Liverpool securing a top-four finish in the Premier League would now be a surprise given their dramatic dip this season, according to former Reds midfielder Jamie Redknapp. 

Injury issues have badly hampered Liverpool's title defence, with captain Jordan Henderson the latest to go down. 

The England international is expected to be out until April after undergoing surgery on the groin injury sustained in the derby defeat to Everton. 

Liverpool are sixth in the Premier League table with 13 matches to go, with a realistic prospect of them dropping further if Everton and Aston Villa below them win their games in hand. 

They have lost six of their last nine Premier League games, as many as they had in their previous 100 in the competition. 

"Teams have found a way," Redknapp told Sky Sports' Pitch to Post Preview podcast. 

"When West Brom came to Anfield, they sat back and let Liverpool get crosses into the box and because they haven't got that focal point of a big striker - you end up crossing the ball for the sake of it. 

"Liverpool have struggled, especially when they go a goal behind, to find the answer. 

"It will come, of course it will come, but right now everything Liverpool do feels difficult, when you're in a team struggling for form, even the basics are not quite happening. 

"They might not finish top four. It wouldn't be a surprise - it's actually more of a surprise if they did finish top four in the form they're in. 

"I don't know what they're going to end up with as their centre-back pairing at the moment. Henderson [being out] is terrible news. They're not a team who can keep going through these partnerships.  

"There's nothing to be scared of about Liverpool right now. This isn't a short fix. Liverpool's results up until the end of the season are going to be up and down."

The return of influential defender Virgil van Dijk and fans coming back to Anfield were highlighted by Redknapp as factors that should ensure a return to form next season. 

But reflecting on their 2020-21 woes, he insisted injuries were not the only issue, with individuals also struggling. 

"One thing you can't deny is the levels have dropped," Redknapp added. 

"If you were to go through the team, the keeper has not been as good, Trent Alexander-Arnold, last year and the year before, his levels have been so high. 

"The best right-back in the world we were talking about, but he's not been the same player this year. 

"That can be through a number of reasons - is he thinking, 'I've cracked it? All I have to do is turn up and play', and maybe not do the basics of what made him one of the best right-backs. 

"I have seen a drop off and if he's honest he'll look in the mirror and say I've not been as good this year. 

"When you get a bit of criticism, what you've got to do is look at yourself and think can I do better? And there are a number of players who can do better, make no mistake.  

"Individuals have to do better. They'll know that. They have to work harder." 

Liverpool are away to bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United on Sunday.  

The Blades have lost 20 of their 25 Premier League games this season (W3 D2) - the fewest amount of games a team has taken to reach 20 defeats in a single campaign in English top-flight history. 

Liverpool will hope Mohamed Salah can continue his impressive form on the road. The Egypt international has scored 16 goals in his last 17 away games in all competitions, as many as he had netted in his previous 51 away games for the Reds. 

Everton ended over 21 years of hurt as they beat Liverpool at Anfield for the first time this century in Saturday's headline Premier League game.

That triumph over defending champions Liverpool came after Chelsea had drawn with Southampton, while Burnley and West Brom also shared the spoils at Turf Moor.

In the day's other game, Fulham boosted their survival bid with a 1-0 victory over lowly Sheffield United.

Using Opta data, we look at key facts from the four Premier League games.

LIVERPOOL 0-2 EVERTON: RICHARLISON AND SIGURDSSON SEAL DERBY BRAGGING RIGHTS

Everton picked up their first win over Liverpool in 24 meetings in all competitions (D12 L11) – ending what was Liverpool's longest ever unbeaten run against a single opponent.

Richarlison's third-minute goal was teed up by James Rodriguez, who has provided more assists in all competitions this season than any other player for Everton (eight). It was the Toffees' second-fastest Premier League goal scored against Liverpool, behind only Olivier Dacourt's first-minute strike in April 1999.

Brazil forward Richarlison became only the third Everton player to score in successive Premier League appearances at Anfield for the club, after Tim Cahill in March 2006 and Kevin Campbell in October 2000.

Liverpool dominated possession, with Jordan Pickford making six saves, including standout stops from Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have lost four consecutive home league games for only the second time, last doing so back in December 1923 – when they were also defending top-flight champions. The result ended Everton's run of 23 winless Anfield clashes with Liverpool without a win in all competitions (D10 L13) since a 1-0 victory in September 1999.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has suffered four consecutive league defeats for the first time since November 2014 when he was in charge at Borussia Dortmund, while he has lost four in a row at home in league competition for the very first time in his managerial career.

Gylfi Sigurdsson's penalty settled the contest, and the Iceland playmaker has now scored five away goals against Liverpool in all competitions – more than he has away at any other opponent in his career in England.

SOUTHAMPTON 1-1 CHELSEA: SAINTS HALT LOSING STREAK AS TUCHEL STALLS

Southampton ended a run of six successive Premier League defeats, the club's worst losing run in their league history, as they earned a point against Chelsea.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel became the 16th manager in Premier League history to avoid defeat in his first six games in the competition (W4 D2) and the first since Maurizio Sarri in September 2018, also with Chelsea. However, he did see his side's four-match winning streak come to an end.

