Pep Guardiola recognises Manchester City "can't win all the time", but he is keen to take on his latest challenge and catch Liverpool next season.

After coming a close second to City last term, Liverpool have won the Premier League title for the first time in 2019-20, ending a 30-year wait for a 19th top-flight championship.

The Reds have done it in dominant fashion, too, with a 23-point gap between the new and former champions ahead of Thursday's clash at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola accepts Liverpool deserve their success, yet he will bid to respond next season after first using their midweek match as preparation for key FA Cup and Champions League fixtures.

"I had many challenges in my career, this is one more," Guardiola told reporters.

"Other people say I'm a big failure because I didn't win the Champions League here and with Bayern Munich, but the challenge is to work to compete like in the past - even if we didn't get the results we expected as a team for any circumstances we cannot control.

"We know the quality [Liverpool] have. It will be good for our game against Arsenal, Real Madrid; how is our position, our level in terms of playing key moments in tough competitions against good teams?

"We have to prepare for next season. Of course, we lost the Premier League with seven games left and more than 20 points, and the challenge was to win the league this season again.

"It didn't happen because we weren't as consistent as previous seasons. It was incredible consistency.

"But you look at what Liverpool have done and it's almost impossible. All you can do is accept it. You can't win all the time, do well all the time.

"I think for the football and society, it's good – they deserve it. We try to learn from our mistakes, like from what we have done with consistency in the past, and try to apply it next season.

"That's not to assure you that what we have done this season is to happen better next season or worse - the same as when we won the two Premier Leagues in a row.

"Every game, every time, it is to prove again who we are, so to live for the past is ridiculous.

"You may say I don't have to show anything. Yeah, you have to show it again and again to be part of big clubs or this business. Everyone has to do their best."

Super-sub Andriy Yarmolenko scored a last-gasp winner to give West Ham's Premier League survival hopes a huge boost in a thrilling 3-2 victory over Chelsea at the London Stadium.

Introduced in the 78th minute for Jarrod Bowen, who had earlier set up goals for Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio, Yarmolenko coolly slotted home at the end of a swift counter-attack to stun Chelsea.

The vital result lifts David Moyes' side three points above the relegation zone, while Chelsea - for whom Willian scored twice, including a stunning free-kick - missed the chance to climb to third.

It is the first time the Hammers, who won the reverse fixture 1-0, have done the league double over the Blues since the 2002-03 season, although they were somewhat ominously relegated in that campaign.

Willian claimed a unique Premier League record on Wednesday when the Chelsea forward became the first player to score a Premier League goal in all 12 months.

The Brazilian converted a first-half penalty against West Ham to give Frank Lampard's side a 1-0 lead at London Stadium.

It was the 31-year-old's 35th Premier League goal, and his first in July as he completed the set of scoring in each calendar month having netted against Manchester City last time out on June 25.

The Premier League season typically runs from August until May, but the 2019-20 campaign only resumed in June following a three-month break enforced by the coronavirus pandemic.

He later took his Premier League tally to 36 with a stunning free-kick that levelled matters at 2-2 following a West Ham turnaround.

Willian, who joined Chelsea in 2013, will be out of contract at Stamford Bridge when the season finishes.

Mikel Arteta is positive Arsenal can keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang "for many years" after he brought up a half-century of Premier League goals for the Gunners.

Aubameyang robbed Norwich City goalkeeper Tim Krul of the ball to roll home his 50th goal in the English top flight and put Arsenal on course for a 4-0 win.

The Gabon international is the fastest Arsenal player to reach 50 goals in the Premier League.

He teed up Granit Xhaka to make it 2-0 and doubled his tally for the game in the second half before Cedric Soares rounded things off with a debut strike.

Aubameyang's contract expires at the end of next season and afterwards he told BT Sport of the possibility of a new deal: "We'll talk with the club and see what happens.

"I'm really focused on the games. Since Mikel is in, we're doing well. We're working well. We have signs we're improving."

Arteta, when asked how many more goals Aubameyang can score for Arsenal, told a post-match media conference: "Hopefully at least another 100. I don't know, I'm not a magician.

"What he's achieved today to be the fastest in the history of this football club shows everything about his mentality and the way he works every day on his finishing, on trying to help the team and his desire to be better and better every day. Hopefully we can keep him here for a longer period.

