Marcus Rashford is expected to make his return from a back injury late this season in a boost for Manchester United, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said.

Rashford, who has scored 19 goals this season, has been sidelined since mid-January due to the injury.

But amid fears the forward would miss the rest of the campaign, Solskjaer revealed the 22-year-old England international was likely to return late in 2019-20.

"The scan came back quite positive," he told UK newspapers.

"But we will give him the time he needs. He's desperate to come back, of course, but it'll be another couple of months before we see him, probably.

"We can't rush it, but when he is fit he will be stronger for it so when he comes back it's going to be a big boost for us."

While United are fifth in the Premier League ahead of visiting Everton on Sunday, they are in the FA Cup fifth round and Europa League last 16.

Solskjaer said Rashford was eager to return as United chase some silverware this season.

"He's around the place, in the dressing room before games, at half-time. He wants the boys to do well so he can come back and play in the Europa League, the FA Cup final," he said.

"He wants to be there when the business end comes."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp claimed he is not obsessed with breaking records after their hopes of going unbeaten for a whole Premier League season ended against Watford on Saturday.

The Reds suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season, ending a 44-game streak without a loss, after they were beaten 3-0 by the Hornets at Vicarage Road.

Watford's victory also denied Liverpool a chance to notch up the longest winning sequence in the English top flight after they entered the game with 18 consecutive wins.

However, Klopp explained he was not focused on reaching such milestones and only had eyes on the performance of his players.

"The boys already have so many records that we are not that greedy that we think we have to beat every one," Klopp told Sky Sports.

"You cannot get every record that you want. You have to perform. The result is a result of the performance.

"Tonight, we did not perform well enough. That's my concern. That's what I think about. Not that we cannot now be the best Premier League team ever.

"Now we can win football games again and set a new mark.

"It is always clear at one point we would lose a game - it's not that we were waiting for it. Actually, the opposite."

Klopp felt Liverpool were simply not up to their usual high standards against the Hornets.

Ismaila Sarr scored twice for Watford while skipper Troy Deeney put the gloss on the result with the third for Nigel Pearson's side.

"Why has it come to an end? We were not good enough - easy as that," the German said.

"I knew that it was always very difficult but with the extra things around it's extra motivation for who can beat us the first time.

"We don't have that. We just have to win a game, and everything is fine. Win more games and everything is fine. Win a lot of games - an unexpected number of games - and everything is fine.

"We are human beings and the boys did outstandingly well, so tonight does not have anything to do with games we won before."

Multiple Liverpool players looked short of their best and Klopp accepted his side made too many errors.

He added: "Watford did exactly what they wanted to do, we did exactly what we didn't want to do.

"First half was a lot of running, second balls and open situations. We didn't cross and pass in the right moment.

"We changed it but could not get the benefit of it because we conceded a goal from a throw-in. It's not decisive at 1-0 if you react well.

"At 2-0 it's also not decisive but the third one we had a hand in. It was a game that Watford won and congratulations, well done. We have to accept it."

Virgil van Dijk branded Liverpool's performance in Saturday's shock 3-0 defeat to Watford as "unacceptable" as their 44-match unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an abrupt end.

The Reds went to Vicarage Road on the back of 18 successive league wins, one short of setting a new record, but they were nowhere near their best as Watford ran out deserved winners.

Ismaila Sarr was the star of the show, scoring Watford's first two and then teeing up Troy Deeney for the clincher 17 minutes from time, all three goals coming after the lively Gerard Deulofeu was forced off with a potentially serious knee injury.

Liverpool rarely threatened Ben Foster's goal and Van Dijk accepts the Reds simply were not good enough, with the Dutchman particularly critical of the manner of the loss.

"If you concede three goals – that's something we didn't do for quite a while – obviously we have to improve as a team in total, and we will," Van Dijk told Sky Sports.

"It's tough to take this one. I think the only positive is we have an FA Cup game [against Chelsea] in just a couple of days.

