Manuel Pellegrini accused Manchester City of tactical fouls in the Premier League champions' 5-0 thrashing of West Ham on Saturday.

Pep Guardiola's side started their title defence with an emphatic victory at London Stadium courtesy of goals from Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero and a Raheem Sterling hat-trick.

Hammers manager Pellegrini felt his players were too "innocent", especially in the first half, as they conceded too many simple free-kicks when in promising positions.

"Every time we tried to arrive in their box they committed fouls. We were innocent in that regard," he said.

"If you review the game, that is why we didn't create too many chances in the first half. All our offensive moments of attacking ended in a foul. You can look at the statistics. They committed 13 fouls, we committed five. But that wasn't the reason why we lost."

According to Opta data, West Ham conceded six free-kicks to City's 13, but the visitors led 8-1 in terms of fouls committed by half-time.

Kyle Walker and Sterling were the only City players booked, with Mike Dean handing out those cautions in the 87th minute and three minutes into second-half stoppage time.

It is not the first time City have been accused of such a tactic. Last November, former Manchester United captain Gary Neville said Fernandinho in particular was happy to foul to stop counter-attacks, prompting Guardiola to respond: "Never have my teams been focused on doing something wrong against the opponents."

Guardiola was riled again in April when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested City would be happy to give away free-kicks to halt United in their tracks in the derby. "I never prepare a game in 10 seasons as a manager thinking about this kind of thing. Never," he said.

Pellegrini felt City's approach to stopping West Ham attacks was one of the main differences in a balanced first half, but he insisted he did not think it the only reason for his side's humbling defeat.

When asked if he might encourage his players to adopt the same tactic, he said: "We must be more intelligent though to know when to make [fouls], not use it as a system.

"If you review the game, we didn't create too many chances because many of our attacking chances were stopped by a foul.

"But I repeat, I don't think that is just the reason we lost 5-0."

Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick as Manchester City made a stunning start to the defence of their Premier League title by hammering West Ham 5-0.

City watched last season's runners-up Liverpool romp to a 4-1 win over Norwich City on Friday and answered with an emphatic triumph of their own.

Saturday's top-flight action also saw Burnley and Brighton and Hove Albion cruise to victories over Southampton and Watford respectively.

Crystal Palace and 10-man Everton played out a goalless draw, while Sheffield United grabbed a late equaliser to claim a point at Bournemouth.

Tottenham will host Aston Villa in the last game of the day.

STERLING GIVES CITY IDEAL START

Sterling's treble inspired a five-goal away win as City commenced their quest for a third straight league crown. The England star's goals all came in the second half after Gabriel Jesus prodded the champions ahead in the 25th minute of a one-sided affair.

Sterling's well-worked first goal came six minutes after the interval and though a VAR review found he was offside before Jesus tapped in, City did get their third when he struck 15 minutes from time.

The former Liverpool player could have added the third from the spot after Issa Diop fouled the excellent Riyad Mahrez but he gifted the penalty to Sergio Aguero. The substitute's initial attempt was saved before he converted a re-take due to VAR showing Declan Rice encroached before clearing the rebound.

Sterling was not to be denied the match ball, though, as he raced clean through to convert a pass from Mahrez in added time.

MISERABLE STARTS FOR SAINTS AND WATFORD

Ashley Barnes' double was key as Burnley scored three times in the space of 12 second-half minutes to stun Southampton in a 3-0 win at Turf Moor, Johann Gudmundsson's impressive solo goal putting the icing on the cake.

New signing Neal Maupay, who arrived for a reported £20million, scored on his debut to help Brighton defeat Watford by the same scoreline at Vicarage Road.

The former Brentford striker followed fellow substitute Florin Andone by netting in the second half, Abdoulaye Doucoure's dreadful own goal after 28 minutes having set Graham Potter's new side on their way.


SHARP GRABS LATE POINT FOR BLADES

Substitute Billy Sharp finished off a goalmouth scramble with two minutes remaining to earn newly promoted Sheffield United a 1-1 draw away to Bournemouth.

Chris Mepham had earlier put the hosts in front when he converted a close-range rebound, but Sharp ensured the Blades got something from their first Premier League game since 2007.

There was also a draw as Crystal Palace held Everton at Selhurst Park, with the visitors having Morgan Schneiderlin sent off with 14 minutes remaining.