"He's willing to stay with us, I think he's really happy where he is, and he can see what we are trying to do.

"Hopefully he can evolve some parts of his game and he can improve. We are pushing him every day towards that."

On the progression of talks over a new contract, Arteta said: "I don't know, I leave that to the football club.

"Auba knows really well what my thoughts are towards him, the project that I want to create and how much he's part of that, and after that, it's not in my hands.

"I'm positive and I can remain positive that we can keep him here for many years, but things have to progress."

Allan Saint-Maximin produced an inspired performance to lead Newcastle United's 4-1 win over hapless Bournemouth, while Leicester City's hold on a Champions League spot slipped again.

Leicester's slump in form continued with a 2-1 defeat at Goodison Park, with Everton battling to a second Premier League win on the bounce.

The Toffees enjoyed a great start, as Richarlison turned home a fine pass from youngster Anthony Gordon early on and then Gylfi Sigurdsson converted a penalty following a handball by Wilfred Ndidi.

Leicester were brighter after the break once James Maddison and Kelechi Iheanacho were introduced, with the latter netting fortuitously, but Everton held on to the win and owed thanks to Michael Keane for clearing off the line following a Jordan Pickford error.

Defeat leaves the Foxes just three points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United.

Elsewhere, Newcastle's performance was by no means perfect at the Vitality Stadium, but they still blew their hosts away – Saint-Maximin playing a major role.

The Frenchman picked out Dwight Gayle for a fifth-minute opener and then dazzled Bournemouth as Newcastle went 2-0 up with half-an-hour played, tricking his way past Adam Smith before picking out Sean Longstaff.

Saint-Maximin completed his hat-trick of assists when teeing up Miguel Almiron just prior to the hour, and Valentino Lazaro rounded things off towards the end after Jonjo Shelvey's pass, moving Newcastle on to 42 points and leaving the Cherries - who got a late consolation through ex-Newcastle midfielder Dan Gosling - second from bottom after a fourth successive loss

The day's other early kick-off saw Arsenal hammer rock-bottom Norwich City 4-0.

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang scored his 50th Premier League goal as Arsenal boosted their Champions League hopes with a 4-0 win over bottom club Norwich City.

Aubameyang moved on to a half-century in 79 appearances in the competition as he dispossessed a dithering Tim Krul to open the scoring.

He then set up Granit Xhaka to make it 2-0 and doubled his tally on the day in the second half after Norwich forward Josip Drmic played the ball straight to him from a throw-in.

Cedric Soares scored on his debut to round off a victory that moves Arsenal within six points of Manchester United and Wolves in the race for the Champions League and within eight of Chelsea, who face West Ham on Wednesday.

Aubameyang forced goalkeeper Krul into action in the 10th minute but only the woodwork stopped them from going behind as Ben Godfrey's rasping drive crashed against the left-hand post.

However, their good work was undone when Aubameyang robbed Krul as he looked to clear his lines and rolled into an empty net to reach his half-century.

Just four minutes later he laid on the second for Xhaka, who fired in from close range to give Norwich a mountain to climb.

Emiliano Martinez denied the visitors a route back into the game as he spectacularly kept out Kenny McLean's free-kick and he was needed again a minute after the restart to deny substitute Adam Idah.

Norwich pressed admirably in their efforts to halve the deficit but Drmic's inexplicable pass put it on a plate for Aubameyang, who coolly slotted home to make sure of the points before Cedric's deflected drive added late gloss.

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the 50th goal of his Premier League career against Norwich City on Wednesday.

Aubameyang was presented a gift by Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul, who lost possession as he attempted to clear the ball, allowing the Gabon striker to roll into an empty net and reach a half-century in 79 appearances in the competition.

He is the 38th different Arsenal player to score 50 league goals, having joined the club from Borussia Dortmund for €63.8m (£56m) in January 2018.

Aubameyang is the fastest Arsenal player to reach 50 Premier League goals and is the sixth-fastest to a half-century in the competition's history, behind Andy Cole (65 games), Alan Shearer (66), Ruud van Nistelrooy (68), Fernando Torres and Mohamed Salah (both 72).

