Mislav Orsic scored a stunning goal as Dinamo Zagreb beat a youthful West Ham side 1-0 in London on Thursday.

West Ham came into the game with their spot as group winners already confirmed and David Moyes made 11 changes to the side that beat Chelsea 3-2 in their last outing.

However, Orsic gave the visitors an early lead, taking a shot from an unlikely angle outside the area on the left, his effort clipping the inside of the right post and going in.

Dinamo were dominant for the majority of the contest and, despite failing to add to their tally, saw out an important victory that sealed second place in Group H.

Orsic opened the scoring in just the third minute with a stunning strike that swerved into the top-right corner from a sharp angle on the left edge of the box, leaving Alphonse Areola with no chance.

Arijan Ademi then spurned a glorious opportunity to double Dinamo's advantage in the 33rd minute as Daniel Stefulj's cross found him free at the back post, but the midfielder directed his header just over the bar.

Dinamo continued to apply pressure, with Luka Ivanusec swivelling just outside the area and hitting a dipping shot that Areola was forced to turn over the bar. 

Shortly before the hour mark, Orsic was fed on the edge of the box and whipped a first-time effort towards the bottom-right corner, but Areola palmed wide.

West Ham offered little attacking threat, but the visitors were unable to extend their advantage, settling for a 1-0 win.

What does it mean? Dinamo seal second spot

West Ham had gone unbeaten in their first five group games, amassing 13 points and an unassailable lead at the summit prior to this game.

Dinamo, however, needed to avoid defeat or for Genk to fail to beat Rapid Vienna in order to secure their place in the play-offs.

Ultimately, they took matters into their own hands with a vital win.

Orsic on target again

Orsic has been directly involved in 12 goals in his last 13 Europa League appearances for Dinamo (eight goals, four assists), while his superb strike here was the first goal West Ham have conceded on home soil in the competition this season.

Young Hammers get their chance

In what is their 42nd game in all European competition (excluding qualifiers), this is the first time West Ham have started two teenagers in a single match (Sonny Perkins and Jamal Baptiste). The youngsters were not able to celebrate with a win, but it will undoubtedly have been a memorable occasion nonetheless.

What's next?

West Ham advance straight to the last 16 of the Europa League after finishing top of the group, while Dinamo will be forced to play a knockout play-off tie against one of the teams that finished third in the Champions League. Possible opponents for the Croatian outfit include Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and six-time winners Sevilla.

Chelsea slipped from first to third in the Premier League over the weekend after a costly defeat at West Ham, which included a bizarre late winner for the hosts.

Divock Origi was told to "Be Divock" by Jurgen Klopp, so duly went and scored a 94th minute winner for Liverpool at Wolves, while Ralf Rangnick achieved something his fellow German didn't in his first game as interim boss at Manchester United.

Antonio Conte and Steven Gerrard also continued their positive starts to respective gigs at Tottenham and Aston Villa in a sentence that feels like it's straight from your favourite football management simulation game rather than real life.

With all that and more, here are some of the weekend's quirky stats from the Premier League...

 

Chelsea Hammered

Did he mean it? Arthur Masuaku says no but your West Ham supporting mates say yes.

Masuaku's kick of the ball in the 87th minute at the London Stadium flew past Edouard Mendy to inflict Chelsea's second league defeat of the season, toppling them from the summit of the Premier League.

It was the Frenchman's first Premier League goal in his 96th appearance for the Hammers, from his 29th attempt at goal, if you can even call it that.

The 3-2 defeat was Chelsea's first in the Premier League after leading at half-time since December 2018 against Wolves under Maurizio Sarri – they had been unbeaten in 48 league games when ahead at half-time before Saturday (W40 D8).

It is no time to panic for Blues fans, though. The future looks bright with all their talented young players, accompanied by Brazil's answer to Steve Buscemi with a skateboard over his shoulder.

Aged 37 years and 73 days, Thiago Silva became the oldest player to score for Chelsea in the Premier League, breaking Didier Drogba's record from April 2015 against Leicester City (37 years, 49 days).

The Late Late Show with Divock Origi

You could say there was an air of inevitability about it as Divock Origi arrived on the Molineux pitch in the 68th minute on Saturday.

The Belgian is a man who arguably deserves a statue more than a starting place at Anfield, having scored just once in the league prior to this game since the last day of the 2019-20 season, but who has famously bagged late goals just when his team has needed them.

His dramatic strike in the closing seconds of this game was Liverpool’s 39th winner scored in 90+ minutes in the Premier League, at least 13 more than any other side. It was also his 10th as a substitute in the Premier League for the Reds, with no player having netted more from the bench for the club in the competition.