"In our last game, [we conceded] one set-piece, one good goal. Today [Saturday] it should be better, that is clear, but if you look at whole season we've been good defensively, I think we've the most clean sheets in the league.

"But we know there's room for improvement. That's the good thing about our mentality, we won't walk away from this either, we have to improve, do better.

"It's unacceptable that we lose here 3-0, in this way as well. The whole season we didn't lose a game like this, I think they did very well, but we should've done better. We want to strike back, and we will."

Defeat means Liverpool will be unable to go the entire season unbeaten, though Van Dijk insists such situations never went through the players' minds anyway.

When asked if the defeat or missing out on an 'invincible' season hurts most, Van Dijk said: "Losing hurts, the records are only for the media and everyone who is talking about it.

"We didn't mention it once. We keep going, we want to win our next match in the FA Cup, then we have Bournemouth at home and we want to strike back, show what we've been doing the whole season and that's the only way forward."

Despite the loss, Liverpool remain 22 points clear of Manchester City at the summit.

For the first time since January 3, 2019, Liverpool have tasted defeat in a Premier League match.

Ismaila Sarr's second-half double and Troy Deeney's strike earned relegation-threatened Watford a surprise 3-0 victory at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Though it is unlikely to prevent the Reds from lifting the title - with Jurgen Klopp's side still 22 points clear of Manchester City - it did stop them from surpassing Arsenal's record sequence in Premier League history.

Here we recall how the longest unbeaten runs in Premier League history ended.

 

ARSENAL (2003-04) - 49-MATCH STREAK ENDED BY 2-0 LOSS TO MANCHESTER UNITED

Behind fans of the Hornets, Arsene Wenger's 'Invincibles' were probably the happiest about Liverpool's loss on Saturday.

Their record run, which spanned between May 2003 and October 2004, included an entire campaign unbeaten - just the second in English top-flight history after Preston North End in 1888-89.

It was their great rivals of the time that prevented them from reaching 50 unbeaten, though, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney scoring in a 2-0 victory at Old Trafford in a contest best remembered for 'Pizzagate', with Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson hit by a slice in the tunnel after the game.

 

LIVERPOOL (2019-2020) - 44-MATCH STREAK ENDED BY 3-0 LOSS TO WATFORD.

The Reds arrived at Vicarage Road having dropped just two points all season.

Yet in their 28th Premier League game of 2019-20, they were left with an unfamiliar feeling as Nigel Pearson's Hornets succeeded where no one else had in the campaign.

It was all the more remarkable given the Reds had won their previous 18 successive league games and Watford were winless in their past eight meetings against the Reds.

CHELSEA (2004-05) - 40-MATCH STREAK ENDED BY 1-0 LOSS TO MANCHESTER UNITED

The Blues were dominant in Jose Mourinho's maiden season in his first spell at Stamford Bridge, winning the title and finishing 12 points above Arsenal with 95 in total.

A 1-0 away loss to Manchester City in October 2004 was their only top-flight loss of that campaign and it was 13 months before they tasted defeat again, in the same city.

Darren Fletcher scored the only goal as United beat Mourinho's side 1-0 at Old Trafford, though it was Chelsea who would end the season with the last laugh as champions again.

 

ARSENAL (2001-02) - 30-MATCH UNBEATEN STREAK ENDED BY 2-1 LOSS TO EVERTON

Wenger's great teams had a habit of avoiding defeats and the bulk of this sequence occurred during their double-winning season of 2001-02.

Everton were beaten twice in a 13-game winning run to end that term but they got their revenge the following October through a then largely unknown striker.

It appeared as if the Gunners were on course to make it 31 unbeaten at Goodison Park but a 16-year-old Rooney had other ideas, curling a brilliant 30-yard strike in off the crossbar in the final minute for his first Premier League goal.

MANCHESTER CITY (2017-18) - 30-MATCH UNBEATEN STREAK ENDED BY 4-3 LOSS TO LIVERPOOL

Pep Guardiola's side from two seasons ago was perhaps the best the Premier League has ever seen as they won the title with 100 points and having scored 106 goals.