The former Milan forward has consistently been Arsenal's star performer, but his future in Mikel Arteta's side is uncertain.

Having turned 31, the forward previously said he has reached "a turning point in my career" and has not decided whether he wants to extend his contract with the club.

Aubameyang's deal is due to expire at the end of next season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's achievement of scoring 50 goals in 77 Premier League games for Arsenal makes him the sixth fastest player in the competition's history to hit the half-century milestone.

That Aubameyang arrived at 50 goals in fewer league matches than the likes of Sergio Aguero and Thierry Henry tells you just how prolific the Gabon international has been since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018.

Aubameyang's landmark goal, which arrived for Arsenal against Norwich City on Wednesday, is made all the more remarkable by the fact that he has not been playing in a particularly successful team during his time at Emirates Stadium, with the Gunners finishing sixth in his first season, fifth in his second, and starting the day in 10th as they faced the Canaries.

The five players to have reached 50 Premier League goals in fewer matches than Aubameyang all did so in teams challenging at the top end of the table, and all with very distinct goal-scoring styles.
 

Andy Cole – 65 games

After scoring 12 goals when Newcastle United were promoted as Division One champions in 1992-93, Andy Cole plundered 34 in 40 top flight games to help Kevin Keegan's side finish third in the table the following season.

A real six-yard box striker who could also finish from distance and beat defenders for pace, he netted another nine Premier League goals for the Magpies before joining Manchester United, where he took his top-flight tally to 50 before the end of the 1994-95 season.

Alan Shearer – 66 games

Alan Shearer reached 50 Premier League goals during Blackburn Rovers' title-winning campaign in 1994-95, having netted 47 goals in 62 games in the two seasons prior.

Shearer's matchless eye for goal and thunderously powerful shot helped him to 34 goals in 42 matches as Rovers became champions, and he passed the 100 mark just a year later.

Ruud van Nistelrooy – 68 games

Ruud van Nistelrooy cost Manchester United £19million when he joined the club from PSV ahead of the 2001-02 season and he quickly set about repaying their faith in him.

The Netherlands international netted 23 Premier League goals in 32 games in his first season, followed by a further 25 in 34 games in 2002-03.

He then passed 50 in the 2003-04 season on his way to scoring 20 goals in 32 matches as United were beaten to the title by Arsenal.

Fernando Torres – 72

More similar to Aubameyang in terms of playing style than any of the players listed above, Fernando Torres scored his 50th Premier League goal during his third season as a Liverpool player.

It was a season that would end with Torres becoming a World Cup winner with Spain, but it was not a happy one for the Reds, who finished seventh in the table despite Torres' 18 goals in 22 games, and the striker left the club to join Chelsea part way through the following campaign.

Mohamed Salah – 72

Mohamed Salah scored his 50th Premier League goal during a 4-3 victory over Crystal Palace in April 2019, becoming the second-fastest player to reach the milestone in terms of minutes played.

Only Shearer, who netted a half-century in 5,337 minutes for Blackburn, reached the landmark in a shorter on-pitch timespan than free-scoring Reds forward Salah, who did so in 5,374 minutes of play following his £34m transfer from Roma.

Arsenal could be getting their hands on the next Patrick Vieira if they manage to sign Porto captain Danilo Pereira.

That is the view of Abel Xavier, who tipped his Portuguese compatriot to shine in the Premier League if given the chance.

Defensive midfielder Pereira, who moved to Porto from Maritimo in 2015, has been heavily linked with the Gunners, with whom Vieira won three league titles.

And former Portugal international Xavier thinks it would be a good move for both Pereira and Arsenal.

"Danilo I think is a great midfield player who gives a lot of balance in the team," Xavier told Stats Perform News.

"He plays very simple football and his physical presence is important on the field.

"When I look back, he's a kind of player like Patrick Vieira when we're talking about a physical presence.

"I think if Arsenal are interested in him, for the style they play at the moment, a team trying to use forward-thinking players who are always very positive, it's very important to have balanced players – Danilo is this kind of player.

"I think it can be very good for both if there is a concrete interest."

Porto turned down a bid from Monaco for Pereira's services in July 2019.

 

Andreas Christensen has declared his "love" for Chelsea, with the defender keen for a longer stay at Stamford Bridge.