Southampton took the lead through Takumi Minamino, who became the first opposition player to score against Tuchel's Chelsea in all competitions, ending a run of 572 minutes without such a goal for the German manager (Antonio Rudiger scored an own goal against Sheffield United).

The draw means Saints have lost 18 points from leading positions in the Premier League this season, more than any other side.

Mason Mount's penalty pulled Chelsea level – Southampton have now conceded five goals from the spot this term. Only in 1993-94 and 2016-17 (both six) did Saints concede more goals from the spot in a Premier League campaign.

Mount became the 25th different player to score a penalty for Chelsea in the Premier League, with the Blues having more penalty scorers than any other team in the competition's history.

FULHAM 1-0 SHEFFIELD UNITED: LOOKMAN LIFTS COTTAGERS

Fulham's resurgence continued as they picked up just their second victory in 14 Premier League home games (W2 D4 L8) and first since beating West Brom in November.

Scott Parker's team have now taken seven points from their last three league matches and are just three points from safety.

Lowly Sheffield United, meanwhile, missed out on the chance to move off the bottom, and the Blades have only won two of their 28 Premier League games in London (D8 L18), winning at Chelsea in October 1992 (2-1) and Crystal Palace in February 2020 (1-0).

Ademola Lookman scored the winner, and the on-loan winger has been directly involved in more Premier League goals than any other Fulham player this season (four goals, three assists).

BURNLEY 0-0 WEST BROM: NO GIVE AT TURF MOOR

A clean sheet finally arrived for West Brom, as they registered their first in 15 Premier League games since a 1-0 win at home to Sheffield United in November.

The Baggies had the best chances to snatch a much-needed win, but ultimately Sam Allardyce – whose side lost Semi Ajayi to a red card in the first half – had to settle for a draw.

The last two occasions West Brom have received a red card and avoided defeat in a Premier League game have both been against Burnley (they won 1-0 in August 2017).

Burnley have won just one of their eight Premier League meetings with West Brom (D4 L3), earning a 2-1 success at the Hawthorns in March 2018.

Since the start of last season, Burnley have kept 24 clean sheets in the Premier League – only Manchester City (31) have had more in this period.

Real Madrid are reportedly planning a €90million move for Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland ahead of next season.

Haaland, 20, is being targeted by Europe's biggest clubs after starring for the Bundesliga outfit.

Madrid are ready to make a move for Haaland ahead of 2021-22.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID PLAN €90M HAALAND MOVE

Real Madrid are plotting a €90m move for Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, according to ABC.

The report says the LaLiga giants will attempt to get Luka Jovic, who is on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt, or Mariano Diaz to be part of the deal.

Haaland has scored 23 goals in as many games for Dortmund this season.

ROUND-UP

- After landing Dayot Upamecano, Bayern Munich have other targets in mind. Bild reports the Bundesliga giants are also interested in Norwich City full-back Max Aarons, Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Florian Neuhaus, Rennes' Eduardo Camavinga and Lucien Agoume, who is on loan at Spezia from Inter. The Daily Mail also says Bayern are stepping up their pursuit of Aarons.

- David Luiz looks set to extend his Arsenal stay. The Independent claims the Premier League side are set to offer the defender another extension, with his deal expiring at season's end.

- Staying at Arsenal and Alexandre Lacazette's future at the club seems uncertain. The Daily Express reports Arsenal have been told they can sign Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard for just £15m.

- Without a club since leaving Trabzonspor in March last year, Daniel Sturridge has been offered to Newcastle United, according to 90min. West Brom and Sheffield United are also reportedly interested in Sturridge.

Roses are red, violets are blue, have we got the perfect Valentine's Day content for you!

Questionable rhymes aside (okay, very questionable), love is in the air as long-standing couples and newly formed relationships celebrate the day of romance on Sunday.

The world of football is certainly no stranger to the language of love, so before you crack open a bottle of red and exchange cheap knock-off gifts with your significant other why not get some inspiration for love with our Valentine's Day facts with some help from Cupid!

(Well not Cupid, Opta – but the team at Opta are full of love!)

MATT LE KISS-IER LOVES TO SCORE ON VALENTINE'S DAY

Valentine's Day is of course a day for love (and overpaying for those last-minute flowers and cards you forgot to buy…).

Two players have been particularly good at spreading the joy on February 14th with Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier and ex-Liverpool striker Michael Owen each scoring three times in the Premier League on this date – the most of all players.

Here's something even more interesting about that stat, though – each man's tally is a result of scoring a Valentine's Day hat-trick.

Le Tissier registered three against the Reds back in 1994, while Owen took home the match ball with a treble versus Sheffield Wednesday four years later.

Owen's three goals are part of 12 Liverpool have tallied on the day of love – comfortably the most by a team. Arsenal follow on seven, with Aston Villa and Southampton on four.

A ROSE FOR THE LADY?