The midfielder picked up a second yellow card for a high foot Luka Milivojevic, while Wilfried Zaha - who reluctantly had to stay at Palace having been heavily pursued by Everton in the transfer window - played the last 25 minutes after coming off the bench.

Pep Guardiola warned Manchester City and hat-trick scorer Raheem Sterling have room for improvement following the 5-0 thrashing of West Ham.

The Premier League champions cruised to a resounding victory in their season opener at the London Stadium on Saturday, shifting through the gears at will in a four-goal second half.

Star forward Sterling grabbed three and looked in irrepressible form, while new signing Rodri and the returning Riyad Mahrez shone in possession.

"In terms of five goals, it is the perfect start, yes," Guardiola told a news conference.

"But the performance of the first half was far away from where we want to be. The other [half] is normal.

"We are still not in the top condition and I knew that we missed and lost a lot of simple balls, so it's so difficult to have a good tempo of our game.

"Today Raheem scored and Bernardo [Silva] is going to score and it was an incredible performance today from Riyad Mahrez, an incredible level.

"I think in all of the pre-season games [Sterling] scored goals from the beginning, so every single game he scored a goal.

"But in the first half, he can do better."

Gabriel Jesus scored City's first in the 25th minute and would have had a brace had Sterling not strayed offside by the barest of margins in the lead-up, an indiscretion spotted by VAR.

Technology also played a part in allowing Sergio Aguero to retake and convert a spot-kick that was initially saved, while the visitors were made to wait for confirmation of Sterling's second goal following prolonged analysis.

Guardiola said players and fans alike will have to adapt during VAR's debut season in the Premier League.

"In that period where you are celebrating, you have to be calm and be strong," he said.

"It is going to change the dynamic not just for the team but for the spectators. The spectators were quiet, and after [Jesus' goal was disallowed], they were looking and thinking 'oh, we can celebrate'.

"It will be a good lesson for our future, but it is what it is."

Raheem Sterling became just the eighth player to score a hat-trick on the opening weekend of a season in the Premier League era.

The Manchester City forward achieved the rare feat in a thumping 5-0 away win against West Ham.

Here, we take a look at the other players who have registered trebles on the first weekend of a Premier League season.


MICK QUINN: Arsenal 0-3 Coventry City, August 14 1993

Bobby Gould's Sky Blues stunned Arsenal at a revamped, newly all-seater Highbury, on the back of a remarkable treble from former Newcastle striker Quinn. The highlight goal was Quinn's second strike, a delicious effort into the top-left corner after smart work from Roy Wegerle.

MATT LE TISSIER: Southampton 3-4 Nottingham Forest, August 19 1995

At The Dell, another stadium from Premier League history, Le Tissier scored two penalties and a late free-kick but still finished on the losing side. A Forest team inspired by two-goal Bryan Roy took the points on the south coast.

FABRIZIO RAVANELLI: Middlesbrough 3-3 Liverpool, August 17 1996

Ravanelli was a £7million statement signing by ambitious Middlesbrough, joining within weeks of scoring for Juventus in the Champions League final. His Premier League debut for Bryan Robson's team was almost perfect, with the 'White Feather' cracking in a penalty, a poacher's finish and a low, skidding strike to secure a draw.

KEVIN CAMPBELL: Coventry City 0-3 Nottingham Forest, August 17 1996

Campbell's treble at Highfield Road was overshadowed by Ravanelli's feat at the Riverside on the same day but two slick finishes and a delightful third goal all of his own making meant it was a day to remember for Forest's former Arsenal striker.

DION DUBLIN: Coventry City 3-2 Chelsea, August 9 1997

After Quinn four years earlier, Dublin was another Coventry opening-day hero. A pair of headers rocked Ruud Gullit's Chelsea before Dublin took advantage of a loose header from defender Franck Leboeuf to drill in a late winner for Gordon Strachan's men.

GABRIEL AGBONLAHOR: Aston Villa 4-2 Manchester City, August 17 2008

Hardly the most prolific of Villa strikers, Agbonlahor nevertheless grabbed the first opening-day Premier League hat-trick for 11 years. He scored with his right foot, left foot and head as the 21-year-old tore apart City at Villa Park.

