Thomas Tuchel has warned his Chelsea stars they must not develop a fear of losing as they bid to extend their unbeaten run under his leadership.

Former Paris Saint-Germain head coach Tuchel believes having an obsession with avoiding defeat can peck away at the appetite to win, and he pointed to discussions with a top cycling boss as reinforcing his views.

Tuchel did not name the Team Sky leader with whom he once spoke about the mentality needed to be a champion in sport.

That individual was likely to have been Dave Brailsford, the long-time manager of the cycling squad which has since been rebranded as Team INEOS.

"I spoke many years ago here in London to the leader of the cycling team of Sky, and he was very, very concerned about the feeling, not to enter a state of mind where you fear the loss more than the hunger, than the adventure to maybe win," Tuchel said.

"To refocus is always at the process. If we look too much at what we have achieved... maybe you step back and want to protect it, but I want us always to be brave and go for the next win and not to avoid the loss."

Chelsea face Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarter-finals at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, looking to go deeper into the competition as Tuchel looks for a trophy from his first half-season at the helm.

By racking up 13 games unbeaten since taking over, Tuchel has established a club record for the longest run of games without defeat by a new Chelsea boss.

"The record is already history and the next game is Sheffield. This one game, this is the most important," Tuchel said.

"I demand from myself and the team and everybody the maximum and then we will see. If we have all this, it is possible to have big records, but I hope we don't enter into situations where we are more afraid of losing a record than winning the next game."

The Blues are also through to the Champions League quarter-finals and are chasing a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Tuchel says he has never treated any match as more important than another and says his players must "control our energy and our mentality", even if they cannot be certain of achieving the right results.

"This is what I demand from my team: to prepare in the best way possible and get the head straight and be out with the same competitive attitude like we played the last 13 matches," he said. "This is it at the highest level. You can never relax."

When it comes to his squad, Tuchel knows he cannot keep every player entirely happy, with the likes of Tammy Abraham and Billy Gilmour struggling to break into his team at present.

He is determined to stay close to every player and keep them fully connected with his plans for them.

"Is there always good news in these talks? No, there is not," Tuchel said. "But if you need to give the feedback, this is clearly my job to do, to give honest feedback, open feedback, direct feedback.

"And so, it makes it easier for them to understand what we expect and what role they can fulfil, even if it maybe does not match with the way they wanted to have it.

"There are hard decisions to make, which is a good thing, because it shows you have a good squad."

Thomas Tuchel pointed to Porto's defeat of Juventus as evidence Chelsea cannot get carried away following their Champions League draw.

The Blues, who knocked out Atletico Madrid this week, will face Porto in the quarter-finals of the competition in a seemingly kind draw.

Chelsea have won five of their eight prior meetings with Porto, including all four at Stamford Bridge, their best 100 per cent home win rate against any opponent in European competition.

But given the Portuguese side eliminated Cristiano Ronaldo and Juve in the last 16, head coach Tuchel is not taking Chelsea's progress for granted.

"Clearly, many people will maybe now make us the favourites against Porto," he told a news conference. "That will not help us.

"You can ask in Turin about the opinion on this, if it helps you to be favourites. It does not help you.

"But we are self-confident. Being self-confident is strongly connected with our performances. We are confident that we face a strong opponent that we face with all the respect.

"Now we are in the quarter-final, we think about how to win it. The only thing we focus on is to reach the semi-finals. We are self-confident enough that we see our chances."

Tuchel was speaking ahead of Sunday's FA Cup tie against Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge, another favourable last-eight fixture.

Chelsea have come out on top in four of the teams' five previous clashes in the competition, while they are on a four-match winning run at home in the FA Cup.

Tuchel is similarly wary for this match, though, even if he acknowledges the prospect of a potential double with the Champions League will now be recognised.

Asked about that possibility, he replied: "It's a bit like if you asked me on my first day if we can be unbeaten after 13 games and do 11 clean sheets. I don't know. Maybe yes, maybe no.