Yet they did suffer two league losses in that campaign, the first occurring as Klopp's men won a thriller at Anfield by scoring three times in an eight-minute spell to go 4-1 up.

City netted twice in the final six minutes but fell short at a ground where they had not won since 2003.

Liverpool's 44-match unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an abrupt end with their first loss of the season in a 3-0 reverse at Watford on Saturday, Ismaila Sarr and Troy Deeney combining to down the Reds.

Jurgen Klopp's men went into the clash at Vicarage Road on the back of 18 successive league wins, one short of a new record, but the bright Hornets were thoroughly deserving of the victory to boost their survival hopes.

Watford's promising start looked as though it might go to waste when Gerard Deulofeu – their chief threat – was forced off with a potentially significant knee problem before half-time.

But the home side maintained their level after the interval and the lively Sarr was hugely effective with two goals, and Deeney finished them off 17 minutes from the end as Liverpool's hopes of an 'invincible' season were vanquished.

Liverpool offered little in a muted first-half display, with Watford looking much livelier in attack through Deulofeu.

He troubled Trent Alexander-Arnold twice early on as he put a couple of shots just off target, cutting inside and curling an effort just over the top-right corner inside the box for the second.

But the Spaniard's match ended early in the 37th minute when he had to be carried off on a stretcher, having seemingly suffered a serious knee injury during a tussle with Virgil van Dijk.

Watford were unlucky to not lead just before half-time – Alisson making a mess of a routine collection, but Deeney failed to capitalise.

Liverpool failed to improve after the interval and Watford eventually got a deserved opener, as Abdoulaye Doucoure latched on to a throw-in and lashed the ball into the danger zone for Sarr to prod home.

The winger got a second in even more impressive circumstances soon after, chasing Deeney's brilliant throughball behind Van Dijk and cheekily lifting his finish over the approaching Alisson.

Sarr was crucial again for Deeney's clincher, chasing down Alexander-Arnold's woeful back-pass and teeing up his strike partner who calmly turned in with Alisson in no-man's land.

What does it mean? Watford give the rest hope and boost survival chances

Liverpool's lead at the Premier League summit remains a hugely impressive 22 points even with this defeat, but Watford exposed their weakness – playing behind the full-backs – impressively, potentially giving a little inspiration to the rest of the pack.

Manchester City certainly will not be predicting a collapse from the Reds that allows them a way back in, but if anything can renew hope, it is this, with Watford - now out of the bottom three on goal difference - surely full of confidence in their relegation tussle

Sarr quality

Watford's young winger has enjoyed some impressive performances in big games this season, but this was on another level. Two goals and an assist, you cannot ask for much more than that.

Alexander-Arnold all at sea

The Liverpool and England right-back has rightly received much praise for his creative abilities this season, but questions have been raised about his defensive attributes and concentration at the back, and they will likely appear again after this horror show.

What's next?

Liverpool turn their attentions to the FA Cup next, as they go to Chelsea in the fifth round on Tuesday, before hosting Bournemouth in the Premier League four days later. Watford's fight to avoid relegation resumes at Crystal Palace the same day.

Frank Lampard was left to rue "a bad 10-minute spell" as Chelsea were held to a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday.

The second goal of Marcos Alonso's double came five minutes from time at the Vitality Stadium, securing a point for the visitors after Jefferson Lerma and Joshua King had struck in quick succession to eclipse the Spaniard's first-half opener. 

Blues boss Lampard saw his side beaten 3-0 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday, when the German giants scored two goals in three minutes.

And, after Lerma and King's goals came 176 seconds apart on the south coast, Lampard questioned his players' concentration levels.

"We should win, we had many chances," he said. "We had a bad 10-minute spell where they scored and that I don't like.

"I'm pleased with the character to get a draw but we should win the game.