DIDIER DROGBA: Chelsea 6-0 West Brom, August 14 2010

Chelsea began the defence of their title in six-hitting style at Stamford Bridge, with a free-kick, a close-range finish and a deflected strike seeing Drogba earn the match ball. Carlo Ancelotti's Blues also won 6-0 on the following weekend, beating Wigan.

RAHEEM STERLING: West Ham 0-5 Manchester City, August 10 2019

England forward Sterling showed shimmering opening-weekend form as he and City carved open West Ham repeatedly at London Stadium. He slotted his first from Kevin De Bruyne's pass, lobbed a second and slid home a third in stoppage time as the champions cruised to their handsome win.

The good news for West Ham is Manchester City's visit to London Stadium is over and done with.

Raheem Sterling starred with a hat-trick as Pep Guardiola's reigning champions began their quest for a third consecutive Premier League title with an imposing 5-0 victory.

Playing their home games at the venue that hosted the 2012 Olympic Games has plenty of benefits for West Ham, but hosting City is not one of them.

Guardiola's men now boast an aggregate advantage of 22-1 in their games in Stratford. Here we look back at some painful hammerings for the Hammers.

January 6, 2017 - West Ham 0 Manchester City 5 (FA Cup)

City were faltering midway through their first season under Guardiola but they swatted aside Slaven Bilic's West Ham, with Yaya Toure opening the scoring from the penalty spot. Havard Nordtveit's own goal and David Silva's tap-in made it 3-0 before half-time, leaving Sergio Aguero and John Stones to complete the rout

February 1, 2017 – West Ham 0 Manchester City 4 (Premier League)

A month later, City were back at London Stadium and still licking their wounds from a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Everton. They remained too strong for Bilic's men as Kevin De Bruyne established a 17th-minute lead and orchestrated a blistering attacking display, with Silva also on target before Gabriel Jesus scored his first City goal. Midway through the second half, Toure again made no mistake from 12 yards.

April 29, 2018 – West Ham 1 Manchester City 4 (Premier League)

Far from the uncertain outfit West Ham had a look at the previous year, City were already crowned Premier League champions for 2017-18 and in full flight on this occasion. Leroy Sane's effort and an own goal from former City favourite Pablo Zabaleta had City in control and, although Aaron Cresswell pulled it back to 2-1, Jesus restored the two-goal cushion before Fernandinho wrapped up victory as Guardiola's men hungrily chased down their historic 100-point haul.

November 24, 2018 – West Ham 0 Manchester City 4 (Premier League)

This was a tale of usual suspects for ex-City boss Manuel Pellegrini as Silva and Sterling scored from close range. Sane joined Silva on three goals at London Stadium by full-time – a stunning piece of skill leaving Fabian Balbuena prone to make it 3-0. Sane's second in injury time did not stop Guardiola describing his team as "quite lucky"

August 10, 2019 – West Ham 0 Manchester City 5 (Premier League)

City were similarly patchy in Saturday's first half, which was illuminated by Jesus' clever near-post finish after Riyad Mahrez and Kyle Walker cut West Ham apart down the right. De Bruyne was a familiar provider to set Sterling on the way to a fine treble. VAR seemed to be the England winger's most capable adversary, while technology also granted Aguero a second go at beating Lukasz Fabianski from the penalty spot.

Raheem Sterling says the correct use of VAR in Manchester City's crushing win over West Ham negated the frustration over foiled goal celebrations.

City star Sterling scored three times as the Premier League champions commenced their title defence with an eventful 5-0 victory on Saturday.

The England international would also have registered an assist had the newly introduced technology not found him to be in a marginally offside position when squaring for an unmarked Gabriel Jesus in the second half.

VAR later worked to the away side's benefit, enabling Sergio Aguero to score from a retaken penalty after Declan Rice encroached into the area to clear following Lukasz Fabianski's save from the initial attempt.

"It's a bit difficult during the game because you want the goal to stand," Sterling told BT Sport when asked about Jesus' disallowed strike.

"But at the end of the day, as long as the decision is right, that's all that matters."

Sterling has now tallied four goals in his two competitive appearances this term, having netted against Liverpool during last weekend's Community Shield.

The 24-year-old believes his superb start is the product of a dedicated focus on finishing in training.

"It's something I'm trying to improve on," Sterling said. "With the players we've got here - Gabriel, Sergio, Riyad [Mahrez] - there's competition in training every day.