"I can only tell you: is it possible to win against Sheffield on Sunday? Yes, it is possible. Is it easy? No. If you want to win, if you want to be in Wembley, you need to win this game. There is no other approach.

"Is it possible to win the FA Cup? Yes, for sure. Is it possible to win the Champions League when you arrive in the quarter-final? Yes, for all eight teams, it's possible.

"And from there on, admit it and put it aside, because you just lose focus. The focus is performance, intensity, attitude, mentality against Sheffield, and nothing else.

"Then first leg against Porto, then second leg, and be ready every minute of the game because this is football. Everything can happen.

"I'm pretty sure, 100 per cent sure, Sheffield will arrive to beat us, and Porto will arrive to beat us. These are the challenges. We will see where the limit is."

Cristiano Ronaldo is more likely to return to Manchester United than Real Madrid, while Chelsea are desperate to land Erling Haaland.

Ronaldo, 36, is out of contract at Juventus in 2022 and his future has again become a talking point.

Two of his former clubs, United and Madrid, have been linked with the Portugal star.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD RETURN MORE LIKELY THAN MADRID FOR RONALDO

A return to Manchester United is more likely than Real Madrid for Juventus star Ronaldo, according to Tuttosport.

The report says Madrid president Florentino Perez has not opened the door for a Ronaldo return, due to the club's interest in Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe.

Ronaldo starred at United between 2003 and 2009 before shining in Madrid for nine seasons.

 

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea look desperate to land Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland. The Daily Star reports Chelsea are prepared to again do business with Haaland's agent, Mino Raiola, in a bid to sign the forward. Chelsea fell out with Raiola after Romelu Lukaku joined Manchester United over them in 2017.

- Could Paulo Dybala and Antoine Griezmann be set to swap places? CalcioMercato reports there is an idea for Dybala to leave Juventus and join Barcelona, with Griezmann heading to Turin.

- Liverpool seem set to strengthen ahead of next season. Eurosport reports the Premier League champions are thinking about a move for Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge.

- Manchester United have reportedly received a transfer boost. The Sun reports Sevilla have lowered their asking price for defender Jules Kounde to around £50million (€58.4m).

All eyes were on the Emirates Stadium on Sunday for the north London derby and there was a lot of comforting familiarity on display.

A red card, Erik Lamela attempting a rabona (and scoring it!) instead of using his right foot, and, of course, Spurs throwing away a lead.

Elsewhere, Manchester United remained on course to finish second as they ensured David Moyes' continues to dread returning to his former employers, while Sheffield United's first game since Chris Wilder's exit arguably proved just how good the Yorkshireman was as manager.

There was also a potentially vital win near the bottom of the table for Brighton and Hove Albion, and we have taken a look at all the best Opta facts from those games.

Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham: Spurs surrender once again in a north London derby

Lamela's opening goal will be shown in north London derby highlight reels for years – his rabona finish was so good, so audacious.

But even with that being the opening goal, it never really looked like being decisive, so underwhelming were Spurs otherwise from an attacking perspective – the fact they went on to lose meant they have now dropped 45 points from winning positions against Arsenal in the Premier League, the most of any team against a specific opponent in the competition.

After Martin Odegaard levelled, becoming just the fourth Gunners player to score in his first top-flight north London derby, Alexandre Lacazette's second-half penalty secured Arsenal the points.

It was Spurs' ninth league defeat of the season, the joint-most Jose Mourinho has ever suffered in a single season, and Lamela's sending off certainly did not help their situation.

In collecting two bookings, he became only the fifth substitute in Premier League history to score and be sent off in the same game.

His goal will be the enduring moment from the match, but in the grand scheme it was meaningless for a Spurs side in increasing danger of missing out on the top four.

Manchester United 1-0 West Ham: Moyes' Old Trafford misery continues

It was not an occasion for the neutral at Old Trafford as Man United scraped an unconvincing win thanks to an own goal by Craig Dawson.