Flowers are synonymous with Valentine's Day but none more so than the rose.

Two players named Rose have plied their trade in the Premier League – Danny (194 appearances) and Matthew (five appearances). The former, of course, is an England international who with his marauding runs from full-back has often been a, ahem, thorn in the side of opponents…

There are other love-themed names to have featured in the top flight. Valentino Lazaro played 13 times in the Premier League for Newcastle United on loan last term, while Valentin Roberge made 10 appearances for north east rivals Sunderland.

The Black Cats also had Donald Love on their books, the defender having previously represented Manchester United once in the top flight.

FOXES RACK UP THE CARDS

Whether from a partner or a secret admirer, it's always nice to receive a card or two on Valentine's Day.

Unless of course you're playing in the Premier League, in which case you want to see the referee keep their cards in their pockets.

In this regard, Leicester City have not been overly successful – the seven yellow cards representing the most received by a team on Valentine's Day. Arsenal follow closely behind with six, with Manchester City on four.

The Foxes also fare badly when it comes to red cards, having picked up two on February 14th – Danny Simpson and Hamza Choudhury account for those dismissals. The only other player to have been sent off on Valentine's Day is Everton hero Duncan Ferguson ... no, we weren't shocked either.

THE BEST BROMANCES

It goes without saying that we don't need to confine our love sharing to one manufactured day of the year…

No, we should be spreading the joy in our hearts all year round and these strike partnerships certainly succeed in that category.

Going back to the start of the 2015-16 season, no two players have combined for more goals than Spurs duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min (33).

In fact, Kane features three times in the top-five – also ranking third with Christian Eriksen (19), and sharing 18 with Dele Alli.

Manchester City pairing Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne are second with 20, while Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez (18), who fired Leicester to shock title glory in 2015-16, also feature.

Manchester City and Manchester United have been handed away draws against fellow Premier League sides in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

City, who won their sixth FA Cup in 2018-19 but were knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual victors Arsenal last season, will play Everton at Goodison Park.

While City claimed a serene 3-1 win over Swansea City in the fifth round on Wednesday, Carlo Ancelotti's team overcame Tottenham 5-4 after extra-time in an instant FA Cup classic.

The teams will have a dress rehearsal for the last-eight clash on February 17, when they face off at Goodison in a Premier League match which was due to be played in December but had to be rescheduled due to a coronavirus outbreak at City.

Like their local rivals, United also fell short of reaching last season's final, going down to Chelsea in the last four.

United beat West Ham 1-0 after extra time on Tuesday and now face a trip to face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. Brendan Rodgers' Leicester side are flying high in the Premier League along with United and leaders City, who are five points clear of their neighbours at the top.

Last season's runners-up Chelsea went into Thursday night's match at Barnsley knowing the winners would be rewarded with a home tie against Sheffield United, who beat Bristol City at the last-16 stage.

The other quarter-final tie throws up a south-coast clash, with Southampton travelling to Bournemouth.

Games are due to be played across the weekend of March 20 and 21.

FA Cup quarter-final draw in full:

Everton v Manchester City
Bournemouth v Southampton
Leicester City v Manchester United
Barnsley or Chelsea v Sheffield United

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel insists Timo Werner is getting "stronger and stronger" despite the Germany international's goalless run in the Premier League now stretching to 14 games. 

Werner arrived at Stamford Bridge with a reputation as a prolific goalscorer following his move from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig ahead of the 2020-21 campaign. 

But the 24-year-old has scored just four times in 22 Premier League appearances, with his blank in Sunday's 2-1 win at Sheffield United stretching his barren run even further. 

While he did not get on the scoresheet, he was in the thick of the action as Chelsea made it three wins on the bounce under new boss Tuchel. 

His low cross was clinically dispatched by Mason Mount to put the Blues ahead shortly before the interval, bringing up his sixth assist in all competitions this season – the most of any Chelsea player. 

He then drew a foul from Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, providing Jorginho with the opportunity to restore the visitors' advantage from the penalty spot following Antonio Rudiger's calamitous own goal. 

Despite another scoreless outing, Tuchel has no doubts Werner is on the right track to becoming a success at Chelsea. 

"It was a brilliant run for the first goal and it was great decision making for the second goal to go around the goalkeeper," said the former Paris Saint-Germain head coach.

"It was good defending from their defenders but he worked incredibly hard and disciplined against the ball. It gave him a boost. I feel he is getting stronger and stronger every day. Today he was more free and I could really feel him on the pitch.

"He was absolutely in the game mentally and physically and he was decisive. This is the most important thing because if he can continue like this the goals will come, for sure."

Tuchel has overseen three wins and one draw in his opening four games as Chelsea boss, with their one goal conceded the fewest through a manager's first four league games in charge since Guus Hiddink in 2009.

Their latest win moved them up to fifth, just one point behind fourth-place Liverpool, but Tuchel insists his side will not get ahead of themselves and are firmly focused on their FA Cup fifth-round clash with Barnsley on Thursday.