"It's just a joy to put the ball in the back of the net and everyone here is trying to do that to help the team.

"It was quite difficult in the first half to get the cobwebs off.

"The breathing was heavy so some of the touches were sloppy, but once the team got into a rhythm you can find the passes easier and once that second goal went in things went a lot smoother and a lot more chances came."

And so it begins. Where is the game? Has it gone already?

After a ragged first-half showing punctuated by Gabriel Jesus' superbly crafted opener, Manchester City were hitting their stride at London Stadium.

Kevin De Bruyne's typically immaculate throughball allowed Raheem Sterling to double the advantage for Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions and West Ham were cut to ribbons once more as David Silva and Sterling left Gabriel Jesus with a tap-in.

But wait… what?

As both teams prepared to restart, referee Mike Dean was informed Sterling – or, more accurately, the tip of Sterling's left shoulder was offside. No goal.

What followed was an example of the ripples we might expect to see, now VAR has been dropped into the Premier League pond – the choppy waters caused now largely becalmed in Europe's other major leagues.

In the final analysis, City coasted to a leisurely 5-0 win, but in the immediate aftermath of the disallowed goal, their composure deserted them.

Television replays showed Sterling telling Dean exactly what he thought of the call and a home crowd, who were operating at a hush moments earlier, roared West Ham forward.

Issa Diop saw his header drop on to the roof of the City goal, in which Ederson made a stunning double save to maintain a two-goal advantage.

Contentious decisions changing the momentum of games by affecting the composure of those involved is nothing new in football. But those moments normally come through a sense of injustice due to anger at an officiating mistake.

City's second-half wobble jarred because it was caused by a decision correct to the millimetre after an incident that prompted no complaint from any of the 22 players on the field.

This did not feel like the game being made better by technology. The same could be said for Sterling's lengthy wait to have the second goal of his hat-trick confirmed, nor Sergio Aguero getting a second go at beating Lukasz Fabianski form the penalty spot due to Declan Rice encroaching and clearing the rebound.

"It's a bit difficult during the game because you want your goal to stand," Sterling told BT Sport. "But at the end of the day, if the decision's right, that's all that matters."

The Premier League must hope fans are just as magnanimous. They shouldn't hold their breath.

Saturday's early game did not even delve into the murky world of interpretation – foul or no foul – which is where you'd have expected the fun to begin.

The decisions Dean had assistance with were absolutes, a matter of lines and where players stood in relation to them.

But, even though this should be simple – like whether a tennis serve is out or an lbw call in cricket has pitched outside leg stump – football has never operated to such degrees of accuracy.

VAR is subjecting the laws of the game to a scrutiny they were never designed to withstand and, if technology is to be accepted by fans, this is where changes should be.

"It looked level", "borderline" and other such accepted vagaries have to be obliterated along with all other shades of grey.

Perhaps, in terms of offside, there should be a move to drawing the line where "daylight" appears between opponents, as opposed to any part of the body a player can use to score – the factor that did for Sterling.

But defenders would be entitled to argue this skews the balance further in favour of attackers, who have been shown to get the benefit of repeatedly replayed penalty incidents and hardline interpretations of the handball rule.

The technology is only as effective as the rules it is being used to help implement. Right now, those do not feel up to standard.

Raheem Sterling's hat-trick inspired a 5-0 rout of West Ham as Manchester City commenced their quest for a third straight Premier League title in style in a contest where VAR played a prominent role.

The England star struck a sublime second-half treble after Gabriel Jesus prodded the champions ahead in the 25th minute of a one-sided affair at the London Stadium.

Sterling's well-worked first goal came six minutes after the interval and though a VAR review found he was offside before Jesus tapped in, he did find the net again 15 minutes from time to put City beyond the Hammers' reach.

He could have added the third from the spot after Issa Diop fouled Riyad Mahrez but gifted the spot-kick to Sergio Aguero, which the substitute converted on a re-take, awarded following another VAR intervention.

Sterling was not to be denied the match ball, though, as he raced clean through in added time to compound an embarrassing eighth straight defeat for West Ham in competitive meetings with Pep Guardiola's men.

Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus has become the first Premier League player to have a goal ruled out by a VAR review.

Jesus opened the scoring before half-time against West Ham at London Stadium, with Raheem Sterling putting Pep Guardiola's defending champions 2-0 to the good on the opening weekend.