It felt harsh on Wolves, though they had hardly done much to bother their opponents at the other end of the pitch, having just three shots in this game, their fewest in a Premier League match since March 2019 (two vs Chelsea).

One particularly sore loser will have been skipper Conor Coady. Although a former Liverpool player, he will have been hoping his heroic goal-line block of Diogo Jota's effort, with an xG of 0.604, would have at least secured a point for his team, particularly as the ball hit him square in the Divocks.

 

King Ralf

There had not been such anticipation about the future of Manchester United since that bloke Ole was at the wheel. Remember him?

United's interim gaffer Ralf Rangnick became the sixth German to manage in the Premier League as he stood in the Old Trafford dugout to see his new team beat Crystal Palace, and he was the first to win his debut game in charge in the competition (Felix Magath, Klopp, Jan Siewert, Daniel Farke and Thomas Tuchel all failing to do so before him).

Following the 1-0 success, six of the last seven managers (including caretakers) have won their first game in charge of the Red Devils in all competitions, with Louis van Gaal being the only exception (he suffered a 2-1 loss against Swansea City at Old Trafford in August 2014).

United also kept their first clean sheet at home in all competitions since April against Granada in the Europa League, having conceded in 15 consecutive home matches prior to Sunday.

Fred's impressive winner was his second goal of the season in 12 Premier League matches, as many as he scored in 76 appearances in his first three seasons in the competition beforehand.

More capital chaos for Canaries

After their 3-0 defeat at Tottenham, Norwich City have now lost 12 of their past 13 Premier League games in London (W1), conceding 29 goals and scoring just three.

Antonio Conte became the third Spurs manager to win his first three Premier League home games, after Ryan Mason and Harry Redknapp, but will be hoping that Kane will start to find the net again soon, with the England captain having only scored once in 13 league games this season.

Norwich manager Dean Smith felt his team were hard done by, and perhaps he had a point when you consider how close the xG of the contest ended, with Norwich's 1.33 only just behind Spurs' 1.52. It was little surprise that Conte's men were more deadly in their finishing though, particularly with Son Heung-min about.

The South Korea forward has been directly involved in 50 per cent of Tottenham’s league goals this season (six goals, two assists), with only Teemu Pukki (63 per cent) and Emmanuel Dennis (55 per cent) being involved in a higher share of their side's tally.

Son both scored and assisted in a single Premier League game for the 19th time. Since 2015-16, only Mohamed Salah (22) has done so more often in the competition.

 

Steve Gerrard, Gerrard, seems management isn't hard

Doing a stellar job at Rangers is one thing, but Steven Gerrard's management capability was really going to come under the microscope when he moved south to the Premier League.

It is still early days of course, but so far, the former Liverpool and England midfielder must be wondering what all the fuss was about as he saw his Aston Villa side win again with a 2-1 victory against Leicester City and his former boss Brendan Rodgers.

Having only won three of their first 11 Premier League games of the season under Dean Smith (D1 L7), Villa have since won three of their first four under Gerrard, with the only failure coming in the narrow 2-1 defeat at home to champions Manchester City.

Gerrard emphasised on his arrival that he wanted to improve the defence, but Ezri Konsa must have thought he meant at the other end as he bagged a brace on Sunday. In his 216th professional appearance in all competitions, Konsa scored twice in a game for the first time. In doing so, he was the first defender to score a brace for Aston Villa in a Premier League match since Ciaran Clark against Arsenal in November 2010.

Leicester, meanwhile, are now the first side to both score and concede a goal in 15 consecutive away games in England's top flight since Burnley from April 1961 to March 1962 (16 in a row).

After a grand total of one day without Premier League football, the action returned on Saturday and there was a change at the top of the Premier League.

That's right, Chelsea slipped up again and handed the initiative to Manchester City and Liverpool, both of whom were victorious later in the day.

There was also a change at the bottom as Newcastle United left the foot of the table – at least until Sunday – meaning there are three sides all on 10 points in the relegation places.

Without any further ado, let's look at the best of the day's action with a pick of Opta's post-match facts…

West Ham 3-2 Chelsea: Blues dealt Hammer blow

Chelsea are off the Premier League summit as a result of their defeat at London rivals West Ham, who continue to confound doubters under David Moyes.

They found themselves behind at the break but came on stronger in the second half, becoming the first team to beat Chelsea after the Blues had been leading at half-time since Wolves in December 2018 – that was a run of 48 games unbeaten when ahead at the halfway mark of a game.

Further to that, it was only the third time in Thomas Tuchel's 53 games in charge that Chelsea have conceded more than one goal in a game.

