Tottenham made it three wins in a row in all competitions as they edged out Fulham 1-0 at Craven Cottage on Thursday.

A first-half own goal from Tosin Adarabioyo was enough for Jose Mourinho's men as they took a step closer to the Premier League top four.

Spurs started with Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Dele Alli and Gareth Bale in the side and looked threatening throughout the first half after taking a deserved lead.

However, the visitors required far more defensive mettle in the second, with Fulham denied an equaliser due to an unfortunate handball given against Mario Lemina as they ended the game with 11 shots to Spurs' nine.

Fulham started positively but were given a let-off when Harry Kane sent a tame header straight at Alphonse Areola when it looked simpler to score.

Spurs had more luck 19 minutes in, Son Heung-min's low cross from the left turned into his own net by Adarabioyo after Alli had failed to get a proper connection on the ball.

Son nodded wide as Spurs looked to double their advantage, but they were fortunate to go in ahead at half-time, Lemina blasting over from inside the penalty area.

Hugo Lloris had little to do in the first half but was far busier early in the second, saving headers from Joachim Andersen and Adarabioyo as Fulham increased the pressure.

Josh Maja turned in a good finish inside the left-hand post but the goal was ruled out by VAR for handball, an attempted clearance having struck Lemina's arm at his side.

Areola denied Kane the chance to prod home a second, but Spurs were not left to rue their talisman's surprisingly slack finishing.

Jose Mourinho believes anyone wondering why it took Gareth Bale so long to hit top form for Tottenham would be better off asking Real Madrid.

Bale had a miserable start to his Tottenham return after coming back to the club on a season-long loan deal in September.

He struggled with his form and fitness, quickly falling out of favour with Mourinho.

Bale has been revitalised of late though, impressing in two Europa League games against Wolfsberger as well as Premier League clashes against West Ham and Burnley.

Mourinho recently said Bale was the happiest, fittest and most confident he has ever been at Tottenham.

The Spurs boss confirmed Bale had another good reaction to his 70-minute outing in the 4-0 win over Burnley on Sunday.

It means the Wales international is in contention to play at least some part when Spurs take on Fulham at Craven Cottage on Thursday.

"For the past two years, he had what he had in Madrid," said Mourinho. "Ask them [why it took Bale so long to find form]. 

"Maybe if they answer you, you can understand better why he took a while. 

"Maybe to be patient was the main reason for him to reach the level he showed in the last couple of weeks."

Asked if Bale would be involved in the Fulham game, he added: "I believe so. Starting or on the bench I don't know, we have to decide that.

"He is such an experienced guy so of course his opinion is very important. But he has had a good reaction [after the Burnley game], a good recovering session and he will be involved. 

"I repeat: [it could be] bench or starting, but he will be there."

Midfielder Giovani Lo Celso will not be rushed back despite returning to training.

"He is training with the team but it was a big injury," added Mourinho.

"We are not going to risk [him] yet. In fact, we don't want to risk [him at all], we want to bring him to the team and competition when there is no risk. One week, two more weeks. 

"Apart from that, everyone OK. One more training session after this but everyone OK."
 

BALE'S SWIFT IMPROVEMENT

Bale has registered four goals and three assists in his last four games for Tottenham.

In his first 16 matches since returning, he only recorded four goals and did not register a single assist.

The 31-year-old's minutes per goal involvement have impressively plummeted from 200.8 in his first 16 matches to one every 28.7 in this most recent four-match span.

Bale is having more of an active role in other areas too. His chances created per 90 minutes are up to 3.1 from just 1.1, while his shot conversion rate is 44.4 per cent, up from 10.5.

It is only a small sample size and two of the matches were against weaker opposition in Wolfsberger, but the signs are encouraging.

The amount of shots he is taking is similar (4 per game compared to 4.3 before), but notably more of Spurs' attacks are coming through Bale. 

He has accounted for 22 per cent of Spurs' shots in the last four matches, where before he was responsible for just nine per cent of their attempts in the time he was on the pitch.
 

HOW DO HIS STATS COMPARE TO REAL MADRID?