The defeat means only Harry Redknapp (15) has managed more Premier League games away to United without winning than former Red Devils boss Moyes (14 – four draws, 10 losses).

The Hammers' difficulties in front of goal were partly to blame as none of their seven attempts were on target, the highest number of shots they have had in a league game without a single accurate once since August 2013 (nine shots).

On the flipside, Man United kept a fourth straight Premier League clean sheet for the first time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the club last achieving that feat in January 2018 under Mourinho.

They have also lost just one of their previous 23 league outings having suffered three losses in their opening six games this term.

Leicester City 5-0 Sheffield United: Blades suffer bruising defeat as they venture into the Wilder-less wilderness

Less than 24 hours on from confirmation of Wilder's "mutual" departure as Blades manager, many were likely left wondering why the club did not fight harder to keep him.

While seemingly doomed for relegation anyway, Wilder retained significant respect for the job he presided over at Bramall Lane, and Sunday's result showed why.

With interim boss Paul Heckingbottom taking over for the first time, he has already shipped five goals in a single game as many times as Wilder did in 227 matches (a 5-4 defeat to Fulham in 2017). Their former manager was never beaten by more than a three-goal margin.

Heckingbottom also became only the third manager in Premier League history to lose by five or more goals in his first game, but this should not take credit away from Brendan Rodgers' ferocious Foxes.

Kelechi Iheanacho scored his first hat-trick and also netted in three successive top-flight games for the first time. Jamie Vardy set up two of those goals and in doing so became only the sixth player to register 100 or more goal involvements in the Premier League after turning 30.

Those to achieve this before him were Teddy Sheringham, Frank Lampard, Ian Wright, Alan Shearer and Gianfranco Zola – esteemed company indeed.

Southampton 1-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: Seagulls remember their shooting boots as Saints sink

Much has been said and written about Brighton's woes in front of goal this term, but they got the job done here.

Their 2-1 win at St Mary's is only the second time in 2021 that they have scored twice or more in a single Premier League game – the other instance was their 3-3 draw with Wolves in their first match of the year.

This was their 11th outing since.

The win took Graham Potter's men three points clear of the relegation zone and just four behind Saints, who are in a difficult spot.

It is 10 defeats in the past 12 Premier League games now for Southampton, with Ralph Hasenhuttl coming under increasing pressure – their previous 10 losses came across a 38-match spell.

Paris Saint-Germain is homing in on Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba.

Pogba has been linked with a move away from United since his agent Mino Raiola said he had no future at the club in December.

The 27-year-old has been at United since 2016 but struggled for impact over the past two seasons.

 

TOP STORY - POGBA'S PARISIAN PLAY

PSG have made contact with Pogba's agent and placed him on their list of transfer targets, according to Foot Mercato.

The report claims PSG sporting director Leonardo has recently been in touch with Raiola.

The 27-year-old World Cup winner has never played in Ligue 1 in his native France.

ROUND-UP

Manchester United goalkeeper uncertainty persists with the Daily Star claiming the Premier League giants have added Burnley's Nick Pope to their transfer list, although Tottenham are interested too.

- The Sunday Mirror is reporting United are set to offer manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a new deal.

Tottenham are lining up Southampton's Jannik Vestergaard, according to the Sunday Mirror too.

- Football Insider claims that a deal for Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum to go to Barcelona this close season is "95 per cent done".

- Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer is hot property right now and Algerian publication Competition claims Paris Saint-Germain are leading the race for his signature, ahead of Manchester City.

- TeamTalk has reported Arsenal and Everton are interested in Fulham centre-back Ibane Bowat.

Arsenal and Tottenham are both keen on Sheffield United's Sander Berge, according to Jeunes Footeux.

Sheffield United have confirmed that Under-23s manager Paul Heckingbottom has stepped up to take charge of the first team following Chris Wilder's departure.

After two days of speculation, the Blades confirmed on Saturday that Wilder had left the club "following discussions".