One of West Ham's goalscorers surely felt confident – after all, Manuel Lanzini's goal was his 11th in London derbies, or 48 per cent of his Premier League total (23), the highest ratio of any player in the competition's history with at least 20 goals scored.

There was also a first to celebrate. Arthur Masuaku opened his West Ham account in his 96th match, with the left-back's momentous goal also proving to be the winner.

The win moved West Ham to within six points of their visitors, with the Hammers fourth.

Watford 1-3 Manchester City: Hornets are cannon fodder

Even if Pep Guardiola's City did not arrive in fine form, few would have given Watford a chance here – and the match went just as most were expecting.

Watford's record against City was woeful at best already – now they've conceded 41 goals in 13 meetings with them in the Premier League, the most they have let in against any single side in the competition.

Similarly, the 3.2 goals per game they concede on average in this fixture is the most by one side against another among all Premier League fixtures played at least 10 times.

That one-sided nature also reflects on Guardiola, who has won all 10 of his managerial games against Watford in all competitions by an aggregate score of 42-4, his best 100 per cent winning record over any side.

City are now unbeaten across their past 19 meetings with Watford (W17 D2, all competitions), netting 62 goals in this run – they've only ever had a longer unbeaten run once before against a specific team (22 games against Norwich from 1965-1981).

Wolves 0-1 Liverpool: Origi comes up trumps as Reds steal it at the death… again

It wasn't a classic by any stretch of the imagination, but Liverpool got the job done to move above Chelsea and stay just a point behind new leaders City.

Only just, though.

Divock Origi spared Jurgen Klopp's blushes with a stoppage-time winner, the Belgian continuing his habit of being a decisive and useful option off the bench.

That was his 10th goal as a substitute in the Premier League for the Reds, a club record.

Liverpool have now scored the winning goal after the 90th minute on 39 occasions in the Premier League, at least 13 more than any other team.

There was also good news for Mohamed Salah – he didn't score, but his assist for Origi's winner ensured he's been involved in a goal in each of his last 13 top-flight appearances, a record only Jamie Vardy (15) has ever surpassed.

Newcastle United 1-0 Burnley: Howe's about that?

At long last, every team in this season's Premier League now has at least a one in the wins column – Newcastle defeated Burnley at St James' Park to finally get off the mark.

Newcastle had not won any of their previous 15 matches in all competitions, losing seven and drawing the other eight.

Additionally, it was only their second clean sheet of the season, the other also coincidentally coming against Burnley in the EFL Cup back in August.

Of course it was also Eddie Howe's first win since being appointed by the club, with Callum Wilson – who also played under the manager at Bournemouth – delivering the goods.

It was Wilson's 43rd Premier League goal for Howe, a record only Joshua King (48) has bettered for him.

While it remains to be see if Howe is able to keep Newcastle up, there's no doubt he's got them playing on the front foot more, as they are averaging 15 shots (five on target) each game compared to 11 (three) prior to his arrival in 2021-22.

Southampton 1-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Saints give it up

Just when Southampton thought they had the points in the bag, Brighton pulled it back.

Brighton were down to 10 men, having had Leandro Trossard taken off injured after using all their substitutes, but Neal Maupay struck deep into stoppage time to seal a draw.

That was Brighton's fourth (of eight) away Premier League goal to have been scored in the 89th minute or later this term, and the third netted by Maupay.

Brighton remain winless in 10 league games, their longest top-flight run since 1983, but they celebrated it like a win – for Southampton, it felt like a defeat.

Saints have now dropped 71 points from winning positions in the league under Ralph Hasenhuttl, 15 more than any other team since his December 2018 appointment.

Mason Mount pointed to "tired minds, tired bodies" as he assessed the mistakes that cost Chelsea in their 3-2 Premier League defeat at West Ham.

Jorginho's poor back-pass played Edouard Mendy into trouble, leading to the goalkeeper conceding a penalty which Manuel Lanzini converted, before the shot-stopper made another error late on, allowing Arthur Masuaku's cross to sneak inside the near post.

Mount, who scored a superb volley to make it 2-1 to the Blues shortly before half-time, hinted the fact Chelsea have already played 23 fixtures across all competitions is starting to catch up with them.

"We have had a difficult week and the game midweek [a 2-1 win against Watford] we came away with three points where maybe we shouldn't have," Mount told the BBC.

"We made mistakes, the same today. We are making mistakes we haven't done for a while and need to bounce back now.

"A lot of games, it can take a toll, but that's not an excuse we can use – we come out here and want to win, it's a derby. We don't concede many, so that is something we need to look at."