The recent burst from Bale means his statistics since returning to Spurs compare favourably to his successful Madrid tenure in a number of categories.

Again, it is worth noting his Spurs figures are from a comparatively small sample size making them more prone to fluctuations – 20 matches compared to 251 in the Spanish capital.

Bale has 11 goal involvements for Spurs (eight goals and three assists) in 1,004 minutes on the pitch, giving him an average of 91 minutes per contribution.

At Madrid, he averaged one every 111 minutes.

Bale also compares favourably when looking solely at minutes per goal (171 at Madrid v 126 at Spurs).

He did, however, win 65 per cent of the games he played in at Madrid, compared to 60 per cent since returning to Spurs, a sign of the difficult season experienced by the London club.

David Beckham's Inter Miami are trying to woo Cristiano Ronaldo to MLS.

Ronaldo, 36, is contracted at Juventus until 2022, but his next move is seemingly already a discussion point.

And MLS could suit nicely if Beckham has his way.

 

TOP STORY – BECKHAM'S INTER MIAMI EYE CRISTIANO

Beckham is speaking to Ronaldo's representatives about a move to Inter Miami, according to todofichajes.com.

The Portugal international is understood to be interested by the challenge of joining the club in the United States.

The financial contract would be massive for Ronaldo but he may potentially make the move next January, lowering the transfer fee, given the MLS runs from March to December.

Lionel Messi was reportedly previously sounded out about a possible US switch.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Express are reporting that Gareth Bale's recent form upturn means Tottenham are now keen to sign him permanently, with the Welshman having joined on loan from Real Madrid. Subsequently, the funds availed from a permanent transfer could enable Madrid to enter the fray for Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe.

West Ham, Leicester City, Southampton, Brighton and Hove Albion and Aston Villa are among the list of clubs interested in Tammy Abraham if Chelsea deem him surplus to requirements, according to The Telegraph.

- The Star claims the Hammers are also keen on two other young English strikers; Arsenal's Eddie Nketiah and Brentford's Ivan Toney.

- Deportivo Alaves goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco is being pursued by Premier League pair Leeds United and Southampton, according to todofichajes.com.

David Alaba has appeared set to swap Bayern Munich for Real Madrid.

Alaba is keen for a new challenge following a successful partnership with Bundesliga and Champions League holders Bayern.

But three of Europe's elite are still reportedly eyeing Alaba.

 

TOP STORY – TRIO NOT GIVING UP ON ALABA

Liverpool, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are still trying to sign wantaway Bayern Munich star David Alaba, according to Fabrizio Romano's Benchwarmers column.

Alaba will leave Bundesliga champions Bayern on a free transfer at the end of the season and he has been tipped to join LaLiga holders Real Madrid.

However, Liverpool, Chelsea and PSG are still pursuing the Austria international.

 

ROUND-UP

- RAC1 suggests Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is one of Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta's targets if Ronald Koeman does not remain at Camp Nou beyond 2020-21.

Madrid are interested in Manchester United target and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, reports the Daily Star. Sancho was wanted by United at the start of the season but a big-money move did not materialise.

- Mundo Deportivo claims Atletico Madrid are tracking Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, who is valued at around €25million.

Manchester United and Premier League rivals Leeds United are eyeing Torino defender Nicolas Nkoulou, according to Tuttosport. The 30-year-old is set to become a free agent at season's end.

- L'Equipe says Mauro Icardi is free to leave PSG if a suitable offer arrives amid links to Juventus. Icardi is contracted to the Ligue 1 champions until 2024, but PSG are focused on re-signing Kylian Mbappe and making Moise Kean's loan deal from Everton permanent. If Mbappe departs for Madrid, PSG will look to raise funds by selling Icardi as they dream of Tottenham's Harry Kane and Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland.

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.

Gareth Bale dismissed the suggestion he has been frustrated during his second stint with Tottenham, insisting he has "been happy all season".

Bale marked just his third Premier League start of 2020-21 in style on Sunday, scoring twice and setting up another goal with a superb long pass as Spurs thrashed Burnley 4-0.