The Brazil international appeared to have settled the contest when David Silva and Sterling unpicked the Hammers to leave him with a tap-in.

But referee Mike Dean was informed Sterling's left shoulder was fractionally offside when he darted on to Silva's pass, leading to roars from the home crowd and disbelief among the City players.

City were infamously denied in similar circumstances against Tottenham during last season's Champions League quarter-finals – Sterling thinking he had won the tie deep into stoppage time at the Etihad Stadium before replays showed Sergio Aguero's heel was just offside during the build-up.

Manchester City's record signing Rodri has been named to make his Premier League debut as the champions begin their title defence against West Ham.

The Spain international joins Kevin De Bruyne and new captain David Silva in midfield but fellow new arrival Joao Cancelo has to settle for a place on the bench.

Rodri, 23, started the Community Shield triumph over Liverpool and seven members of that team have held their places.

The serious knee injury Leroy Sane suffered last weekend opens the door to Gabriel Jesus, who wins a spot in the XI ahead of Sergio Aguero.

Riyad Mahrez has been cleared to play and replaces Bernardo Silva on the flank opposite to Raheem Sterling.

City left Mahrez out of their Community Shield squad as they had been unable to establish whether he inadvertently ingested a banned substance while on international duty with Algeria at the Africa Cup of Nations.

West Ham, meanwhile, have included their own record acquisition, striker Sebastien Haller, for Saturday's clash at the London Stadium.

Manuel Pellegrini's men will attempt to reverse a seven-match losing streak against City in all competitions.

 

Jose Mourinho will be keeping a close eye on the Premier League this season in a new punditry role with broadcaster Sky Sports.

The 56-year-old will be in the studio when former clubs Manchester United and Chelsea meet at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Mourinho has not worked as a manager since being sacked by United in December.

He worked as a pundit alongside ex-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger for beIN Sports last season after providing analysis of the World Cup on Russian television network RT.

"The Premier League is a special competition for me, one that takes so much hard work to win and you just can't take your eyes off the matches every week," Mourinho said.

"Sky Sports is the home of the Premier League and it's a pleasure for me to join this team and help to understand and explain what happened in each match.

"Football is a huge passion, it means so much to the fans, and I look forward to being part of the Premier League with them until I return to my place on the touchline."

Mourinho, a Champions League winner with Porto and Inter, recently expressed his "burning" desire to get back to coaching in one of Europe's top five leagues.

"I have to be patient and that's the most difficult thing," he said in July.

Frank Lampard insists selling the experienced David Luiz to Arsenal was not about sending a message to his Chelsea squad.

The Blues boss rejected reports his former team-mate went on strike to force the deadline day move and instead described the surprise transfer as a decision made purely for footballing reasons.

Chelsea are understood to have gained £8million in return but have been left with only a single centre-back aged over 24.

Lampard, a first-time head coach at Premier League level, denied David Luiz's departure had anything to do with wanting to stamp his authority at Stamford Bridge.

"I think it would have been naive to try to flex my muscles," Lampard said.

"I don't need to do that.

"I just play it as I see it. I watch how the players train, I watch how the players react in the dressing room, how the spirit is. And then I have to make decisions.

"The last thing I want to do is look back on these times and think 'I wish I had done that differently'.

"These are just decisions that I do daily. If it looks like [a power play] from the outside, then it wasn't. I did it purely as a football decision."

Chelsea begin their Premier League campaign away to Manchester United on Sunday.

Kurt Zouma is expected to partner Andreas Christensen at the heart of defence as Antonio Rudiger steps up his recovery from a knee injury sustained last season.

Unai Emery has admitted to discussing an Arsenal exit with much-maligned defender Shkodran Mustafi.

The Gunners have developed new depth at centre-back following the deadline day signing of David Luiz from Chelsea and Calum Chambers' return from a loan spell at Fulham.

Mustafi, 27, ranks behind that pair and Sokratis Papastathopoulos in the pecking order and could still be allowed to find a new club before the transfer window closes across Europe on September 2.

Signed in 2016, the Germany international has failed to impress in the Premier League and was booed by his own fans during a friendly loss to Lyon at Emirates Stadium.

"I spoke with him when we finished last season, I spoke with him when we started pre-season and I spoke with him also two weeks ago saying maybe there was the possibility he can leave," Emery said of the former Sampdoria and Valencia player.