He suggested the errors were only recently creeping in, and added: "Tired minds, tired bodies, but we need to keep the standard high. We regroup and come back next game."

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel also bemoaned individual errors but felt his side's display was still good enough to have earned all three points.

"I don't think we did a bad match, it was okay, we can win with this performance," Tuchel told BT Sport.

"It is tough to play here, we did too many individual mistakes, we did already against Manchester United and Watford and got punished. If you want a result at this level you have to minimise mistakes. We talked about it before, it's obviously not helped."

Looking at the mistakes that led to conceding the penalty, Tuchel said: "Everybody is involved, the pass is not the best decision, the orientation is not the best. We can save it, but the decision-making is also not the best from Edou in this moment.

"We created a lot of half-chances, a lot of touches in the box, but sometimes you need a bit of luck, a deflected shot or loose ball that falls to our feet. Their third one is a strange one, the two big chances they had in the first half were our mistakes.

"We could not finish it with clear and better chances, be more ruthless; we struggled also in defending some situations.

"Every loss is a bump in the road, that will not hold us back from what we demand from us, but we need to play more accurate, more stable and reduce big mistakes."

The scoreline marks just the third time Chelsea have conceded more than once in a game in 53 outings under Tuchel and was the first such instance this season, with the Blues having shipped just six goals in the 14 league outings prior to the defeat by the Hammers.

Jarrod Bowen insists West Ham "never know when we are beaten" after the Hammers came back from behind to earn a shock 3-2 victory over London rivals Chelsea on Saturday. 

Chelsea twice took the lead in the first half through Thiago Silva and Mason Mount, but Manuel Lanzini and Bowen netted equalisers before Arthur Masuaku's cross caught Edouard Mendy out at his near post and won the game for West Ham.  

Bowen explained the Hammers pride themselves on their spirit and never-say-die attitude - which has helped them to fourth in the Premier League this season. 

"That is what we are about as a team, the character, the belief," Bowen said to BT Sport after the game. "We hung in sometimes when it was difficult. 

"We never know when we are beaten, we went behind twice but showed that reaction and a lot better performance. 

"We wanted to be on the front foot and press them aggressively and not let them play, which they are good at. We wanted to limit what their game plan was. 

"We haven't won in a few games and have been disappointed in ourselves, but to come back and beat Chelsea, what a performance." 

West Ham manager David Moyes was critical of his side's performance despite the positive result, but praised the clinical finishing of his team, who scored three times from just five shots on target. 

"Truthfully, I didn't think we played that well today," Moyes said. "But we got the goals and in other games I don't think we played any worse or any better but we haven't got the goals. 

"Today we got the goals to go with it, and to get them against a team that don't concede many is a great credit to the lads. 

"We were much better [in the second half]. We were too passive and submissive in the first half. 

"They are quality, that is why they are European champions because of the level they can play at. Whether you press them or stay off them, they are very good at both." 

Moyes felt Masuaku was attempting to cross the ball and was lucky to see it go in for the first Premier League goal of his career. 

"I said to [Masuaku] that I thought it was a great cross," Moyes added. "It was very fortunate, the goal, but in football you need a bit of fortune sometimes. In the last few games we have lost it a little bit, but today we got it back." 

Arthur Masuaku scored a late winner as West Ham fought back to beat Premier League leaders Chelsea 3-2 in a thrilling London derby.

Thiago Silva's header put the European champions in front at the London Stadium, but Manuel Lanzini thumped a penalty home in the 40th minute to level following mistakes from Jorginho and Edouard Mendy.

Mason Mount's magnificent volley at the end of the first half put Chelsea back in the lead, but Jarrod Bowen curled in a superb low strike to pull the Hammers level once again.

The Blues - bolstered by Romelu Lukaku's presence off the bench at half-time - pressed for a winner, but slumped to their second top-flight defeat of the season after Masuaku's cross caught Mendy out at his near post with three minutes of normal time remaining.

Pep Guardiola said it is incredible that Manchester City's standards have not dropped over time after his team delivered a 2-1 home win against West Ham.

City defeated Everton 3-0 last Sunday in the Premier League prior to edging past Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday and defeating West Ham four days later.

Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring for the hosts at a snowy Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with substitute Fernandinho adding a second before Manuel Lanzini delivered a consolation strike for the visitors.

City, who have now kept seven clean sheets in their last eight Premier League home games, have triumphed in 10 of their last 11 top-flight meetings with West Ham.

After another positive result, Guardiola hailed the work of his squad who he believes exhibited a winning mentality that continues to serve them so well.