Wilder spent after almost five years in charge, overseeing United's promotion from League One to the Premier League.

The Blades finished ninth last season, but have won just four games this term and are rooted to the foot of the table after 28 matches, 12 points from safety.

Leicester City welcome the Blades to the King Power Stadium on Sunday, and former Leeds United and Barnsley boss Heckingbottom will be in charge.

Heckingbottom, who is to be supported by Alan Knill and the current backroom staff, as well as former Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall, will remain in charge until the end of the 2020-21 campaign, with Sheffield United still in the FA Cup – they face Chelsea in the quarter-finals next week.

He told the club's official website: "It is a great honour to be considered to lead this club until the end of the season and I thank the board for putting their trust in me.

"We have a lot of work to do, but have a great support network, all of whom will bring valuable knowledge and experience, as we look to finish the season strongly."

Chris Wilder has left his role as Sheffield United manager by mutual consent as the club face the prospect of Premier League relegation.

After two days of fervent speculation, the Blades confirmed on Saturday that the 53-year-old had departed the club "following discussions" after almost five years in charge.

Wilder was hugely successful in the first four of those, leading Sheffield United to two promotions from League One to the Premier League.

He followed that up with a fantastic ninth-placed finish in the top flight last season.

This campaign has been a huge struggle, though, with the Blades rooted to the bottom of the table on 14 points, having won just four of their 28 matches.

United do remain in the FA Cup, with a quarter-final against Chelsea coming up next week.

The Blades are away to Leicester City on Sunday and Wilder will no longer be in charge.

"Being manager of Sheffield United has been a special journey and one I'll never forget," Wilder said.

"I was delighted to be given the opportunity back in 2016 and have been delighted with the success which we have achieved, including two promotions and a highest ever Premier League finish.

"I'd like to thank everyone who has contributed to the club's accomplishments along the way, including the players, staff and, in particular, the supporters."

Wilder had reportedly developed a tense relationship with club owner Prince Abdullah as they disagreed over player recruitment.

His cause was not helped by high-profile striker signings Rhian Brewster and Oli McBurnie failing to work out.

McBurnie has one goal in 21 Premier League games this season while former Liverpool striker Brewster has failed to score in 20 league outings.

After thanking Wilder for his "hard work, commitment and expertise", Sheffield United stressed their commitment to keeping a strong squad together in a message to supporters.

"Now the club will turn its attention to completing the season as strongly as possible and if we are relegated, to preparing for the Championship," read their statement.

"We confirm our intention to keep the core of the player group together and will continue to invest further in the academy and the first team, to place us in the best possible position for the future."

Pep Guardiola has no doubt Chris Wilder would be challenging for Premier League glory if he managed Manchester City.

Wilder's time at Sheffield United looked to be coming to an end as Guardiola spoke out on Friday, with the Blades propping up the top-flight table after mustering just 14 points from 28 games.

That is a far cry from the situation with Guardiola's City, who have 68 points and look to be streaking towards a third championship in four seasons.

Yet Guardiola is known to rate Wilder, who led United to promotion in 2018-19 and to a ninth-placed finish in the Premier League last term.

"If he would be here he would be fighting to be champion. If I would be in Sheffield maybe I would fight to not be relegated," Guardiola told a news conference.

Speaking early in the afternoon, Guardiola was reluctant to say too much about Wilder before the manager's exit from Bramall Lane was confirmed.

"Right now it's not official. I'd prefer not to comment anything about that, but I have a good relationship with him from the time we've faced each other," the former Barcelona boss said.

"Of course I wish him all the best if he's still there or if it's not the case."


Why are Sheffield United in so much trouble?

Wilder's team have scored just 16 league goals this season, with only Derby in 2007-08 (13), Aston Villa in 2014-15 (15) and Huddersfield Town in 2018-19 (15) scoring fewer at this stage of a Premier League campaign.