"Against Bayern we conceded twice in a short space of time, it's not the first time. Could it be a lack of concentration? Possibly from the players.

"People talk about the defence but if you are 1-0 up and leave teams in the game then one set-piece can change the game.

"We should score more goals and then we don't have that problem."

The result leaves Chelsea vulnerable in fourth spot, with Manchester United able to close the gap to one point when they visit Everton on Sunday.

Lampard is pleased to have the advantage in what is a tight race for Champions League qualification, but knows it will only matter if they are still there at the end of the season.

"The way the season has panned out, we should be pleased that we are fourth but it means nothing at this stage," he said.

"If we manage to get in the top four the achievement is huge but we are a long way from that yet."

Marcos Alonso's 85th-minute equaliser earned Chelsea a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth as Frank Lampard's men missed the chance to go six points clear in fourth.

The Blues would have put some breathing room between themselves and Manchester United, who travel to Everton on Sunday, but they only claimed a share of the spoils as Alonso's brace was sandwiched between goals from Jefferson Lerma and Joshua King.

West Ham moved out of the bottom three as they beat Southampton 3-1, Jarrod Bowen marking his first start for the Hammers with a goal.

Jordan Ayew's strike earned Crystal Palace a 1-0 success at out-of-sorts Brighton and Hove Albion, while Newcastle United's home clash with Burnley ended goalless.

 

ALONSO'S ACTION-PACKED WEEK CONTINUES

Chelsea were looking to bounce back from their 3-0 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich on Tuesday, a game in which Alonso was sent off seven minutes from time.

The full-back retained his place at Bournemouth and scored for the second successive Premier League game to put Chelsea ahead only for Lerma and King to net within three minutes of each other in the second half.

Alonso headed in a late equaliser, though, as Chelsea moved four points clear of United and five above Tottenham and Sheffield United, all of whom have a game in hand.

BOWEN'S HOME BOW LEAVES HAMMERS HAPPY

David Moyes' West Ham won for the first time in eight Premier League games to climb above Aston Villa and Bournemouth up into 16th.

Bowen, who moved to London Stadium from Hull City for a reported £20million in January, scored the opening goal.

Although Michael Obafemi levelled, Sebastien Haller restored the hosts' lead before half-time and Michail Antonio made sure of the points.

EAGLES MARK HODGSON'S CENTURY WITH WIN

Croydon-born Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson took charge of his 100th top-flight game with the club at Brighton.

Ayew's second-half winner ensured Hodgson had extra cause to celebrate as they got one over their rivals.

Defeat for the Seagulls extended their winless run to eight Premier League games and they remain without a top-flight victory in 2020.

Marcos Alonso scored twice as Chelsea were made to work hard for a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday.

The full-back had given the visitors, reeling from a 3-0 midweek loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, a first-half lead at the Vitality Stadium.

But quickfire second-half goals from Jefferson Lerma and Joshua King looked set to pile the misery on Blues boss Frank Lampard.

However, Alonso had the final say, heading home five minutes from time after Aaron Ramsdale could only parry Pedro's strike.

Philip Billing had two excellent chances inside the opening five minutes as Bournemouth made a promising start.

Willy Caballero produced an instinctive save to repel a first-time effort from the Dane, who then nicked the ball away from a sleeping Fikayo Tomori before drilling hurriedly into the side netting. 

It was not all one-way traffic, though, and Mateo Kovacic's dipping shot called Ramsdale into action, before Callum Wilson's strike brought another stop from Caballero. 

Alonso broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute when he fired into an empty net after Olivier Giroud had flicked Reece James' cross onto the crossbar, with Ramsdale having already committed to the first attempt.

Giroud fluffed his lines badly from eight yards out early in the second half and was made to pay as the hosts struck twice in three minutes.

Lerma's header from Ryan Fraser's delivery was too hot for Caballero to handle and the turnaround was complete when King tapped home from Jack Stacey's cross.

