made a bid in the January window, as well as Newcastle United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.

ROUND-UP

– The Daily Mail is reporting Ilkay Gundogan will be allowed to leave Manchester City in the upcoming transfer window, with one year remaining on his deal.

– According to The Guardian, Chelsea have entered the Robert Lewandowski sweepstakes, although he is believed to be destined for Barcelona.

Newcastle will test the waters to see if Jose Mourinho could be lured away from Roma, according to Marca.

– Marca also reports that Kylian Mbappe has agreed to a five-year deal with Real Madrid, although The Athletic insists no paperwork has been signed and PSG still hope to retain the France star.

Bayern Munich are showing interest in Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele ahead of his contract expiring in a month's time, per Sky Sports.

Pep Guardiola saw Manchester City squander a glorious chance to all but make sure of the Premier League title, and their quest could go to the final day.

City rallied from two goals down to draw 2-2 at West Ham, but Riyad Mahrez's late penalty miss might yet be a telling moment in the race for silverware.

Tottenham piled pressure on Arsenal in the battle for fourth after a narrow win over a Burnley side who would have been devastated by Leeds United's late leveller against Brighton and Hove Albion, shaking up the relegation battle.

Everton might have seen the visit of Brentford as a chance to banish their own worries about dropping into the second tier, but a home defeat keeps the Toffees on unsteady ground, as Opta data tells the story of the day.

West Ham 2-2 Manchester City: Bowen's bullseye strikes and Mahrez's miss keep title race alive

Jarrod Bowen's double carried West Ham into a 2-0 interval lead, but Jack Grealish and Vladimir Coufal's own goal hauled City level.

This match almost produced a Premier League first for City; however, Mahrez's spot-kick was saved by Lukasz Fabianski in the closing stages to mean they could not complete the turnaround.

This was only the second time City had avoided defeat from two or more down at half-time (D2 L51), but that probably felt like scant consolation, given Liverpool are back in the hunt, providing the FA Cup winners collect three points at Southampton on Tuesday.

Mahrez has missed two penalties in all competitions for City – his first was against Liverpool in October 2018. Between that and the miss at the London Stadium, the Algerian had converted nine consecutive penalties.

Bowen has scored 12 times and provided 10 assists in the Premier League this season, with his 22 goal involvements the third most in a single campaign in the competition by a West Ham player, after Paolo Di Canio (29 in 1999-00) and John Hartson (23 in 1997-98).

Fabianski, the toast of east London and large parts of Liverpool, saved a penalty for the 10th time in the Premier League. Only David James (13) and Thomas Sorensen (12) have saved more in the competition.

Leeds United 1-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Late Struijk lifts Marsch men

Pascal Struijk headed a last-gasp leveller to negate the impact of Danny Welbeck's opener as Leeds gave themselves a relegation lifeline, climbing above Burnley to reach 17th place.

This felt significant, with Leeds avoiding defeat in a Premier League home game after conceding the opening goal for the first time since October (1-1 v Wolves), having lost each of their last seven such games.

Former Manchester United man Welbeck was looking like delivering three points for Brighton, and his first-half goal means the ex-England international has scored in both of his two Premier League appearances against Leeds. Indeed, they are the only opponent he has scored in his first two Premier League games against.

The Leeds late show has become a habit. Only Manchester City (9) have scored more goals in the 90th minute or stoppage time than Leeds (7) in the Premier League this season, with all seven of their goals in this period being scored by different players (Luke Ayling, Patrick Bamford, Joe Gelhardt, Daniel James, Raphinha, Rodrigo and Struijk).

Tottenham 1-0 Burnley: Cool-eye Kane keeps Spurs in hunt for fourth

When Harry Kane stepped up for a penalty that would have ramifications at each end of the table, the outcome was entirely predictable. Of course Kane scored, just as he now has with each of the last 21 penalties he has taken in all competitions for Tottenham, excluding shoot-outs, and each of his last 15 in the Premier League.

That match-winning spot-kick for Tottenham, after 52 minutes and 36 seconds of play, was the second-latest first-half goal scored in a Premier League game since Opta has exact times available (from 2006-07), behind only Trincao’s strike for Wolves against Leeds in March this year (55mins 11secs).

Kane has scored more Premier League goals against Burnley than any other player, with his ninth strike against the Clarets seeing him overtake Mahrez and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (both eight). Burnley are the fourth side that Kane is the outright top Premier League goalscorer against, along with Arsenal (13 goals), Leicester (17) and West Brom (nine).

Burnley, who have games against Aston Villa and Newcastle United to come, need to find at least one point to stand hope of survival. Points at Tottenham have been hard to come by for Burnley, so this defeat came as little surprise. They have lost nine of their last 10 away league games at Spurs (D1).