The Blades have created more chances (196) than Everton (194), who sit sixth in the table heading into the weekend, albeit far fewer than City (350) have carved out.

The South Yorkshire side have also committed fewer errors leading to goals (three) than Liverpool (nine), Chelsea (six) and Manchester United (four).

However, a shot conversion rate of just 6.58 per cent from Sheffield United is the worst in the Premier League, and their 'big chance' conversion rate of 21.62 per cent also puts them at the bottom of the pile.

Arsenal were dealt a blow by Granit Xhaka's dreadful mistake against Burnley, while Southampton ended a nine-match Premier League winless streak on Saturday.

Xhaka hit an attempted clearance straight at Chris Wood in the early kick-off at Turf Moor, ultimately costing Mikel Arteta's side a point.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's team then dispatched lowly Sheffield United 2-0 to finally rediscover some form, with Aston Villa and Wolves later playing out a goalless draw.

Leicester City beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 in the late kick-off, and we took a look at the best Opta facts from Saturday's action.
 

Burnley 1-1 Arsenal: X-rated error costs Arteta

Arsenal could have closed the gap between themselves and Tottenham to just two points ahead of next week's north London derby, yet had to settle for a point against Burnley, who have now won just one game in 10 in all competitions.

The Gunners took the lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the sixth minute. Arsenal's captain has scored more Premier League goals against Burnley (eight) than against any other club, while he only has a better record against Hamburg (nine) in Europe's 'top five' leagues.

However, they were hindered by Xhaka's error. The midfielder attempted to play his way out of a tight spot in Arsenal's area, only for his clearance to strike Chris Wood and bobble in.

Since the start of 2016-17, Xhaka has made eight errors leading to goals in the top flight, which is more than any other outfield Premier League player.

Arsenal have now kept only one clean sheet in their past 11 games in all competitions (0-0 v Manchester United in January), after keeping five in a row directly before that.

Burnley, on the other hand, have drawn five consecutive home league games for the third time in their history, after a run of six games ending in April 1936 and a run of five ending in October 1997.

Sheffield United 0-2 Southampton: Adams blunts his former club as Saints buck the trend

Che Adams scored a stunning goal to condemn his former team Sheffield United to another defeat, while simultaneously helping Southampton end their dismal run of form.

Southampton had lost eight of their past nine league matches heading into Saturday's meeting at Bramall Lane, having not won since beating Liverpool on January 4.

Captain James Ward-Prowse opened the scoring from the penalty spot; he has been directly involved in 26 Premier League goals under Hasenhuttl (18 goals, eight assists), twice as many as under any other Southampton manager.

It also moved Ward-Prowse onto seven goals in all competitions, his joint-best return in a single campaign. Six of these seven goals have come from dead ball situations (five direct free-kicks, one penalty).

Southampton had been hit by an early injury to Danny Ings, yet his replacement Adams stepped up, slamming in a spectacular half-volley to make it 2-0 shortly after half-time.

Adams has scored four goals in his four Premier League appearances against the Blades, accounting for 44 per cent of his total goals in the competition, while Chris Wilder's men have become only the second English top-flight team to lose 22 of their first 28 games in a season after Sunderland in 2005-06.

Aston Villa 0-0 Wolves: Grealish absence continues to hit home

There was no winner in Saturday's local derby as Wolves extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League at Villa Park to five matches (W2 D3).

Villa have failed to score in each of their past four home Premier League games against Wolves – only against Chelsea (a run of five between October 1995 and January 2000) and Manchester United (a run of five between March 2003 and December 2006) have they had a longer run of games without scoring against a specific opponent at Villa Park in the competition.

Jack Grealish was again absent through injury and, under Dean Smith, Villa have won just two of their 12 home league games without the playmaker (D5 L5).

On the plus side for Villa, they have kept 14 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, their highest tally in a single top-flight campaign since 2009-10 (15), with only Manchester City (15) having kept more this term.