A hail storm arrived in the final 25 minutes and Lampard had a face like thunder when substitute Michy Batshuayi had a goal ruled out for offside, only for Alonso's late intervention to ease his worries.

 

What does it mean? Race for fourth heating up

The Blues are looking increasingly vulnerable in fourth spot, with Manchester United able to close within a point if they beat Everton on Sunday. Tottenham will be two back with a win against Wolves, who are only six points back themselves.

For Bournemouth, this will have felt like two points dropped and there is only a two-point gap to Aston Villa in 18th.

Gritty Bournemouth denied

Credit is due to Bournemouth practically across the board. They were at it from the off and should have taken the lead inside five minutes. Even after the setback of falling behind, they kept their heads up and came roaring back at Chelsea. On this evidence, and despite the late goal, they will avoid the drop with ease.

Giroud awakening

Giroud opened the scoring in a crucial win over Spurs last time out in the Premier League but was wasteful on the south coast, his scruffy miss in the early stages of the second half representing a turning point.

What's next?

Runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool are up next for both sides. Chelsea host Jurgen Klopp's men in the FA Cup on Tuesday, while Bournemouth head to Anfield on Saturday.

Frank Lampard remains hopeful Chelsea can keep Willian at Stamford Bridge, with the winger having expressed frustration over the terms offered.

The Brazilian told Esporte Interativo, a TV channel in his homeland, he wanted a three-year deal, with the Premier League club only looking to extend his stay by two years.

Willian's contract is set to expire in July and the apparent impasse has raised doubts over his future.

However, Lampard believes a deal could still be struck to retain the 31-year-old's services

"It's an ongoing conversation," said the Blues boss.

"Maybe [Willian talking to the media] was not ideal timing but I get asked every three days here, players get asked after games and it's not always easy for them. People want some form of answer.

"Conversations are ongoing but at the minute I don't want to get too drawn into it because I am the manager of the team and don't want to look too far down towards the summer.

"It's why some of the headlines this week had a slight sense of frustration for me because we are working day-to-day to finish the job this season and we are not jumping ahead to the summer.

"But Willy's one is an ongoing situation. It's not over. We'll see."

Wiliian moved to Chelsea from Russian club Anzhi in 2013. He has scored four times in 26 Premier League appearances this season, with Chelsea fourth in the table ahead of Saturday's trip to Bournemouth.

Jurgen Klopp says Manchester City’s defeat of Real Madrid shows the strength of the Premier League despite Liverpool’s massive lead and he believes the Reds can get even better.

Liverpool are a mammoth 22 points clear of defending champions City as they bid to claim a first league title since 1990 in record-breaking fashion.

Klopp's men have dropped points only once all season - in a 1-1 draw at Manchester United – and are set to be crowned champions at a canter.

The German insists this is not evidence of a poor top flight, however, pointing to City's 2-1 Champions League first-leg victory in Madrid as proof Pep Guardiola’s side are still a force to be reckoned with.

"I couldn't care less [what people say]," Klopp said. "Look, it is completely normal. I don't think that we should have any concern for things like this.

"If other people think like that, if they think City are not as good as they were, they are. They have scored a little less goals than us, conceded a few more, and if you look why, it is clear they have been missing some players.

"The other teams are really strong, too. Yes, Bayern [Munich] beat Tottenham and Chelsea [in the Champions League] but they are really strong over a season.

"Yes, [Tottenham and Chelsea] have had some problems, that's all true. But in the moment that you play them, you don't feel that they have these problems. The points they have, we have no influence on that apart from the games when we play them.

"So, [Liverpool's dominance] says nothing about the quality of the Premier League, especially when you look at City v Real Madrid.

"I know that people look at these things, and you saw one of the best teams in the world maybe in the moment, and City were clearly better, so that shows as well how strong the league is."

However, Klopp still sees room for Liverpool to improve "in all departments", even if results could hardly be better.

"There is still a lot of work to do and a lot of space for improvement," he said.