"We created enough chances against them, under these conditions and circumstances for both teams," Guardiola told BBC Sport.

"The last 15-20 minutes was impossible to play but, especially after the game against PSG which was so demanding mentally and physically, to get this team performance, it's a great result for us.

"The Premier League title is always the most important one of the season because of the fact you play a lot of games in special situations, the more you adapt and show resilience then we can show that mentality.

"After we have won three Premier Leagues in the last four years then it is easy for there to be a tendency for our standards to dip and to say it is not important.

"But to be near the top of the league and qualify [in the Champions League], after being six seasons together and the levels [of performance] still have not dropped – these guys are magnificent and incredible."

West Ham have registered just one win in their last 16 Premier League visits to City, while collecting just five points from a possible 78 in games against all reigning champions.

However, Guardiola opted to praise the opposition as well as the ground staff that ensured the match could go ahead.

"We created chances and it could have been three or four," he said. "The absences we had, all the guys that came in were brilliant and that's why we win a lot, because of the mentality of these guys.

"We cannot forget which opponent we faced. West Ham have everything: Set-pieces they're so strong, they defend really well, on counter-attacks they are a machine, they attack channels like no team in the Premier League. We know how difficult they are.

"The groundskeepers were the man of the match. They did an incredible job today."

Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho were on target as Manchester City moved back into second in the Premier League with a comfortable 2-1 home win over West Ham.

The defending champions made light of the difficult wintry conditions at the Etihad Stadium, where the visitors have now won just once in 16 top-flight visits.

Gundogan was on target in a first half where Riyad Mahrez had a strike ruled out, while the Hammers – who have now suffered back-to-back league defeats – were put to rest when Fernandinho netted late on with Manuel Lanzini's goal proving a mere consolation.

Pep Guardiola's 10th top-flight win in 11 attempts against West Ham means City move level on points with leaders Chelsea, albeit that may prove brief as the Blues host Manchester United later on Sunday.

Aymeric Laporte headed onto the right-hand post in the opening stages before Mahrez was adjudged to be offside from Raheem Sterling's pass after he had powered past Lukasz Fabianski.

City broke the deadlock when Gundogan bundled Mahrez's low cross home, with Ben Johnson then required to clear Gabriel Jesus' effort off the line and Mahrez cannoning against the woodwork in a flurry of first-half chances.

The hosts almost doubled their lead after the interval through Jesus, who saw another chipped attempt cleared off the line by Aaron Cresswell, while Sterling blasted wildly over after the hour mark.

Jesus then teed up Fernandinho to slot into the bottom-left corner to make sure of the result with Bernardo Silva seeing another ruled out prior to Lanzini curling perfectly past Ederson to at least half the arrears for West Ham.

Pep Guardiola cannot envisage ever coaching another club in England after his time at Manchester City comes to an end.

Since being appointed ahead of the 2016-17 season, Guardiola has led City to three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and four EFL Cups, while they were runners-up to Chelsea in last season's Champions League final.

Guardiola has a contract to remain at the Etihad Stadium until 2023 and may yet prolong his stay with the blue half of Manchester.

The 50-year-old has an interest in taking on an international management role in the future but says regardless he will only ever work for City in England, even suggesting he could one day take on a different position at the club.

"I've said many times when we've finished our part here, for the pleasure to live in a European Championship, a World Cup, I would like to live it but I know it is not easy to find it because normally there are few positions," Guardiola said ahead of City's Premier League clash with West Ham on Sunday.

"I think it is difficult for it to happen. I would like it but, at the same time, if it does not happen I will train a club. That is not a problem.

"In England, being here, I think I will always be at Man City. If I had to come back I would come back to Man City, if they want me. I don't think I am going to train another club in England. I'm a part of this club."

Guardiola's is a name that has in the past been touted as a future England manager, with present boss Gareth Southgate having recently penned a new deal through to the end of 2024.

But Guardiola praised the Three Lions manager for the work he has done with the national team and has no desire to put his name in the frame for a position that is already occupied.

"Gareth has done an incredible job, reaching the final of the Euros and the semi-finals of the last World Cup," said Guardiola.

"This is a huge success for English football. He has extended his contract and what I want is after that [for him] to extend for more years, if he is happy to do it.

"I am not here to take anyone's position. It is not my target. As long as it is possible to be here, as much as my energy is there and my love for what I am doing is here, [I will be]. After that I don't know what is going to happen."

The race to sign Erling Haaland may have taken another turn.

Norway forward Haaland is a hot property being pursued by a host of top clubs, with Manchester United among them.