Wolves, meanwhile, have won just one of their past 10 away Premier League games (D4 L5), with that victory coming at Southampton in February.

Brighton and Hove Albion 1-2 Leicester City: Amartey late show gets Foxes back on track

Daniel Amartey proved the unlikely hero for Leicester as they got back on track in their bid to consolidate their place in the top four with a last-gasp 2-1 win over Brighton.

Graham Potter's side took the lead through Adam Lallana's maiden Brighton goal, and his first in 503 days and 32 appearances in the competition since netting for Liverpool against Manchester United in October 2019.

However, Brighton have now dropped 17 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, their most in a single campaign in the competition. Only Southampton (18) have dropped more than the Seagulls in 2020-21.

Kelechi Iheanacho restored parity and has scored in each of his past two Premier League appearances, having netted in just one of his previous 17 in the competition.

Brighton thought they might come away with a point when Jamie Vardy had a penalty appeal turned down, but Amartey popped up with the winner from the following corner.

It was just his second Premier League goal, and his first since he scored against Stoke City in December 2016.

Jurgen Klopp claimed Liverpool did enough to warrant their win over Sheffield United, but he knows Thursday's clash with Chelsea presents an altogether tougher challenge.

Liverpool stopped the rot in the Premier League on Sunday, ending a four-match losing streak by clinching a 2-0 win at Bramall Lane.

Curtis Jones opened the scoring with his second league goal, before Roberto Firmino's wayward effort diverted in off Kean Bryan. That brought up Liverpool's 7,000th top-flight goal - only Everton have scored more.

Oli McBurnie and Oliver Burke both missed good chances for the home side, who suffered their 21st Premier League defeat of the season, with the Blades 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.

Liverpool's focus now switches to a clash with Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea at Anfield.

Tuchel succeeded Klopp at Borussia Dortmund before going on to coach Paris Saint-Germain and now the Blues, who drew with Manchester United on Sunday.

A win would see Liverpool move above Chelsea, though a fifth straight home defeat could see the Reds' Champions League hopes take another blow.

"Very important. Many people have written us off, that's completely fine," Klopp told Sky Sports.

"Tonight we showed that we are still there, but on Thursday we play Chelsea and we have to show it again. But with all the problems we have we are still around the exciting places. That's where we want to be, what we will fight for.

"I have never thought about controlling the situation. We have to win football games and the rest is controlled by itself. It's always like this, there's no way without results to get into the Champions League.

"It's normal and right that we get criticised, but if it's just about the performance it makes it so tricky. We cannot fight like other teams, sit deep, let them come and hit on the counter-attack.

"That's not how we can get back on track, we have to keep being dominant and deal with the situation, disappointments and frustration in the games. In other games we might have reacted differently. Tonight we stayed on track and scored in the right moment, it always helps.

"I think we could have scored three goals in the first half. It just shows what we created was really, really good. The finishing was good enough today, but we know we can improve that."

Liverpool kept a first Premier League clean sheet since January 17, with Ozan Kabak and Nathaniel Phillips starting together for the first time in defence, in front of Adrian, who stood in for Alisson.

Kabak led the way for tackles (three) and clearances (four – level with Adrian) in Liverpool's team, though he did still have some shaky moments.

With Jordan Henderson set to miss a prolonged spell, Klopp is hoping to have Fabinho – himself a makeshift defender – fit to feature against Chelsea, while at the other end of the pitch, Diogo Jota is also set to return, having missed Sunday's match through illness.

"Probably [Jota and Fabinho] both back for Chelsea," Klopp said.

"Diogo was with us in the hotel but got sick, so he wasn't with us in the squad. I would think that he is ready for Thursday but I don't know at the moment.

"Fabinho has had two training sessions with the team, he should be closer, ready for the squad I am sure."

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.

Curtis Jones dedicated his goal at Sheffield United to Liverpool team-mate Alisson, whose father died in tragic circumstances in Brazil.