The 31-year-old, signed in loan from Real Madrid in September, opened the scoring after 68 seconds – the quickest goal conceded by Burnley in the Premier League – and Bale has now been directly involved in seven goals in his last four appearances for Tottenham in all competitions (four goals, three assists).

It has been far from plain sailing for the Wales star since his return to north London, however, with fitness struggles having made Jose Mourinho reluctant to hand Bale regular chances to impress in the league.

Mourinho also seemed frustrated when Bale asked to miss Spurs' trip to Everton in the FA Cup earlier this month, as he nursed a slight injury.

Bale, though, affirmed that he has thoroughly enjoyed his time back at the club where he became a global superstar.

"It's not just about scoring. It's about our all-round play and helping the team," Bale told BBC Sport.

"I'm delighted with the goals and the assist and whatever I can do for the team.

"I've been happy all season. In the dressing room I feel comfortable and I'm having fun. I'm happy and I'm sure it's showing on the pitch."

Having scored from two of his three attempts, while also brilliantly teeing up Harry Kane to put Spurs 2-0 ahead, Bale was taken off in the 70th minute.

"I wasn't upset to be substituted," he said. "There are a lot of games to come. It's important to keep building minutes each game."

A player who has clearly enjoyed combining with Bale is Son Heung-min, who created both of the Welshman's goals, becoming the third player to lay on two assists for him in the same Premier League match, after Rafael van der Vaart versus Blackburn Rovers in November 2010 and Aaron Lennon against QPR in October 2011.

Son created a game-high six chances, his joint-most in a single Premier League game, and the South Korea forward was quickto praise his team-mate.

"Bale is, no matter what, the best player in the world," Son told Goal Korea.

"He prepared a lot, and showed a good performance as a starter. He helped our team. I think it's important to go out to the pitch where you've become a player and make a figure that is helpful to the team. I think Bale showed it."

Jose Mourinho felt Gareth Bale turned in the best display of his Tottenham second coming against Burnley and insists every manager in the world would pick the Wales star, fitness permitting.

Bale was handed only his third Premier League start since re-joining Spurs on loan from Real Madrid last September and he responded with two goals and an assist for Harry Kane in a dominant 4-0 win over Burnley.

Persistent fitness struggles have made Mourinho reluctant to give Bale too much action outside of cup competitions but he was thoroughly impressed after the forward put Sean Dyche's woeful Clarets to the sword.

"It's the best Bale that we have had during this season, more confidence, better condition, no bad feelings with injuries," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"His left foot will always be his left foot but the change of speed and direction and winning duels is not something he was able to do three or four months ago. Now he's giving us that."

Bale won five of eight duels contested including two out of two in the air – the only Spurs player to have a 100 per cent record on this metric against Burnley.

The 31-year-old was also perfect in a more headline-grabbing fashion, scoring twice from two shots on target and setting up Kane's 15th-minute goal with his only key pass.

A hectic schedule continues at pace with back-to-back London derbies for Tottenham against Fulham and Crystal Palace this week.

Mourinho plans to continue carefully managing Bale's workload, despite having instincts to the contrary.

"Sometimes some of you like to imagine stories and you have to write stories. Sometimes you like to say things that are not really true," he said at a post-match news conference, referencing allusions to a strained relationship between himself and the Wales international.

"But there is not one manager in the world who does not play Gareth Bale if Gareth Bale is in good condition. There is not one.

"His knowledge of his body and his feelings are going to be fundamental.

"A player who gives me this kind of performance, I want to play him Thursday and I want to play him Sunday and I want to play hm next week against Dinamo Zagreb [in the Europa League].

"But I don't think I can. This is a process that we have to manage day bay day. The day after tomorrow we have to see how he feels.

"He is a very important part of this decision making because he has a lot of experience."

Gareth Bale marked his return to a Premier League starting line-up with a brace in Tottenham's 4-0 thumping of Burnley.

Bale had only been named from kick-off twice in the top flight since re-joining Spurs from Real Madrid last September, but a goal in each leg of the Europa League win over Wolfsberger AC persuaded Jose Mourinho to give the Wales international a chance.