Borussia Dortmund retained his services at the start of this season but the race is expected to heat up in the off-season.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED HOPEFUL OF HAALAND EDGE

The Mirror reports that the imminent appointment of Ralf Rangnick at Manchester United can give them the edge in the race for Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland.

Rangnick and Haaland worked together previously at Salzburg and United believe that relationship can propel them to the front of the queue.

Manchester City, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are all in the race to sign the 21-year-old.

 

ROUND-UP

- PSG will not let head coach Mauricio Pochettino exit the club during the season amid links with Manchester United's vacant managerial role, reports Goal. The Argentine may be allowed to leave at the end of the season.

- Marca report that Real Madrid will not be signing Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba in the off-season despite widespread speculation about a move.

- Sevilla are leading the race to sign Blackburn's Chile international Ben Brereton, according to The Sun. Rovers want £20m for his services.

- West Ham are set to launch a £7m bid to sign Burnley defender James Tarkowski,  report The Sun.

Pep Guardiola revealed he took Raheem Sterling "back to basics" to rediscover his form and says the Manchester City forward knows he is not at the peak of his powers.

England international Sterling had gone 13 games without goal for club and country before he was on target in a 4-1 Champions League win over Club Brugge this month.

The former Liverpool man followed that up with a sublime finish in the 3-0 victory over Everton last weekend and was also on target in a 2-1 defeat of Paris Saint-Germain in midweek.

Sterling has only started eight games for the Premier League champions this season on the back of an impressive Euro 2020.

Guardiola stated it is only normal that players go through frustrating spells and the City boss says there has been no special formula behind his resurgence.

Asked about Sterling's form, he said: "I'm so glad for him, it's helped us that's for sure. Of course, he will fight to do better and better and better.

"It's good for both wingers to score and get assists, he is decisive. Still he knows he can do better, one-v-one, but this is a step to come back in his best form."

The Spaniard added: "I took him back to basics, when you're at this level it's normal.

"This calendar, they have more and more games. Sometimes the guys are tired here [pointing to his head]. It's so difficult. It's just physical, physical, physical.

"So demanding a little bit less. Come back to the basics. Step by step basics will be enough when the confidence come back, you come back who you are.

"If one player [doesn't] play well their ability doesn't go. Raheem is still the same guy."

Guardiola revealed injured duo Jack Grealish and Phil Foden will be assessed on the eve of Sunday's Premier League encounter with West Ham to see if they are fit to return.

"They are training," said the former Barcelona boss. "They are much better. Especially Phil. Right now they are on a day off and in the morning we will see how they feel.

"We will not take risks but hopefully they will come back soon. For the last game [against PSG] we had just 15 players, Cole Palmer and James McAtee helped us. We need them back to help us."

Kevin De Bruyne remains in isolation following his positive coronavirus test, but Guardiola revealed the playmaker is "feeling better."

Chelsea host Manchester United in the headline game of the weekend in the Premier League, with Sunday's showdown at Stamford Bridge a lip-smacking occasion.

Will United put the misery of their five defeats in seven domestic league games behind them and start afresh after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's sacking, or will it be the same old story for the Red Devils?

The threat comes from all quarters with Chelsea: Reece James and Antonio Rudiger may be as likely, if not more so, to score than Timo Werner, for example.

Leeds are boosted by the return from injury of Raphinha as they head to Brighton, while Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang face opponents against whom they have outstanding past records.

The pursuit of fantasy points is on, and here are suggestions for possible picks ahead of the weekend, powered by Opta data.

REECE JAMES (Chelsea v Manchester United)

Will Manchester United's Champions League victory at Villarreal be a spur for them to find a way back to winning ways in the Premier League? Not if Reece James can help it.

Chelsea's exciting right wing-back was sufficiently impressive last term to make England's Euro 2020 squad, but he has gone to another level this time around, and a midweek goal against Juventus just confirmed his progression.

In the Premier League, James has been directly involved in eight goals this season, three more than in his previous 56 appearances in the competition across the last two seasons (5 - one goal, four assists). His total of involvements is higher than any other defender in the league in 2021-22, and United will be wary of that danger. Whether they can stop it remains to be seen.

ANTONIO RUDIGER (Chelsea v Manchester United)

Another Chelsea defender who provides value as an all-rounder, Rudiger provides Premier League fantasy points possibilities at both ends of the pitch.

Among Premier League defenders, only his Blues club-mates James (4) and Ben Chilwell (3) have scored more goals in the competition this season, while only Manchester City's Joao Cancelo (8) has registered more clean sheets than the German (7).

With Harry Maguire suspended and Raphael Varane injured, United seem likely to be susceptible to crosses from set-pieces, which is where Rudiger could come into his own.