"What would it help to talk about it [finishing in he top four]?" he added. "It is clear that we are responsible now for a situation where we are close to where we want to be. We want to try everything to reach the top four and we said this very clearly when we started.

"So, now the guys put themselves in the situation where we are the hunters for the teams in front of us and we are close. It changes nothing because the next game in the league will be a home game and like everybody else we will be under the pressure to continue our run and build on the momentum. 

"Today is the best example. What will it help you if you see that Sheffield United are very, very low, but if you analyse the team you see their result against Manchester United.

"They are bottom of the league, but you have to come here, accept the challenge, play humble. This is what you do and from there on it is now the next challenge to improve, play in the FA Cup and the next game and keep on going. The future will take care of itself."

Thomas Tuchel maintained his unbeaten start to life at Chelsea as goals from Mason Mount and Jorginho sealed a 2-1 Premier League win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday. 

The German's first game in charge after replacing Frank Lampard was an underwhelming 0-0 draw with Wolves, but he has now masterminded three wins on the spin to move the Blues up to fifth, one point behind fourth-place Liverpool. 

They did not have it all their own way against Chris Wilder's side, however, the Yorkshire side cancelling out Mount's first-half opener after the interval courtesy of a slapstick own goal from Antonio Rudiger. 

Chelsea secured all three points soon after, though, when Jorginho followed up his decisive penalty against Tottenham in midweek with another successful spot-kick. 

Oliver Burke squandered a glorious opportunity to give the hosts a first-minute lead, the Scotland international lashing into the side netting after being played through by Oliver McBurnie. 

Timo Werner was then denied at the other end as Chris Basham tracked back superbly to clear his flicked effort over the outrushing Aaron Ramsdale. 

Basham thought he had earned a penalty for his side after 12 minutes when he was brought down inside the area by Ben Chilwell, but a VAR review showed that the defender had strayed into an offside position. 

The Blues went ahead two minutes before the interval, Mount superbly sweeping into Ramsdale's bottom-left corner from 15 yards after being picked out by Werner. 

The hosts were gifted an equaliser in the 54th minute when Rudiger's attempted backpass to Edouard Mendy rolled past the Senegal international and into the bottom corner. 

The Germany defender's blushes were spared four minutes later when Jorginho slotted home from the spot after Ramsdale had brought Werner down in the box, the decision given after referee Kevin Friend was advised to view the pitchside monitor.

United rarely looked like salvaging a point after that, with Chelsea comfortably holding on for an 18th win in their last 24 top-flight matches against teams from Yorkshire.

Manchester United matched their own record for the biggest home win in Premier League history as Southampton suffered the unprecedented ignominy of 9-0 defeats in consecutive seasons.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's men saw their outing at Old Trafford unravel from the moment Alexandre Jankewitz was shown a second-minute red card for an ugly lunge on Scott McTominay.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka began the rout and efforts from Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani either side of a Jan Bednarek own goal made it 4-0 at half-time.

Anthony Martial and McTominay made it 6-0 inside the final 20 minutes before a Bruno Fernandes penalty, Martial's second and a closing goal from Daniel James left Southampton – who also saw Bednarek sent off – in an unsightly heap.

From nine goals to nine men, Arsenal had David Luiz and Bernd Leno dismissed as they lost 2-1 at Wolves.

That scoreline was repeated in victories for Sheffield United and Crystal Palace that could have repercussions at the bottom of the table.

Manchester United 9-0 Southampton: Record-equalling joy and despair at Old Trafford

James' goal deep into stoppage time meant United won 9-0 for the first time since thrashing Ipswich Town in March 1995. It is only the third instance of this scoreline in the Premier League, following Southampton's thrashing on home turf against Leicester City in October 2019.

This fixture is not always anything like as kind to United. In fact, they have won home and away against Saints for the first time since 2012-13 – the last time they lifted the title.

Southampton's fourth consecutive Premier League defeat is also their biggest ever away loss in any competition.

United's efforts to share the goals around, with only Martial hitting a brace, means they are the second side to have seven different scorers in a Premier League match following Chelsea against Aston Villa in December 2012.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has seen his side utterly transform their home performances. They won only one of six at Old Trafford at the start of this league season, scoring three times. A run of four wins out of five, with one defeat, has yielded 19 goals.

The late flurry was aided by Bednarek adding a red card to his own goal, while it could have been so different were it not for Jankewitz's rash tackle. The teenager is the first player to be sent off on his first Premier League start since Serge Aurier for Tottenham in September 2017 and the fourth man to be dismissed inside two minutes in a Premier League game.

Wolves 2-1 Arsenal: David Luiz and Leno leave Arteta's men short

Arsenal took a deserved lead at Molineux through Nicolas Pepe, who now has three goals in his past four league starts – as many as he managed on his previous 16 starts.

Mikel Arteta says he will appeal David Luiz's punishment but the Brazilian defender's foul on Willian Jose means he has been sent off three times and conceded six penalties since his Arsenal debut in August 2019, more than any other player in the division during that time.