Tottenham's recent run of five defeats in their past six Premier League matches became a fast fading memory as Bale notched after 68 seconds and set up Harry Kane's second.

It was 3-0 after the half hour thanks to Lucas Moura, who kept Dele Alli on the bench despite the England midfielder's similarly impressive European form, and Bale's eighth goal of his second Tottenham spell came in the 55th minute.

Bale wasted little time in making the most of his selection by stealing in behind a sleeping Burnley defence to convert Son Heung-min's cross – Nick Pope having charitably stayed on his line.

There was fleeting defiance from the visitors, with Davinson Sanchez forced to make a last-ditch challenge on Jay Rodriguez.

Pope denied Lucas at close quarters before Bale was given time and space to send a raking ball into Kane's path in the 15th minute.

The England captain advanced infield from the left and rifled home an emphatic finish.

Any lingering doubt over the result was put to bed when Sergio Reguilon's cross clipped off James Tarkowski and Lucas pounced.

Burnley's misery deepened nine minutes into the second half with Bale allowed room for a touch and a clinical finish after Son played the provider once more.

Lucas and Bale made way but Kane and Son remained a nuisance for the Clarets.

Pope pushed over a swerving drive from the England captain before getting down sharply to deny Son.

 

Jose Mourinho has selected Gareth Bale in the Tottenham side to face Burnley in Sunday's Premier League clash in north London, with Dele Alli on the bench.

Bale has only started two Premier League games since re-joining Spurs on loan from Real Madrid last September, while Alli's solitary appearance in a top-flight first XI this term came in the opening-day defeat to Everton when he was replaced at half-time.

However, both men have impressed in Tottenham's recent Europa League outings.

Bale scored in both legs as Mourinho's men dispatched Wolfsberger 8-1 on aggregate, with Alli netting a stunning overhead kick and recording two assists in this week's second encounter with the Austrian side.

Those heroics were not enough to win the England midfielder a place in the team to take on Sean Dyche's team at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as Bale joins Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura in a four-pronged attack.

Tottenham have lost five of their past six Premier League matches and lie ninth, needing a positive result against Burnley to reignite their top-four hopes.

Lionel Messi is reportedly open to staying at Barcelona, but the LaLiga giants have work to do.

Messi, 33, stayed at Barca after sensationally requesting to leave ahead of this season.

But the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is out of contract at the end of the campaign, leading to more talk over his future.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI OPEN TO BARCELONA STAY

Messi is open to staying at Barcelona and is prioritising the sporting project over the economic offer, according to Marca.

The report says Barca strengthening their squad could convince Messi, who has been linked to Manchester City.

Signing City forward Sergio Aguero, Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, Chelsea's N'Golo Kante or Liverpool's Roberto Firmino would help Barca's position in their bid to re-sign the superstar.

ROUND-UP

- With Real Madrid linked with a move for Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, such a deal could lead to questions over Eden Hazard. AS reports Mbappe joining Madrid could lead to an exit for Hazard, who has struggled with injuries since joining the LaLiga giants.

- Staying at Real Madrid and there is uncertainty over Raphael Varane's future. AS reports Madrid are prepared to listen to offers for Varane ahead of next season if they cannot agree to a new deal with the defender, who is out of contract in 2022. Manchester United have been linked with Varane, who is valued at £60.7million (€70m).

- Harry Kane has again starred for Tottenham this season. The Telegraph reports the forward, who is contracted until 2024, is set to stay at Spurs for at least another campaign.

- Amid suggestions Sevilla defender Jules Kounde is too expensive, Manchester United could look elsewhere. Eurosport reports Villarreal's Pau Torres may be a more realistic target due to his reported release clause of around £43m (€49.6m).

- Alexandre Lacazette seems set for an Arsenal exit. The Mirror reports Monaco are targeting the forward ahead of next season.

Gareth Bale looks happier and more confident than ever at Tottenham, according to manager Jose Mourinho.

Wales international Bale has impressed in his last three Spurs appearances, registering two goals and two assists in one start and two substitute appearances.

Those displays, in two legs of the 8-1 aggregate Europa League win over Wolfsberger and in the Premier League loss at West Ham, came after a disappointing start to his loan spell from Real Madrid.