Everton 2-3 Brentford: Red, red, whine

Everton had Jarrad Branthwaite and Salomon Rondon sent off in this one, with boss Frank Lampard complaining afterwards: "The reality is we're on the bad end of a lot of decisions this season."

Nineteen-year-old Branthwaite became the first teenager to receive a red card in a Premier League game for Everton since a 17-year-old Wayne Rooney in December 2002 against Birmingham City. Indeed, Everton have been shown more red cards than any other side in Premier League history (104).

There are more unwanted statistics starting to emerge in Everton's dismal season. They have conceded 59 goals now, their joint-most in a 38-game Premier League campaign alongside 2000-01.

Seamus Coleman, who put the ball into his own net for a first-half Brentford equaliser, has scored more Premier League own goals (5) than any other Everton player, while the Toffees have put through their own net the most often in Premier League history (58).

Brentford, who twice trailed after Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison scored either side of Coleman's own goal, have gained the most points from losing positions in the Premier League this term (15).

This was just the fourth match in Premier League history to see a first-half red card (Branthwaite), own goal (Coleman) and penalty (Richarlison), after Coventry v Wimbledon (November 1995), Charlton v Aston Villa (April 2001) and Tottenham v Fulham (February 2003).

England midfielder Kalvin Phillips is reportedly on his way out of Leeds United, with Manchester United, Aston Villa and West Ham said to be the parties most interested in prying him away.

Phillips, 26, has been with Leeds since 2010, but Football Insider has reported he has no interest in remaining with the club next season, even if they remain in the Premier League.

The tough midfielder followed in the footsteps of Wilfried Zaha and Jack Butland as the only English players in the 21st century to earn a senior cap while having never played in any country's top division, and confirmed his class at Euro 2020, starting every game and earning the title of England's 2020-21 Men's Player of the Year.

 

TOP STORY – PHILLIPS GETS READY FOR EXCITING NEW CHAPTER

Believed to be valued at £60million, this will be the first time in Phillips' career that he has a chance to shape his own future and pick a situation he feels can elevate him into the conversation of the world's top midfielders.

There will be a Paul Pogba-sized hole in the centre of United's line-up, Villa have signalled their intent with their move for Philippe Coutinho, and David Moyes reportedly has visions of owning the English centre-mid pairing of Phillips and Declan Rice – or replacing the latter if they cannot retain his services through upcoming the transfer window.

Phillips missed four months of this season – from December to March – with a serious hamstring injury, restricting him to just one goal and one assist from 21 club appearances across the Premier League and Carabao Cup.

 

ROUND-UP

Newcastle have made Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin a priority target in the upcoming transfer window, according to the Telegraph.

– Fichajes is reporting Bayern Munich have entered the race for Paul Pogba, while The Mirror claims Juventus are confident about the Frenchman returning to his former Italian club.

– According to Give Me Sport, Chelsea are looking to bring in Sevilla's Jules Kounde to replace outgoing defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

– Marca is reporting some of the world's biggest clubs, including Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Arsenal and Milan are chasing 19-year-old Racing striker Charly Alcaraz.

– The Athletic claims that if Raheem Sterling is to leave Manchester City in the upcoming transfer window, it will not be to Premier League clubs Arsenal or Tottenham, instead favouring one of Europe's top teams in Champions League contention.

Mason Mount revealed Chelsea's dressing room response to a blip in form following Wednesday's 3-0 win at Leeds United.

Coming off three games in the Premier League without a win, dropping points to Manchester United, Everton and Wolves, Chelsea responded strongly and got off to a fast start.

Mount was among the scorers for the Blues, getting on the scoresheet in only the fourth minute, before Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku added second-half goals against the 10-man hosts.

The 23-year-old divulged how a strong start at Elland Road was imperative following an honest dissection of recent performances, coming into Saturday's FA Cup final against Liverpool.

“We spoke about how big this week was at the beginning – it didn't start well obviously last Saturday,” Mount told Sky Sports.

“We needed a bounce back. We had a few days to get together and speak within the group, some truths that needed to be said and we got that out of our system.

“This was a game where we could get going, we know what’s coming up next. It’s a massive, massive game and this is a good step towards that."

Mount had only scored in two Premier League matches in 2022 coming into Wednesday's win, with one against Norwich in March and a brace at Southampton in April.

The England international also revealed how he reveled in the famously hostile atmosphere at Elland Road, asserting how his early goal allowed the collective to breathe against the relegation-threatened home side.

"It was a fun one," he said. "I do love playing here, it's obviously a stadium with a lot of history. The fans are brilliant, they don't like us too much so it was a good atmosphere. As soon as we got the goal we kind of quietened the stadium down, and then we could play our stuff.