Ruben Neves converted from the spot before fellow Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho hammered in a fabulous 30-yard effort. Very much a collectors' item, it was the first home goal of his Wolves career at the 61st attempt.

When Leno charged from his area to handball in a wretched misjudgement, Wolves' first league double over Arsenal since 1978-79 was virtually assured and the Germany international became the second Gunners keeper to be sent off in the Premier League – and the first since David Seaman against West Ham back in 1993.

Whether largely down to indiscipline or misfortune, Arsenal have been shown nine red cards since Arteta took charge on Boxing Day 2019 – six more than any other side.

Sheffield United 2-1 West Brom: Blades sharpen survival chances

Bottom club Sheffield United are now just a point behind West Brom in 19th, even though they fell behind to Matt Phillips' close-range finish before half-time.

Phillips has now found the net in each of the past 13 seasons in English league football, a run that goes back to 2008-09.

Jayden Bogle brought the hosts level before captain Billy Sharp stepped up to net another crucial goal.

Since Chris Wilder's first game in charge of United in August 2016, Sharp has scored 76 goals in all competitions – 44 more than any other Blades player during that period.

Sam Allardyce's much-vaunted reputation for making his teams hard to beat is not doing West Brom much good at the moment. The Baggies have conceded 26 goals in nine Premier League games under the ex-England boss, as many as they let in during 13 matches under Slaven Bilic this term.

Newcastle United 1-2 Crystal Palace: Eagles soar clear of trouble

Newcastle remain eight points above the drop zone but are now seven shy of Palace, despite enjoying a dream start.

Jonjo Shelvey's long-ranger after 71 seconds was the quickest goal the Eagles have conceded in a Premier League match since Ian Taylor scored for Aston Villa inside a minute in March 1998.

Roy Hodgson's side had not won away from home after conceding first since overcoming West Ham in October 2019, drawing two and losing 12 of such games since.

But Jairo Riedewald's venomous hit saw them level in style as he ended a run of 13 games without a goal in the Premier League.

Gary Cahill then became Crystal Palace's oldest ever goalscorer in the Premier League at 35 years and 45 days. He is also the oldest Englishman to score in the Premier League at St James' Park since Alan Shearer last did so.

Manchester City extended their lead at the Premier League summit with a 1-0 win over struggling Sheffield United on Saturday. 

Pep Guardiola's side started the day one point ahead of rivals Manchester United, but finished it three ahead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's outfit after they were held to a disappointing, if record breaking, 0-0 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. 

Newcastle United turned around their woeful recent form with a 2-0 win at Everton, while Aston Villa won away at Southampton. 

Crystal Palace edged past Wolves 1-0 at Selhurst Park, while strugglers West Brom and Fulham played out an entertaining 2-2 draw. 

Here is the pick of the Opta facts from the day's action in the Premier League.

Manchester City 1-0 Sheffield United: Guardiola's men keep on winning

An early goal from Gabriel Jesus helped City set a new club record of 12 consecutive wins in all competitions.

It is also the longest winning run by a Premier League team since Arsenal racked up 12 in a row between August and October 2007. 

The slender win was also their ninth triumph in January, the most they have ever won in a single month in their history. Indeed, it is the most wins by a team in the top four tiers of English football in a single month since the formation of the Football League in 1888.

The result also means City have kept 20 clean sheets in all competitions this season, which is at least five more than any other side in the top-five European leagues. 

After their shock midweek win at Manchester United, this was a case of normal service resumed for the rock-bottom Blades. 

They have now lost 20 of their last 24 Premier League matches - seven more than any other side in the same period - and have been on the end of eight 1-0 defeats this season. That is the joint-most ever by a side at this stage (21 games) of a top-flight season, along with Ipswich Town in 1985-86.

Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United: Record-breaking stalemate for United

They did not come away from London with all three points, but United can at least toast an 18th consecutive away match in the Premier League without defeat – their longest run without a loss in their illustrious top-flight history.

While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side created the best opportunities, they failed to find the back of the net for a third consecutive league match against Arsenal. The last time they went that long without scoring against the Gunners was between September 1981 and May 1983 when they went four games without a goal.

The result means Solskjaer has now failed to win any of his five Premier League games against Arsenal, with the Norwegian the only Red Devils manager to face the north London side more than once in the top flight without winning a game.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have now kept four consecutive home clean sheets in all competitions for the first time since April 2019.

The draw means Mikel Arteta's side are unbeaten in their past six league games against United – their longest run against the Red Devils in league competition since between October 1980 and May 1983 (also six).

Everton 0-2 Newcastle United: Toffees downed by a familiar foe

Steve Bruce relieved some of the intense pressure he had been under as Newcastle ended an 11-game winless run in all competitions with victory at Goodison Park.

It was no surprise that Callum Wilson was the inspiration behind the win, the England international's brace means he has now been involved in 67 per cent of the Magpies' 21 Premier League goals this season (10 goals, four assists).

His first goal was his 50th in the Premier League, while he has only scored more against West Ham (eight) in the competition than he has versus Everton (six).