Bale has largely struggled with his form and fitness, falling out of favour with a seemingly frustrated Mourinho.

There was intense speculation over whether Bale had any chance of extending his stay from Madrid for a second season.

But he now seems revitalised, with Mourinho offering a positive update ahead of Sunday's home Premier League game against Burnley.

"The mental side is always a consequence of the physical side," explained Mourinho.

"If a player feels great, if he is training 100 per cent, if the feelings are very good then there are no psychological problems, fears or barriers. 

"When you have these little things and you have a recent history of injuries, these things are normal, they have a consequence. 

"But lately, he is fine, it is just a question of how many minutes he can play, how many days he needs to recover between matches – it is just about that. 

"He looks happier than ever, looks confident. In training you can see that confidence back, the way he hits a shot like for example in the last game, it is a confident shot. 

"A player with fears or feelings in the muscle does not hit that shot, strike the ball that way. That strike means a lot, it means freedom in relation to the brain and the muscle.

"He's in his best condition since he arrived."

Mourinho insisted Bale has the complete trust of everyone at Tottenham when it comes to managing his condition after being asked if the 31-year-old could only play when he was 100 per cent fit.

The under-pressure Spurs boss added: "He's a player with a lot of experience and players with experience, they know their body better than anyone. 

"There is no coach, fitness coach, sports science, medical staff who knows the body better than a very experienced player. 

"Especially a player that had years of small problems, bigger problems and situations that had an impact on the last couple of years of his career. 

"We trust him. We trust his experience, his analysis and everything with him is done with the great participation of everyone, because in the end the best for him is the best for Tottenham. 

"To have him giving us important contributions bit by bit, of course we want that in a more continuous way. 

"We have important Premier League matches, a crucial cup final, crucial matches in the Europa League.

"The more we have Gareth, a player with his confidence, experience, know-how of big moments, the better. 

"So we have to be careful and we have to trust the player who I repeat has a lot of experience."

Tottenham are ninth in the Premier League ahead of a crucial week for Mourinho that sees them face three teams in the bottom half: Burnley, Fulham and Crystal Palace.

Jose Mourinho has hinted he could start Dele Alli and Gareth Bale in the same Tottenham team as Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

The prospect of those four attacking stars being regulars for Spurs this season appeared remote in the first half of the season.

While Son and Kane thrived, Alli and Bale struggled with their fitness and fell out of favour with Mourinho amid intense speculation over their Spurs futures.

Alli and Bale have been revitalised over recent weeks and all four players were on the pitch with Lucas Moura as Tottenham almost staged a late Premier League comeback in the loss at West Ham last week.

Asked about fans wanting all four to play together, Mourinho told reporters: "Do you give me four names or 11? Do you want to give the other seven? I do the other seven and you do the four!

"You could see against West Ham, it was not from the start of the game, but for 20 minutes or so, we had Bale, Lucas, Dele, Harry, Sonny. So you had it. 

"We didn't turn the result around or score to win that game, but we could leave the game with positive feelings.

"They played well, the interaction was good, we create chances. All of them, they had their ball to score their goal, it was positive.

"When they are in top form, and when they are fit, and when they are ready to play matches, it is never a problem for good players to play together.

"Since the beginning of the season I'm saying that, and I don't forget Gio [Lo Celso], because he is out for two or three months or whatever, I don't forget him, because he also belongs to that quality of the creative players, as well as Tanguy [Ndombele].

"We could even speak about [Erik] Lamela, [Steven] Bergwijn - we have players with these qualities."

Alli was the star of the show on Thursday, scoring a spectacular goal and adding two assists as Spurs thumped Wolfsberger 4-0 in the second leg of their last-32 tie.

Mourinho believes the England international has come through a testing time and feels better after every outing.

"In relation to Dele, when you have players performing like he did, it's easier for the team to play well and when the team plays well it's easier for players to perform well individually," Mourinho said ahead of Sunday's home Premier League match against Burnley.

"I'm happy with him. Difficult period. Sometimes small injuries in accumulation are more difficult than a big injury where after a few weeks or months you are back.