The 24-year-old's future with the Blues looked in doubt after last season when he started just six Premier League games under Maurizio Sarri.

However, Christensen, a favourite of former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, has been handed 17 top-flight starts by Frank Lampard this term and is enjoying life in London again.

Back in January, Lampard said he would not let the Denmark international leave because he believes he can develop into a top centre-back at Chelsea.

"I've never looked anywhere else," Christensen, who has two years left on his contract, told Sky Sports.

"I've never doubted my situation. I've always had my eyes at Chelsea.

"I've had my contract and I've always expected to finish that and I've always dreamed of even more than that. Nothing has changed.

"Obviously it was a different situation last season but I still love being here, that's the short answer."

Lampard has rotated between centre-backs Christensen, Kurt Zouma, Antonio Rudiger and Fikayo Tomori, with each of the quartet having started at least 15 Premier League games in 2019-20.

This season was seen as something of a rebuilding one for the club given Lampard's arrival and the transfer ban imposed on them last year, but they remain in the driving seat for a top-four finish.

And with Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner having already agreed to join for next term, Christensen is excited about the future.

"We are in a process but I think we are way ahead of time," he added.

"We know what we are capable of. We feel very comfortable and confident at the moment. [Winning titles] is where we all want to be, so why not?

"We're all hungry. We have a good balance between experienced people and young, exciting talent. So I think that's the goal for all of us."

Jose Mourinho is hopeful that Eric Dier will sign a new contract with Tottenham.

The versatile England international's deal expires at the end of next season, but Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and manager Mourinho want him to stay.

Dier has informed Mourinho of his desire to extend his stay at the Premier League club, which was music to the ears of the Tottenham boss.

Mourinho said: "My boss Mr Levy tells me that he wants Eric to sign a new contract and Eric tells me that he's more than happy here, more than happy with his situation, especially now that he feels we have a certain idea for him and the deal.

"And he tells me also that he wants very much to stay.

"So I hope that we can find an agreement because I'm trying to take the team in a certain direction and when I try to develop a player in the team it's because I'm waiting for a player to stay with us."

The London club travel to Sheffield United on Thursday in the battle for European spots and Mourinho says Europa League rather than Champions League qualification would not be a failure.

"If you tell me I start the season with zero points like everyone else and at the end of the season I am not in a Champions League spot I would say disappointing," the Portuguese said.

"If I put myself in my day one and where the team was and everything that happens I would say I would not be disappointed because the situation was incredible.

"But we are going to fight until we can, until it is mathematically impossible. One objective is points on the table but we cannot forget that one objective is working for the future, working for next season.

"This is not a waste of time for us. It doesn't matter how we end the season, to know the players, to work with the players, to make decisions to improve the team step by step in certain areas I think is also very important for us.

"We just want to play and see where we are at the end of the season. When the season finishes we know a couple of weeks later we are starting pre-season for the next season and then is the moment to say everyone has the same points let's go and fight."

Manchester United have confirmed Alexis Sanchez and Chris Smalling will remain at Inter and Roma respectively for the remainder of the Serie A season.

Defender Smalling moved on loan last August and has made 30 appearances in all competitions, impressing to such an extent that coach Paulo Fonseca has said he would like to keep hold of the centre-back for longer.

"I will do everything I can to keep him at Roma next year too. I know he wants to stay, let's see what happens," Fonseca told ESPN.

Sanchez, meanwhile, has featured 19 times for Antonio Conte's side during a campaign that has been disrupted by injuries.

The forward, who previously played in Serie A with Udinese, has scored just once so far for the Nerazzurri, his solitary strike coming in a 3-1 league win away at Sampdoria.

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing a lengthy suspension to the schedule, United have agreed both players can stay at their current clubs to see out the Italian campaign, which runs until early August.

The Red Devils had already announced goalkeeper Dean Henderson will continue at Sheffield United until the Premier League season is completed.

Jurgen Klopp vowed Liverpool will go on the "attack" when they look to defend their Premier League title next season. 

The Reds celebrated ending a 30-year wait to be crowned champions of England last week when second-placed Manchester City were beaten at Chelsea. 