Alisson was not included in Liverpool's squad as the reigning Premier League champions stopped their slide with a 2-0 win over the struggling Blades on Sunday.

It was reported that Jose Agostinho Becker drowned on Wednesday while swimming close to his holiday home. The 57-year-old was declared missing and, following a search, his body was found.

Jones scored the opener at Bramall Lane, with Kean Bryan's own goal then securing a much-needed victory for the Reds.

"It's been a difficult time for myself and the rest of the team, but I'm happy that I got on the scoresheet and I'd like to take this time to say that this goal is for Ali's dad, actually," Jones told Sky Sports.

"So, may he rest in peace and if Ali sees this, this is for you bro."

Asked how difficult the news had been for Liverpool's squad, Jones replied: "He's a strong lad, a big part of the team of course.

"He's not here today, we miss him for sure. I'd like to give the goal to him, his dad and the rest of his family."

Jones' goal was his second in the Premier League, and his first away from Anfield, while the 20-year-old midfielder also became the youngest Liverpool player to score a top-flight goal on the road since Raheem Sterling against Burnley in 2014.

"I'm a player that likes to assist and score goals – I think the right time is now," Jones added. "We've had good games but not scored as many goals as we'd like.

"Today was a good example of it all coming together. It was a good performance."

Jones finished with a game-high four goal attempts, with three of them on target, while his passing accuracy of 96.3 per cent was better than that of any other player who started the game.

It was a display which came as no surprise to Jurgen Klopp, who said it is vital that Jones – who was involved in both goals – starts to produce at the top end of the pitch on a consistent basis.

"A top player, no doubt about that. That's why he was playing. He was very important," Klopp said.

"We have talked about him being involved in more goalscoring situations as well, that's clear. Everyone has space for improvement. Tonight he was involved [in the goals] – that's good."

Liverpool ended their dismal run of Premier League defeats as Curtis Jones and Kean Bryan's own goal secured a much-needed 2-0 victory over Sheffield United.

Jurgen Klopp's side went to Bramall Lane on the back of four successive top-flight losses, but finally got back to winning ways on Sunday.

With Aaron Ramsdale in superb form, Chris Wilder's strugglers switched off shortly after the interval when Trent Alexander-Arnold got to the byline, and Jones profited to become Liverpool's youngest Premier League goalscorer away from home since Raheem Sterling in December 2014.

Oli McBurnie spurned a golden chance to haul United level and was duly punished – Bryan diverting Roberto Firmino's effort over Ramsdale to send the points back to Merseyside.

Liverpool were behind inside three minutes in the Merseyside derby and would have been a goal down early on this time out if not for Adrian's save from David McGoldrick's header.

McGoldrick called Adrian into action again with a low strike in the 17th minute, though it came after Ramsdale spread himself to deny Firmino.

Ramsdale came to United's rescue twice in quick succession around the half-hour mark, first denying Mohamed Salah before he parried Alexander-Arnold's effort over, though Ozan Kabak got lucky when he turned into Liverpool's net, only for McBurnie to be flagged offside.

Georginio Wijnaldum was the next to test Ramsdale, with Firmino failing to convert the rebound.

Yet Ramsdale was beaten three minutes after the restart, Alexander-Arnold just managing to scoop in a cross which deflected to Jones, who slammed home.

Sadio Mane swept in from Andrew Robertson's incisive pass soon after, though he was offside.

McBurnie should have restored parity before the hour, yet inexplicably directed a free header wide.

United were made to pay when Firmino was given far too much time and space in the box to get off a shot that spun into the net via Bryan and condemned the Blades to a 21st defeat in 26 league matches.

Jurgen Klopp insisted there was no need for a "massive rebuild" at Liverpool amid their struggles this season.

The reigning champions are in a fight for Champions League qualification after losing their past four Premier League games ahead of visiting Sheffield United on Sunday.

Liverpool have endured a horrid run with injuries this season, with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez missing most of the campaign, while several others have also been sidelined and captain Jordan Henderson has undergone surgery on a groin injury.