"Small injuries are mentally not good, players getting disappointed, lack of motivation, frustration. He went through all that.

"He came back. We had good conversations, training well, playing minutes or part of matches. Not yet a 90-minute match but he went through periods and basically now 75 or 80 minutes.

"Condition also improving. His feelings after matches always is better. In the first match in Budapest, he played 60 minutes or something like that and he [was] super, super tired after the game.

"This time he played more and two days later he's good."

Tottenham's struggles with injuries have taken a positive turn ahead of the clash with Burnley.

Ninth-placed Spurs are in desperate need of a run of results against Sean Dyche's team, Fulham and Crystal Palace over the next week.

Spurs have lost five of their last six Premier League games, more than they had in their previous 28 in the competition.

Since winning against Arsenal in December, Mourinho's men have taken just 12 points from 13 top-flight games – only strugglers Newcastle United, Sheffield United and West Brom have taken fewer in that span.

Mourinho said: "Now it never stops so we need everybody and, in the particular case of Dele Alli, I'm very happy.

"We need him and we need them all. In a long, long time, we didn't have every player on the pitch and today we did have it - that is great news for us because we have so many matches."

Jose Mourinho thinks it would be "wonderful" if Tottenham were able to play a part in an all-English Europa League final.

Reacting to the draw for the last 16 on Friday, which saw Spurs paired with Dinamo Zagreb, Mourinho accepted there were some positives.

Arsenal and Manchester United are also in the draw and will face Olympiacos and Milan respectively, with a realistic chance of three English sides making it into the quarter-finals.

While he did not want to get carried away, Mourinho did discuss the prospect of facing the other Premier League sides later in the tournament after Spurs defeated Wolfsberger 8-1 on aggregate to book their Dinamo tie.

"When you are in this competition and you get to this stage you don't get easy clubs," said Mourinho.

"If you want to win it, sooner or later you have to play against the best clubs or the ones who go through the different stages. So, the objective now is to win against Dinamo.

"Then if later Arsenal and Manchester United are in the competition, we have always to face them.

"It happened in the Champions League final, two English clubs, happened in the Europa League with Arsenal and Chelsea too.

"It's something that can happen and if it does, wonderful for us if we are one of the two teams. And [it would be] wonderful for English football to have two teams in the final.

"But in this moment,16 teams, everybody wants the same so it's very premature to think about it."

While Dinamo Zagreb are top of the Croatian league, other possible opponents for Spurs included Milan, Roma, Ajax and Villarreal.

Mourinho, who has won the Europa League twice in spells at Porto and United, added: "Good stadium, I believe we are going to play there.

"Not a very difficult flight, not too far, so I feel very positive things, but the most important thing is that we get to the quarter-finals.

"Dinamo, they beat Krasnodar twice. Krasnodar is a Russian team and it's never easy to play them. 

"In the group stage, of course they won it, not only against Wolfsberger, but Feyenoord and CSKA Moscow. They are every season in European competitions.

"I played against them with Real Madrid in the Champions League. Croatian football is Croatian football, lots of talent. It's a football country." 

Prior to the beginning of that tie on March 11, Mourinho is tasked with turning around Tottenham's poor Premier League form, starting with Sunday's home match against Burnley.

Spurs have lost five of their past six league matches, as many as they had in their previous 28, leaving them ninth in the table.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will renew acquaintances with Manchester United after the Red Devils were drawn against his Milan side in the Europa League last 16.

Sweden great Ibrahimovic spent just under two seasons with the Red Devils under Jose Mourinho, joining in July 2016 and departing in March 2018 to move to LA Galaxy.

During his first campaign at Old Trafford, Ibrahimovic missed out on United's Europa League final triumph against Ajax due to a serious knee injury and he will now aim to be the downfall of his former employers in this season's competition.

United have been eliminated by Milan in European knockout ties four times, the most of any side along with Real Madrid.

Arsenal, finalists as recently as 2019, will hope there is no sense of deja vu in their tie against Olympiacos. Mikel Arteta's side suffered a shock exit against the Greek outfit at the last-32 stage last season.