The Toffees, meanwhile, have now been defeated in four home league games this season. That is the most Carlo Ancelotti has lost in a single campaign since the 2007-08 campaign with Milan, when he was also beaten four times.

Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson made his 300th Premier League appearance in the defeat to become the second Icelandic player to reach the milestone after Hermann Hreidarsson (332).

Southampton 0-1 Aston Villa: Grealish and Barkley combine to overcome Saints

Villa secured a first win over Southampton in the Premier League since December 2013 thanks to Ross Barkley's first-half goal, laid on by the superb Jack Grealish.

Grealish has now been involved in 15 league goals (six goals, nine assists) in a single season for the first time, eclipsing his tally of last term when he scored eight goals and created six for his team-mates.

Only Harry Kane (11) and Kevin De Bruyne (10) have more assists than Grealish this season, while the last Villa player to register more in a single season in the competition was Ashley Young with 10 in 2010-11.

Dean Smith's side were also indebted to another clean sheet from goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, whose 10th shutout of the campaign is only bettered by City's Ederson (12).

Defeat for Southampton means they have lost three consecutive top-flight matches for the first time since November 2019, while they have also failed to score in five of their past seven Premier League games - they had only drawn a blank in five of their previous 41 in the competition before this.

Pep Guardiola described his players as "animals" after they extended their advantage at the top of the Premier League with victory over Sheffield United.

City claimed a fifth 1-0 league victory of the season as Gabriel Jesus' early goal and another impressive defensive performance clinched the points.

Afterwards, Guardiola revealed he expected nothing less than a difficult match against Chris Wilder's disciplined Blades.

He was delighted with the way his players stuck to the task of keeping their opponents at arm's length throughout.

He told Sky Sports: "So difficult [to] win, like we knew it [would be], an incredibly huge victory for us.

"It's amazing after this run of victories in a row, 12 in all competitions, still the players run and fight like animals.

"We concede one [chance] at the end, it was dangerous, but it's so difficult an opponent. We knew it.

"Every time we play against them, we struggle a lot but we concede few [chances] and this is important."

City moved four points clear of second-placed neighbours Manchester United in the Premier League with their win over Sheffield United on Saturday.

That a game against the team currently propping up the division was so tricky speaks volumes about how big an achievement it is to hit the summit, Guardiola believes.

He added: "With these weather conditions when we woke up, we said, 'Today, forget about it, it will be one of the toughest games of the season.' And it was.

"The team who is now top of the league [played against] the team who is bottom of the league and we didn't know what is going to happen.

"The team was incredibly committed, didn't make mistakes, they were so focused in the second balls and long balls.

"We won a lot of duels and we lacked a little bit to create chances but it's so difficult because they defend [with] 10 players, defending all the space inside, they allow you to go outside so it's not easy.

"And after that, with the ball, they know exactly what they have to do. Chris and his team they are a long time together, they know exactly what to do.

"That is the real proof that the Premier League is incredibly tough: the team at the bottom of the league is this team. This team showed that everything has to be won, there's nothing given."

Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points as they beat Sheffield United 1-0 to make it a club-record 12 wins in a row in all competitions.

Pep Guardiola's side continued a renaissance that has restored them to the summit of the English top flight and marked them out as clear favourites to clinch the title.

Gabriel Jesus' ninth-minute strike decided the game but, while City failed to add to their advantage as a result of a blunt performance in the final third, they never looked like conceding an equaliser.

Sheffield United arrived at the Etihad Stadium with a renewed sense of hope following their shock midweek victory away to Manchester United.

But City quickly set about extinguishing any optimism, Ferran Torres capitalising on a defensive mix-up before showing great feet to beat his man on the byline and teeing up Jesus for a tap-in.

Although the nature of the opener will have disappointed Blades boss Chris Wilder, he will have been pleased with his players' response to such an early setback.

They restricted the hosts to just one more shot on target before the break thanks to more of the sort of solidity that had earned them three points across Manchester on Wednesday evening.

Unsurprisingly, City looked to up the tempo following the restart, and went close through a Ruben Dias header from Ilkay Gundogan's cross within two minutes.

But they continued to struggle to carve out clear opportunities, their next big chance again coming from a corner as Aymeric Laporte's header forced Aaron Ramsdale into a save.

Sheffield United enjoyed their best spell of the match in the final five minutes, with a John Fleck long-distance effort whistling just past the post in that period.

However, they had left it too late to put sustained pressure on the hosts, who saw out the remaining minutes to claim yet another victory in a remarkable run of form.

What does it mean? City juggernaut rolls on

City's previous title successes under Guardiola have been built on a simply unstoppable attack occasionally covering for a less-than-convincing defence, but that certainly isn't the case with this team.

The Blues have conceded the fewest goals (13) and kept the most clean sheets (12) of any side in the Premier League this season, and that is driving a renewed charge to regain the title.

Laporte proves worth

Ruben Dias' role in City's recent defensive improvement means only the spot next to him is up for grabs when it comes to Guardiola picking a team.