Liverpool have won their first Premier League title with ease, leading City by 23 points with seven games to spare ahead of their encounter at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday. 

Klopp says the Merseyside club are determined to finish in style as he wants his players to be hungry to retain their crown in 2020-21. 

"As long as we stay humble and greedy, we have a good chance to remain a really uncomfortable opponent," the Liverpool boss said on Wednesday. 

"When you are a really uncomfortable opponent, you have a chance to win. And when you have a chance to win, then sometimes you have to win. 

"There are a lot of challenges, life is constantly a challenge, and our challenge is now being champions and playing seven games against teams that will fight for everything. 

"We can show that we don't run because we have to, we run because we want to. 

"Next season, you can write stories about us being the defending champions or whatever, but that is why I say - we will not defend anything, we will attack it." 

Klopp expects Liverpool to face strong competition next year – and not just from Pep Guardiola's City squad.

He added: "City will be strong next season, Manchester United will be strong next season, Chelsea will be strong next season. 

"We have to play 38 games during the year. What we achieved last week is something for the history books." 

Pep Guardiola wished Leroy Sane all the best at "fantastic" Bayern Munich as he confirmed the Germany winger's return to the Bundesliga is almost done.

Stats Perform News understands a fee was agreed between the clubs on Tuesday, with the Germany international to cost an initial €49million (£44.5m), rising to €60m (£54.5m) and he is expected in Munich on Wednesday.

It brings a four-year stay in the Premier League to an end and will leave a overriding sense of what might have been – the 24-year-old missed virtually all of 2019-20 due to a serious knee injury.

Prior to that he had shown immense abilities in back-to-back Premier League title triumphs for City, winning the Professional Footballers' Association's (PFA) Young Player of the Year award in 2017-18.

But Bayern had emerged as suitors last year before his knee injury and, with his City contract set to expire next year, the Bundesliga champions have managed to secured a cut-price deal.

While the move is not yet complete, Guardiola confirmed it is close and he wished the former Schalke talent well.

"It looks like it," Guardiola said of Sane joining Bayern in Wednesday's news conference ahead of facing Liverpool on Thursday.

"It's not already done, there are still some little issues, but it looks like he'll go to Munich. I wish him all the best.

"I give him big thanks for these years together and I wish him all the best in a fantastic club.

"He wants to leave - everyone has their own life. I would have loved him to stay here, but he decided to leave, he thinks he'll be better and happier, so I've nothing to say."

Sane's absence has been seen viewed as a reason for City's inability to challenge Liverpool for the Premier League title this season, with the Reds wrapping it up with a 23-point cushion last week.

Guardiola admits Liverpool have simply been the better team, but he vowed to ensure the Reds "feel" 2020-21, as he plots to overthrow Jurgen Klopp's men.

"First of all, there was a team that was better, they played at an outstanding level in every game and you have to do more," he said.

"The supporters help you understand, it's an incredible part of our education to accept another is better, then you have to try to reduce this gap. From the last game to the future seven eight, nine games left through to next season, we must work harder and do better.

"We are going to make Liverpool feel next season, and other opponents will try to fight for the next chapters in the Premier League as well."

Jurgen Klopp says it will not be necessary for Manchester City to give Liverpool a guard of honour ahead of their Premier League clash on Thursday.

Pep Guardiola stated that City will line up to welcome the newly-crowned champions onto the pitch at the Etihad Stadium for their first match since winning the title last week.

Liverpool celebrated being champions of England for the first time in 30 years when City were beaten at Chelsea last Thursday.

Klopp does not feel the need for Guardiola's men to make such a gesture to the side that has dethroned them, but thinks it is a nice touch.

The Reds boss said during a virtual press conference on Wednesday: "I am not sure if I've ever had one [a guard of honour], long ago in Germany maybe.

"An English tradition and it is a nice gesture. I wouldn't need it as we want to play football and don't celebrate but again it's nice. That is it."

Liverpool lead second-placed City by a mammoth 23 points with seven games remaining this season, but Klopp says there is no chance they will be winding down.

He added: "I saw City play three times now [since the restart]. You cannot defend City if you don't play an intense game.

"I can’t see a game where two teams are waiting for final whistle. This will be a proper football game."

Klopp revealed that he has no new injuries to contend with.  

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