RAPHINHA (Brighton and Hove Albion v Leeds United)

Leeds are hovering just above the bottom three, heading into the weekend, so to have Raphinha available will be a major boost to Marcelo Bielsa.

After missing the defeat at Tottenham last time out, the Brazil international is expected to be involved at Brighton this weekend as Leeds target a third win of the campaign.

They missed his creative influence in north London, with Leeds having won 45 per cent of their Premier League games in which Raphinha has featured (18/40) since his debut for the club in October 2020, They have won none of their six matches when he has been absent (D2 L4) and have averaged a measly 0.5 goals per game.

His 20 goal involvements in the league over the same period (11 goals, 9 assists) is second only at Leeds to Patrick Bamford (23 - 15 goals, 8 assists).

RAHEEM STERLING (Manchester City v West Ham)

Has Raheem Sterling played himself into form for City? Three goals in his last three appearances across all competitions suggests that is the case for a player who struggled in the early weeks of the season, in the wake of his exploits at Euro 2020 with England.

Now, assuming he keeps his place in Pep Guardiola's starting line-up, Sterling gets to face one of his very favourite opponents when West Ham visit the Etihad Stadium.

Sterling has been involved in 11 goals in his last eight Premier League games against the Hammers (6 goals, 5 assists), hitting a hat-trick when the teams met in London on the opening day of the 2019-20 season.

EMMANUEL DENNIS (Leicester City v Watford)

It was Emmanuel Dennis who inflicted the final blow to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, completing the rout as Watford whipped Manchester United 4-1 last Saturday.

The Nigerian appears to have been an outstanding acquisition from Club Brugge and Leicester will be wary of his menacing form ahead of a King Power Stadium tussle.

Dennis has scored four goals and assisted five more in just 11 Premier League appearances for Watford. Should he score in Sunday's game, he would become only the sixth player in Premier League history to reach both five goals and assists in 12 or fewer games, after Eric Cantona (11 games), Jurgen Klinsmann (12), Arjen Robben (11), Andrey Arshavin (10) and Bruno Fernandes (9).

JOSE SA (Norwich City v Wolves)

The handover of the Wolves goalkeeper job from Rui Patricio to fellow Portuguese Jose Sa has been seamless, and the new man between the sticks has been highly effective already in the Premier League.

Only Chelsea's Edouard Mendy (3.71) has prevented more goals in the PL this season than Sa (2.18). That is based on Opta's expected goals on target (xGOT) metric, which assesses the quality of shots. On that basis, Sa would have been expected to concede 14.18 goals, but he has picked the ball out of the net just 12 times.

His 38 saves from 50 shots faced gives him a healthy 76 per cent success rate, beaten only by Mendy (88.57 per cent) and Arsenal's Aaron Ramsdale (78.95) so far this season. Norwich will do well to find a way past one of the most in-form glovesmen in the top flight.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal v Newcastle United)

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not scored or had an assist in his last three Premier League games, creating just one chance in 270 minutes.

But if there is any team he is going to score against, Newcastle would be close to the top of the list, and not merely because Eddie Howe's team are bottom of the table.

The former Borussia Dortmund striker has been involved in nine goals in his eight appearances for Arsenal against Newcastle in all competitions (6 goals, 3 assists), scoring in each of his last five games against the Magpies.

West Ham continued their excellent Europa League campaign with a 2-0 win at Rapid Vienna to confirm their place at the top of Group H on Thursday.

David Moyes' men are fourth in the Premier League but have arguably been even more impressive in Europe, with this their fourth victory in five matches.

Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Mark Noble shortly before half-time teed up a straightforward triumph, albeit one that was played out without a crowd as a lockdown kept home fans away after West Ham's travelling supporters had already been banned.

The Rapid faithful would not have been particularly impressed by what they saw if they had been present, as the margin of West Ham's victory could have been wider.

Jarrod Bowen passed up a huge chance for an early opener when he toed Arthur Masuaku's superb sixth-minute cross agonisingly wide, but West Ham had the lead they merited six minutes from the end of the first half.

Yarmolenko nodded Nikola Vlasic's teasing centre back across Paul Gartler for his first Hammers goal since January, before the scorer earned a clip from Maximilian Hofmann for a stoppage-time spot-kick, which Noble dispatched.

West Ham kept pushing and Bowen was wasteful again when he shot straight at Gartler at the end of a wonderful run and then when he blasted against the legs of retreating defender Filip Stojkovic after the goalkeeper had parried Tomas Soucek's header following a smart initial save.