"I was reading the program before the game and it said, 'Make this stadium as hard to play in as possible,' or something like that. So when you're coming here you know it's going to be tough.

"It was a massive game for both teams. It wasn't just them it was us as well. We needed a win after a few poor results, so it was a bounce-back game tonight, and then to Liverpool to Saturday."

Thomas Tuchel is worried Mateo Kovacic may have sustained a "major injury" in the awful challenge from Dan James that reduced Leeds United to 10 men in Chelsea's 3-0 win on Wednesday.

Needing three points to get back on track in their pursuit of Champions League qualification, Chelsea's task was made easier at Elland Road by James' first-half red card.

In similar fashion to Luke Ayling's dismissal at Arsenal in Leeds' previous game, James lunged in on Kovacic, getting the ball but then planting his studs in his opponent's ankle.

That earned the 99th card of Leeds' league season and was soon followed by a landmark 100th (Kalvin Phillips' booking) – a Premier League first and evidence of the relegation battlers' ill discipline.

Chelsea, already 1-0 up through Mason Mount, took advantage with goals from Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku, although Tuchel surely would have preferred to play against 11 men and not lose Kovacic to injury days before the FA Cup final.

"If we did not have the major injury to Mateo Kovacic, it would have been close to a perfect evening," Tuchel told BBC Sport. "It was a very strong performance from the start.

"We accepted all the obstacles we'd have to face – a physical team and an emotional stadium. We were strong from the beginning and deserved to win.

"We never dropped in concentration. We stayed very disciplined to avoid any chance of offensive transition. We did what we had to do at a very high level."

On Kovacic's injury, the Chelsea coach added: "It looks swollen and painful. It's the same ankle he had injured already. It doesn't look good."

Kovacic was involved in an exchange with Leeds supporters as he made his way off, with the strugglers' home stadium again proving anything but a fortress.

Leeds have lost nine games and conceded 37 goals at Elland Road this season, both their second-worst home returns in top-flight seasons (10 defeats in 1946-47, 46 goals conceded in 1959-60).

It allowed Chelsea to complete their first top-flight double over Leeds since 1936-37.

"I'm gutted," Jesse Marsch added. "We give up an early goal and go down a man again – deja vu from the Arsenal game – against a real big opponent."

Chelsea warmed up for Saturday's FA Cup final with a 3-0 win at 10-man Leeds United that edges Thomas Tuchel's side closer to Champions League qualification.

The world champions could have been forgiven for having one eye on their Wembley date with Liverpool, but they were in control and in the lead even before Dan James was sent off midway through the first half.

Dan James followed suspended team-mate Luke Ayling in earning a reckless red card, giving relegation-threatened Leeds a mountain to climb having already conceded to Mason Mount.

Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku subsequently wrapped up victory, moving Chelsea in third eight points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham, who have three games to play.

A makeshift Leeds defence missing a natural full-back in Ayling's absence had been quickly exploited by Chelsea, whose first real foray brought the fourth-minute opener as Reece James teed up Mount for a fine finish high past Illan Meslier.

Staying at 1-0 longer than appeared likely at that stage, Leeds looked to have successfully seen out a spell of relentless Chelsea pressure when Dan James thundered into a challenge on Mateo Kovacic – winning the ball before planting his studs into the midfielder's ankle – and was dismissed.

Lukaku soon had a goal ruled out for offside and then directed a header just wide of the left-hand post as the visitors sought to capitalise.

They were made to wait until 10 minutes into the second half, when Mount's flick gave Pulisic space on the edge of the box to pick out the bottom-left corner.

Pulisic and Lukaku each fired narrowly wide, before the latter finally got his goal after patiently steadying himself in the area, with Leeds – already in the relegation zone on goal difference – surely grateful simply to avoid further damage.

What does it mean? Old foes heading in opposite directions

Chelsea may have endured a wobble prior to this match, but they will almost certainly be playing in the Champions League next term while Leeds may well be in the Championship.

Although Elland Road has not always been a happy hunting ground for the Blues – this was just their sixth league win at Leeds – it holds no fear for visiting sides this season. The Whites have now conceded 37 home league goals this season, only once previously (46 in 1959-60) shipping more in a top-flight campaign.

Leeds lose their heads... again

Leeds surpassed Sunderland's single-season record for Premier League yellow cards at Arsenal, but their lack of discipline was most evident in Ayling's awful lunge on Gabriel Martinelli. Sadly, Jesse Marsch's men did not appear to learn from that incident, with Dan James similarly rash on Kovacic.