But Liverpool manager Klopp sees no need for drastic changes at Anfield.

"I don't think it is time for a massive rebuild like how I understand it," the German said.

"The squad of this year didn't have the chance to play together one time really. I think it would make sense to have a look at that [problem] but on top of that, of course little readjustments will happen.

"Reacting on the situation but planning at the same time for the future and all these kinds of things. I am not sure we can do that in the summer but that is what we will try."

Liverpool sit sixth in the Premier League table, five points adrift of fourth-placed West Ham.

While he accepted results have been below-par, Klopp believes his side's performances are improving.

"It is all about results. The table doesn't lie. Never. That is completely fine. We know that performance-wise we are not that far away, but results-wise we are," he said.

"That is what we have to change and for all the different reasons that it was a difficult season so far for us.

"We try with all we have to sort it and while you try and sort one problem another problem occurs. That is in a season when it is not going perfect, obviously."

Liverpool won 1-0 at Bramall Lane last season, with Sheffield United last losing consecutive home top-flight meetings with the Reds in September 1921.

Jurgen Klopp remains hopeful Jordan Henderson will be back in action for Liverpool before the end of the season after undergoing groin surgery.

The Liverpool captain was injured during the first half of the Merseyside derby defeat to Everton last Saturday. It is unclear when exactly he will return, though the club has confirmed Henderson will not feature prior to the international break in March.

Klopp was not willing to be more specific over a comeback date for the midfielder when he spoke at a news conference ahead of Sunday's trip to Sheffield United.

However, the Reds boss was clear that, despite not being able to participate on a daily basis, Henderson - like Liverpool's other long-term absentees - can still have an influence on the rest of the squad.

"They all have to be influential [while out], that is clear with so many players unavailable at the moment. Most of them are leaders in this group, here doing their rehab," Klopp said.

"Hendo is not here yet but Virgil [van Dijk], Millie [James Milner] and Joel [Matip] all have to be influential here. That's what they will be. When Hendo is back, he will have to play this role while doing his rehab.

"The best-case scenario? I don't know, to be honest. It's not a quick one, but of course we all hope there is still a possibility for him to play a few games this season, but we will see."

Henderson will miss Premier League games with Chelsea, Fulham and Wolves next month, as well as the second leg of the last-16 Champions League tie against RB Leipzig. There are also three World Cup qualifiers for England that he must sit out.

The 30-year-old has started 20 times in the league this term, during which Liverpool have a 45 per cent win percentage and an average of 1.7 points per game.

Unsurprisingly, those figures drop when the skipper is missing. Klopp's side have won two of their five outings in the league when Henderson - so often used as a makeshift centre-back due to injuries in defence - has not played, averaging 1.4 points per match. They have also faced more shots, the average rising from 7.8 per game to 10.

There is some good news for Liverpool over the return of Diogo Jota, while Fabinho is also set to resume training ahead of Sunday's trip to Sheffield United.

Jota has not played in 2021 due to a knee injury but Klopp will not take any unnecessary risks with the forward, even with his side struggling to score goals.

"Diogo trained twice with the team and has looked very good, very good," Klopp said. "But he was long-term out and we have to see what we can do with that, though in training he looks really promising."

Asked later if Jota's return is a timely boost in the battle to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League, Klopp replied: "Of course it's positive, but it's not the only positive.

"It's very positive that Diogo's back after a long time, the others who are out for a long time we will not see any more on the training pitch until the end of the season.

"Yes, it's very positive, and the way he came back in training is very positive. We just have to make a decision about what makes sense for him, when it makes sense for him, these kind of things."

Liverpool travel to bottom club Sheffield United on Sunday on the back of four straight defeats in their title defence; they have not lost five in a row in the top flight since a slump spanning August and September in 1953.

Klopp confirmed no decision had been made on the availability of Alisson for this weekend following the death of the goalkeeper's father back in Brazil.

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