Rapid threatened only fleetingly at the other end, as West Ham's comfortable position meant they could disregard events elsewhere in the group and hand a debut to Sonny Perkins, who almost scored with his first touch on a productive night for the visitors.

What does it mean? Hammers in complete control

West Ham's stunning start to this campaign meant it would take a remarkable collapse not to advance to the knockout stage, but they took apart Rapid on matchday five just to make sure.

Although there were occasional lulls in the game, West Ham were always in control with 61.2 per cent of the possession, while their 12 shots had a collective value of 4.15 expected goals (xG).

Masuaku makes his mark

Knee surgery restricted Masuaku to 12 Premier League appearances last season, and Aaron Cresswell established himself as a surefire starter under Moyes in that time.

But the fit-again left-back took his opportunity to impress with an all-action display in Austria. Only Noble had more touches than Masuaku (92) at the time of his substitution, as he excelled at both ends, creating two chances while also making three interceptions, two tackles and two clearances.

Bowen off the boil

If West Ham have great depth at full-back, the same is not quite true up front. Michail Antonio was rested for this match, meaning Bowen played through the middle in the absence of an obvious natural alternative.

While it feels a little harsh to criticise Moyes' attack in a comprehensive win, Bowen alone could have stretched the scoreline significantly. The winger failed with three shots worth a combined 1.81 xG.

What's next?

Having taken care of business, West Ham can return their focus to the Premier League and a trip to Manchester City. Their next Europa League assignment is at home to Dinamo Zagreb on December 9, when Rapid go to Genk.

Jesse Lingard's future does not appear to be with current club Manchester United.

Contract talks between Lingard and United have reportedly broken down.

The England international has only played eight times in all competitions this season, starting just once.

 

TOP STORY –  LINGARD SET FOR JANUARY SWITCH

Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard will make a £10million move to West Ham in January, according to The Sun.

The Red Devils are said to be looking to cash in on the 28-year-old England international before he is out of contract at the end of this season.

Lingard impressed during a six-month loan spell with the Hammers in the second half of last season, with nine goals and four assists.

ROUND-UP

- Tottenham are also interested in signing Lingard on a free transfer in the off-season, according to the Daily Express.

- United are prepared to sell Diogo Dalot to Roma in order to facilitate a deal for Atletico Madrid's England full-back Kieran Trippier, claims the Manchester Evening News.

- Marca claims that Real Madrid are ramping up their pursuit of Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, who is out of contract at the end of this season. Bayern Munich are also said to be tracking the Germany international.

- Promising young Argentina international Julian Alvarez is being monitored by Italian powerhouse pair Juventus and Milan, reports Calciomercato. Alvarez, who has four Argentina caps, is currently with River Plate who will wait until December to evaluate any offers.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer acknowledged Jesse Lingard's disappointment at a lack of playing time following rumours suggesting contract talks with the midfielder had collapsed.

Various publications claimed on Thursday that discussions over a new Manchester United deal for England international Lingard had broken down.

The 28-year-old's contract is due to expire at the end of the season, and United seemingly look set to lose a valuable asset on a free transfer.

The speculation has stoked criticism of United's decision-making, given the club almost certainly could have fetched £25million for Lingard in pre-season after he enjoyed a scintillating loan spell at West Ham.

Between his Hammers debut in February and the end of 2020-21, Lingard scored nine times in the Premier League, a haul bettered by just five players.

Only one of those was a penalty, leaving him with a non-penalty expected goals (xG) outperformance of 4.7, the second best record in that time.

That form earned him an England recall, and while he was ultimately left out of their Euro 2020 squad, Lingard had given himself a solid platform to build on upon his return to United, but Solskjaer has not rewarded him with the playing time he feels he deserves.

"Jesse is training really hard, really well and he's ready and available for me," Solskjaer said ahead of the trip to Watford after being asked about the rumours around Lingard's contract talks.

"He's disappointed he's not playing more. In regards to contract situations and talks, I've not been in them very closely.

"For me, Jesse is still a big part of this squad and important, and he gives quality to the group every day.

"Every player wants to play as much as possible, with Jesse and all my players.

"They're working really hard, I can't fault the attitude when they're called upon. Jesse has done well when he's played for us, and with the games coming up, he's going to play a part."

In that respect, the busy schedule over the next eight weeks could potentially see United turn the situation around.

They have 11 fixtures in all competitions before the end of the year, a hectic run that will undoubtedly lead to some squad rotation.

Lingard will be hopeful of capitalising on that given he has played in just five Premier League games this season.

Despite a lack of game time, his tally of two goals is bettered by only Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood, all of whom have played more than 10 times as many minutes as Lingard's 63.

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