Mourinho is out to win the competition for a second time as a coach, and his Tottenham side face Dinamo Zagreb, while Roma have a tricky contest against Shakhtar Donetsk – who were the last winners of the tournament in its previous guise the UEFA Cup in 2009.

Rounding out the draw, Ajax face Young Boys, Slavia Prague go up against high-flying Scottish Premiership side Rangers, and Granada take on Molde.

Draw in full:

Ajax v Young Boys

Dinamo Kiev v Villarreal

Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk 

Olympiacos v Arsenal

Dinamo Zagreb v Tottenham

Manchester United v Milan 

Slavia Prague v Rangers

Granada v Molde

Manchester City will be looking to stretch their record winning run to 20 matches when they welcome fellow in-form side West Ham to the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League this weekend.

Pep Guardiola's men are 10 points clear at the summit and two of their players feature among our Opta-fuelled fantasy picks, along with a couple of Everton men on the back of last week's long-awaited derby win at Liverpool.

Manchester United, Tottenham and Leicester City players are also selected ahead of games against Chelsea, Burnley and Arsenal respectively.

 

EDERSON

There are many factors behind the leaders' winning run - not least an incredible defensive record, with goalkeeper Ederson more than playing his part.

The Brazil international has kept 15 clean sheets from 24 Premier League games this term, averaging one every 1.6 matches.

Only two keepers to have played at least 10 times have averaged fewer games per clean sheet across an entire season - Chelsea's Petr Cech (24 in 35 apps in 2004-05) and former Manchester United stopper Edwin van der Sar (21 in 33 apps in 2008-09).

JOAO CANCELO

Simply keeping out the opposition is not enough in the life of a modern day full-back, best epitomised by Cancelo at Man City.

On top of helping City to that formidable defensive record, he has also created the most chances (34) from open play among fellow Premier League defenders this season.

Cancelo may only have set up two goals in the top flight this season, but he has the highest number of expected assists (4.28) among defenders, just ahead of Manchester United's Luke Shaw (4.04).

 

LUCAS DIGNE

Carlo Ancelotti was delighted with the news Digne had signed a new long-term deal with Everton this week and little wonder given the full-back's impact on the side.

No Premier League defender has more assists than the 27-year-old's six this season - level with West Ham's Aaron Cresswell and one more than Andy Robertson and Shaw.

Since Digne's debut for Everton in August 2018, only Liverpool pair Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold (28) have assisted more goals than the Frenchman (17).

GYLFI SIGURDSSON

There was a point when Sigurdsson's time at Everton appeared to be up not so long ago, but the creative midfielder has more than proved his worth to the side of late.

He was been involved in six Premier League goals in 23 appearances this term - four goals and two assists - which is one more than he managed in 35 games last season.

That is a tally he will be confident of building on this gameweek, as the Iceland international has only scored more Premier League goals against Chelsea (six) than he has versus opponents Southampton (five).

 

MARCUS RASHFORD

In the week he celebrates the five-year anniversary since scoring twice on his United debut, Rashford takes on his favourite opponents in Chelsea.

The United academy product has scored five times against the Blues in all competitions and registered a couple of assists.

Only against Leicester City has he found the net as many times, while only against Newcastle United and West Ham (both seven) has he been directly involved in more goals.

HARRY KANE

If Rashford enjoys playing against Chelsea, the same is true of Kane against Tottenham's next opponents Burnley.

The England skipper has been directly involved in 10 goals in nine Premier League appearances against the Clarets, finding the net seven times and laying on three assists.

Burnley's defenders will not look forward to coming up against Kane, with Riyad Mahrez the only player to score against them more often (eight times) in their Premier League history.

 

JAMIE VARDY

Vardy's scoring record against the division's traditional top four is well known by now, particularly when it comes to facing Arsenal.

The Leicester striker has scored 11 goals in 12 previous Premier League appearances against the Gunners, including a late winner in the reverse fixture.

Those 11 strikes place Vardy behind only Wayne Rooney for goals scored against Arsenal in the competition, the United legend netting 12 times against the London club in his career.

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