While the Chelsea man must hope for a swift recovery to be fit for the cup final, Leeds become the first Premier League team to earn 100 cards in a single season and just the eighth side to have a player sent off in the first half of consecutive matches. Far from ideal in the thick of a relegation battle.

Magnificent Mount tops the charts

This was the seventh career Premier League match in which Mount has provided both a goal and an assist – three of which have come since the start of March – and boosted him to 11 goals and 10 assists for the season.

Those 21 top-flight goal involvements, topping Mount's previous career high of 12, are the joint-most of all English players in the division in 2021-22 (also Harry Kane).

What's next?

Chelsea's focus turns to Liverpool at Wembley, by which point they could be sure of a top-four finish if Tottenham do not beat Arsenal on Thursday. Leeds host Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

Thomas Tuchel has denied he was punishing his Chelsea stars when he called them in for training on their planned Sunday off.

There have been reports of unrest in the Chelsea dressing room, and a 2-2 draw with Wolves on Saturday was a sickener for the Blues after they led 2-0 heading into the final 12 minutes.

Chelsea face Leeds United in the Premier League on Wednesday, before tackling Liverpool in the FA Cup final on Sunday.

It is a huge week for the club, and Tuchel decided they should forfeit a day off for the sake of squad togetherness.

Head coach Tuchel said: "We came in. We planned a free day, but after the disappointment it was not even to punish them.

"Maybe some felt like it was a punishment, but it wasn't, because it was not the moment for a free day. I explained that it's better to be together and talk about it than to go [away] and everyone has his own opinion and everybody has his own truth, and you have maybe more risks to be in fragments than to be here."

He said Chelsea took part in "very light" training, and "spent time together discussing things how we wanted to approach the next days".

Tuchel says his job is becoming more demanding by the day as the club's ownership saga plays out.

Chelsea have agreed to terms for the sale of the club to an ownership group led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss for £4.25billion.

The Boehly-led consortium promises investment of £1.75bn into the club and is expected to be completed later this month, but for now Tuchel has his hands tied.

He can make plans for the transfer window and next season but cannot act on them, while the transition of ownership from Roman Abramovich to the new group runs its course.

Tuchel said the deal could "inject some positive energy", but he has yet to speak to Boehly and said the current circumstances are "quite challenging".

Asked if the sale process had been unsettling, Tuchel said: "It has, for sure. There's no sense in hiding from the fact it is a distraction.

"The players want to feel competitive; they want to know what's going on next season. A player like Toni [Antonio Rudiger] decided then to change the club. Every day it gets a bit more difficult. It had an influence and still we are looking to reach the level where we are competitive and can win games.

"It's no excuse, but it is a reason."

With oligarch Abramovich sanctioned by the UK government over alleged close links to Russian president Vladimir Putin, which Abramovich denies, there will be many relieved when the new owners get their deal across the line.

"At the moment it's a positive sign," Tuchel said. "It feels like it will come to an end and give us possibilities to act, but at the moment it's not like this."

Erling Haaland is "destined to be one of the best players in the world" ahead of an anticipated move to Manchester City, says Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch.

A move to the Premier League champions for the Borussia Dortmund striker at the end of the season will reportedly be confirmed this week, ending a prolonged saga of speculation over his future.

Marsch has first-hand experience of working with Haaland, having previously coached the Norway international – who was coincidentally born in Leeds – during their time together at Salzburg.

Speaking ahead of the Whites' clash with Chelsea on Wednesday, the American coach predicted bigger things are to come from Haaland and joked that he should have gone to Elland Road instead.

"Erling Haaland is destined to be one of the best players in the world," Marsch told his pre-match media conference. "It's his quality, but it is also his talent.

"I wish he was coming back home to Leeds... but I understand the decision for him to go to Man City.

"It will be interesting. He's an explosive player in transition and Man City often play a lot in possession. He can play any style of play.

"Certainly, I believe it makes Man City – one of, if not the best team in the world – even better. So credit to them for getting that done.

"I always wish the best for Erling, he's an incredible human being."

Marsch also commented on the tough run his own side now faces to survive in the Premier League, with Leeds' destiny effectively out of their own hands.

Everton are a point ahead with a game in hand while Burnley are level on points, albeit with a vastly superior goal difference, and need only to match the results of their rivals to survive.

"We knew coming into these three matches with City, Arsenal and Chelsea that it was going to be very, very difficult to pick up points," Marsch added.

"So it's proved to be that, just like we knew it was, and we still have so much to play for. So our focus is really on controlling every moment and being prepared for every moment.

"Credit to Burnley and Everton. In a difficult moment they've also fought for their lives and done whatever's possible to claw their way back into this situation, and we'll do the same."

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