Laporte strengthened his case to start more regularly, winning a team-high eight aerial duels out of the nine he contested against physical opposition.

The defender also took more touches than any player on the pitch (137) and completed the most passes (119).

Brewster struggles continue

Brought into a team that pulled off a huge shock at Old Trafford, Rhian Brewster failed to stake a claim to more regular starts.

The Englishman managed just one speculative shot from distance and fewer touches than any other starter (20).

What's next?

Manchester City will look to extend their winning run against Burnley at Turf Moor on Wednesday, while Sheffield United must try to get back to winning ways at home to West Brom 24 hours earlier.

Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points as they beat Sheffield United 1-0.

Pep Guardiola's side claimed a 12th successive win in all competitions to continue a renaissance that has restored them to the summit of the English top flight and marked them out as clear favourites to clinch the title.

Gabriel Jesus' ninth-minute strike decided the game but, while City failed to add to their advantage as a result of a blunt performance in the final third, they never looked like conceding an equaliser.

Sheffield United arrived at the Etihad Stadium with a renewed sense of hope following their shock midweek victory away to Manchester United.

But City quickly set about extinguishing any optimism, Ferran Torres capitalising on a defensive mix-up before showing great feet to beat his man on the byline and teeing up Jesus for a tap-in.

Although the nature of the opener will have disappointed Blades boss Chris Wilder, he will have been pleased with his players' response to such an early setback.

They restricted the hosts to just one more shot on target before the break thanks to more of the sort of solidity that had earned them three points across Manchester on Wednesday evening.

Unsurprisingly, City looked to up the tempo following the restart, and went close through a Ruben Dias header from Ilkay Gundogan's cross within two minutes.

But they continued to struggle to carve out clear opportunities, their next big chance again coming from a corner as Aymeric Laporte's header forced Aaron Ramsdale into a save.

Sheffield United enjoyed their best spell of the match in the final five minutes, with a John Fleck long-distance effort whistling just past the post in that period.

However, they had left it too late to put sustained pressure on the hosts, who saw out the remaining minutes to claim yet another victory in a remarkable run of form.

What does it mean? City juggernaut rolls on

City's previous title successes under Guardiola have been built on a simply unstoppable attack occasionally covering for a less-than-convincing defence, but that certainly isn't the case with this team.

The Blues have conceded the fewest goals (13) and kept the most clean sheets (12) of any side in the Premier League this season, and that is driving a renewed charge to regain the title.

What's next?

Manchester City will look to extend their winning run against Burnley at Turf Moor on Wednesday, while Sheffield United must try to get back to winning ways at home to West Brom 24 hours earlier.

Pep Guardiola has criticised candidates in the Barcelona presidential race for talking too much about Manchester City defender Eric Garcia.

Spain international Garcia has long been linked with a return to his boyhood club since failing to agree an extension to his contract at the Etihad Stadium last year.

The 20-year-old centre-back's terms expire at the end of this season, when signing him on a free transfer might be the most prudent course of action for a financially embattled Barca.

One of the candidates, Toni Freixa, said this is the likely conclusion to the saga, although Victor Font this week claimed Garcia would go unpaid for the rest of the season in order to force through a move.

Acting Barca president Carles Tusquets does not have the authority to sign players during this window after the presidential election was delayed until March 7, adding another layer of complication.

Guardiola has already stated he is "pretty sure" Garcia will leave City when the 2020-21 campaign concludes, although there was a weariness when he addressed the matter once more as the Premier League leaders prepare to host Sheffield United.

"I don't want to talk anything about this case because the people talk much," he said, in comments apparently directed towards Freixa and Font, who are standing against his old boss at Camp Nou, Joan Laporta.

"He's our player, the transfer window finishes in a few days.

"We are fully committed with him while he is here because is an exceptional player and guy and that's all."

Saturday's top-versus-bottom clash at the Etihad Stadium threatens to be more competitive than billed if events this midweek on the other side of Manchester are anything to go by.

Chris Wilder's Sheffield United claimed only their second top-flight win of the season, stunning Manchester United 2-1 in a result that means City are in first place at the end of a round of fixtures for the first time this term.

"Of what I saw before the United game, Sheffield United is a team that is alive. [You can tell] from their body language," said Guardiola.

"It is not easy with the results they have got this season and that speaks incredibly well about Chris, his staff and the players.

"The result against United speaks for itself. Everybody knows how difficult it is to win at Old Trafford."

The Blades remain bottom, three points behind a West Brom side City thumped 5-0 last time out and 10 points from safety.

Nevertheless, Guardiola believes they have a chance of survival and is wary of a team his men edged past 1-0 in their previous two meetings, both of which were at Bramall Lane.

"I think the reason why they are still a team and they are alive is because they are together for a long time with the same manager and they believe each other a lot," he said.

"That is why they were able to do what they did a few days ago. But it is an opportunity to try to play good again and win the game."