"But I don't have doubts if he needs to play because he is a good player.

"We decided to be more competitive in each position, at centre-back with David Luiz, with another player in the middle with [Dani] Ceballos, with Kieran Tierney, with [Nicolas] Pepe.

"I think being more competitive [means] we can respond better in the season.

"Some players, maybe they can play less with that situation and can leave.

"But it's one decision taken with the player, with the club, with the team. At the moment [Mustafi] is here and really, if we need, he plays with us. I have confidence he will do well."

Mustafi's likely replacement, David Luiz, has not been without his own detractors.

The 32-year-old courted criticism for erratic performances throughout two stints at Stamford Bridge, but Emery is backing the Brazilian to be a success in north London.

"Last year he won the Europa League and he played every match in the Premier League," the Arsenal boss said

"It's very difficult to find something negative from him. There are a lot more positive things to help us."

Real Madrid are ready to present an incredible offer to Neymar to beat Barcelona to the signing of the Paris Saint-Germain star.

Neymar, 27, looks almost certain to leave the Parc des Princes before the transfer window closes, and the LaLiga rivals appear his most likely destinations.

With the window shut for Premier League clubs, the Brazil forward is set to dominate the headlines for weeks to come.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID TO OFFER NEYMAR €40M PER SEASON

Real Madrid are willing to offer Neymar a net salary of €40million per season and a five-year contract, according to Sport.

Neymar has been expected to return to Camp Nou, two years after his world-record €222m switch to PSG from Barcelona.

Marca report Neymar sees a move to Real Madrid his most likely avenue for a departure from the Ligue 1 champions.

ROUND-UP

- Mauro Icardi and Paulo Dybala's futures at Inter and Juventus respectively remain uncertain. Inter have no intention of selling their forward to Juve unless their rivals put in an offer of at least €75m or Dybala, according to Corriere dello Sport, which says the Serie A champions would prefer to send their Argentine abroad.

- PSG could be an option for Dybala, who was linked to Manchester United and Tottenham before the Premier League window closed. PSG have offered Dybala €11.8m per season, according to the Daily Mail, while they are likely to have to pay Juve at least €84m.

- Roma are looking to sign a defender and are interested in Liverpool's Dejan Lovren, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The centre-back's agent met with Roma, who are negotiating a loan for Lovren and are confident an agreement can be found.

- Like Dybala, Mario Mandzukic's Juventus future is uncertain. Sky Sport Italia say the Serie A club are in advanced talks with Bayern Munich for the Croatian striker to join the Bundesliga giants on loan with an option or obligation to buy for €15m.

- Mario Balotelli is reportedly close to joining Flamengo, but perhaps he has another option. Napoli are looking for an attacker and the forward's agent Mino Raiola offered Balotelli to the Serie A club, according to Corriere dello Sport, although the 28-year-old Italian is said not to be warm to the idea.

- It remains to be seen if Alexis Sanchez will spend the 2019-20 season with Manchester United. According to The Telegraph, Roma have been given the opportunity to take Sanchez on a season-long loan.

Mauricio Pochettino admitted Tottenham were still "vulnerable" with transfer windows across Europe's other top leagues open.

Spurs signed the likes of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon during a strong window, which closed in the Premier League on Thursday.

However, they face losing players – including Christian Eriksen – to clubs in Spain, Italy, Germany or France, with those markets remaining open.

Pochettino, whose team host Aston Villa on Saturday, said closing the window earlier in the Premier League had left Spurs exposed.

"I think that makes Tottenham more vulnerable," he told UK newspapers.

"That's between the club and the players, and there are different personal situations that will happen until the end when the windows shut across Europe."

Eriksen and defenders Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have entered the final years of their deals and could leave for free at the end of the season.

Departures would hurt Spurs' chances of success in 2019-20 and Pochettino is desperate to win his first trophy since taking over in 2014.

"My personal feeling, now I'm about to start my sixth season, is that a good season for us is to lift a trophy," he said.

"Carabao Cup, FA Cup, Premier League, Champions League, you know. It's not to put pressure on the team or the club but if you ask me to be successful this season it's not [just] to finish in the top four.

"For me, it's to win some title. Because if not, after last season and the [Champions League] final, the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, it's like 'come on, we are always there but we cannot touch the glory'."

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