Guardiola added: "To play Sheffield, it is always uncomfortable to us, that system, the 5-3-2, it is difficult to attack, that is why I’m a little bit concerned about the game."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Martin Odegaard can cause problems for any team in world football ahead of his possible debut against Manchester United.

Arsenal have signed Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid until the end of the season.

He is building up his fitness and it is yet to be confirmed if he will be able to make his debut when Arsenal host United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Solskjaer, whose team are reeling from their stunning 2-1 home defeat to bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United on Wednesday, is clear about his fellow Norwegian's ability.

But he hopes Odegaard will not make his mark on the Premier League right away.

"Martin is a very talented young player," he told reporters as he looks to avoid Arsenal beating United for a third straight top-flight game for what would be the first time since 1998.

"We know from the national team that he can cause anyone problems. 

"Just hope he isn't finding his form on Saturday! We wish him all the best.

"Arsenal have been impressive lately, turned it around. Since the Chelsea game they have got really good results.

"Always great games against Arsenal. Some classics between the two sides."

United are winless in all four Premier League games against Arsenal under Solskjaer, having lost three of those.

He is the only United manager to face Arsenal more than once in the top flight without winning a game.

Solskjaer, though, is optimistic his team will bounce back from the Sheffield United defeat and feels the media reaction to that loss showed a lack of respect to the Blades.

"You never want to lose a game to learn from it and we have been terrific," he said. "But it is that kind of season. We didn't expect to finish it unbeaten, but we wanted to.

"We have always bounced back after defeats. Other than when we played Arsenal and then Istanbul Basaksehir.

"Of course, you analyse the games as you ordinarily do. A lot has been made of it because it was top against bottom but that is the Premier League.

"And I think people show a lack of respect for Sheffield United as well, because they've been unlucky this season and they got what they have deserved so many times earlier. 

"They've got players who can hurt you, they've got an organisation that works with Chris [Wilder].

"We are disappointed, it was a setback. But when you don't hit your level in the Premier League against any opposition you get a tough game and unfortunately we couldn't work it out in the 90 minutes."

Anthony Martial (shoulder) and Eric Bailly (knock) are both expected to travel to London.

While United have struggled in recent meetings with the Gunners, they are unbeaten in 17 Premier League away games.

Opta data shows it is their joint-longest run without defeat on the road in their top-flight history, tied with the run that started in the treble season of 1998-99. 

Solskjaer's side have won 26 points away from home so far this season, more than any other Premier League side.

Harry Maguire believes it is time for Manchester United to "stand up and be counted" after the team were left "devastated" by Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to rock-bottom Sheffield United. 

The Red Devils were aiming to go back top of the Premier League table but succumbed to a shock loss at Old Trafford, Oli Burke's fortuitous winner sealing the points after Maguire's goal against his former club had initially cancelled out Kean Bryan's first-half opener. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men had gone unbeaten in their previous 13 matches but were well off the pace against the Blades. 

Captain Maguire urged the squad to rebound quickly for Saturday's trip to Arsenal, who coincidentally were the last side before Chris Wilder's team to defeat them in the league. 

"When you do get a defeat, there's nothing worse than waiting to get back out on the pitch to play and put things right," Maguire told United's club media. 

"The boys are devastated, if I'm honest. It's a really quiet dressing room. The boys are so disappointed; we didn't expect it, we came into the game confident. 

"We've got to pick ourselves up. We are disappointed and it hurts, but Saturday is a big game and we've got to bounce back. 

"It's all good and easy when you're winning football matches and you're playing well, but now it's time to stand up and be counted. 

"When you get kicked down it's how quickly you bounce back and Saturday's a big one and we've got to get three points."

Maguire rued the defensive lapses that he felt proved so costly. 

"Not good enough," he added. "We didn't perform to a level we've been playing at. We didn't play at an intensity that we've played at. We haven't created enough to win the game. 

"We didn't see it coming; we prepared well and were fully confident. We fell behind to a soft goal, but we felt that we could come back, like we've done numerous times this year, and come back and win the game. 

"We got ourselves back into the game and we felt like the next goal would be crucial, and we managed to get that, and we just didn't kick on; we didn't find that spark. Then from that position, we can't lose the game. You've thrown away a point. 

"It's probably the first time they've been in our box in the second half and they managed to score, so we've got to look at it and got to improve. For sure, he [Burke] can't be taking a touch and controlling it and having a shot in our box with no-one around him. It's not good enough." 

There was contention in the first half, with United claiming Billy Sharp had fouled David De Gea in the process of the Blades taking the lead, while referee Peter Bankes ruled out a goal for the home team with Maguire judged to have impeded visiting keeper Aaron Ramsdale when Anthony Martial swept home. 

"It's incredible. There's no doubt that Billy Sharp's is more of a foul than what I did at the other end," Maguire said of the two incidents. 

"Maybe people will say both aren't fouls, but definitely not David's is and that one isn't. I jumped for the ball. I don't think I actually touched the keeper.  

"I think he just touches me in the back; my arms are nowhere near him. I think the referee will look back and know he's made a mistake."

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