"You see our games and result-wise it looks okay, but performance-wise there is a lot of space for improvement. That is what we work on and try constantly through the week.

"Result consistency is maybe difficult to improve because that is close to perfection, obviously, but it is possible to improve the performances in all departments.

"There are so many things you can improve that that will never end."

If you want to sign Kalidou Koulibaly, prepare to splash the cash.

Koulibaly is one of the most sought-after defenders in Europe and clubs are expected to come calling at the end of the season.

Teams from Spain, England, Germany and France are queuing up.

 

TOP STORY – NAPOLI SET KOULIBALY FEE

Napoli are ready to accept €99million (£85m) for star defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Koulibaly is reportedly wanted by Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is apparently unwilling to accept anything less than the price mentioned.

 

ROUND-UP

United are monitoring Fiorentina and Italy star Federico Chiesa, reports the Daily Mail. The 22-year-old winger has previously been linked to Juventus and Inter.

- Calciomercato journalist Fabrizio Romano says Juventus are set to meet with striker Gonzalo Higuain to discuss his future in Turin. The 32-year-old is out of contract in 2021.

- The Suns says Arsenal's Europa League exit has jeopardised their transfer plans. Mikel Arteta and the Gunners had reportedly lined up moves for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Jonathan Tah and Gent striker Jonathan David. However, the loss of income could damage Arsenal's plans.

- Fiorentina midfielder Gaetano Castrovilli is being pursued by Serie A rivals Inter, reports Calciomercato.

Atletico Madrid are eyeing a surprise swoop for Chelsea's Willian, claims Tuttomercatoweb. Willian will be available on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of the season. The Brazilian is yet to recommit to Chelsea. Barcelona, Tottenham and Russian outfit Lokomotiv Moscow have been credited with an interest.

Manchester City star Leroy Sane said he is feeling confident after stepping up his injury comeback via the club's Under-23 team in a boost for Pep Guardiola.

Sane had been sidelined since suffering anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) damage in the Community Shield clash against Liverpool in August but the rumoured Bayern Munich target returned on Friday.

The 24-year-old Germany international winger played 57 minutes as City defeated Arsenal 4-2 in the U23 clash at the Emirates Stadium.

"It felt really good," he said afterwards. "It was good to get a general feeling of how it is to be back on the pitch and how quick it can all be.

"There's still a gap until I'm 100 per cent and on the level I was before. There's no doubt about that, but generally, everything feels good.

"I feel confident and I had no problems, so I am happy with today. Of course it would be good if I could get back as soon as possible to the best I can be, like I was before. But I'm not putting a lot of pressure on myself to do that.

"I have to get used to the tempo and how quick it is because if you're out for the time I was, you have to get up to speed."

Sane has called City home since 2016 after arriving from Bundesliga outfit Schalke, and he has won two Premier League titles to go with FA Cup, EFL Cup and Community Shield honours.

Jose Mourinho says Tottenham wingers Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn should not be expected to excel in a central role, comparing the change in position to that of Kyle Walker playing in goal.

Spurs have lost both Harry Kane and Son Heung-min to injuries – although Mourinho is hopeful both could return ahead of schedule – and Moura and Bergwijn have consequently had to play as strikers.

Since Son suffered a fractured arm in his match-winning display at Aston Villa, Tottenham have lost at home to RB Leipzig in the Champions League and away at London rivals Chelsea in the Premier League.

Mourinho's side have scored just once across those two matches – an own goal by Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger at Stamford Bridge – yet the Tottenham head coach is not blaming his players.

He considers the issue to be similar to a scenario earlier in the season when Manchester City had to briefly field right-back Walker as a makeshift goalkeeper against Atalanta in the Champions League after Ederson was injured and back-up Claudio Bravo had been sent off.

"[It is difficult] if you ask somebody to do something that he's not used to doing, that he never learned how to do, and he is not a specialist at doing it," Mourinho told reporters ahead of Sunday's clash with Wolves.

"It's a bit like when some goalkeeper gets a red card and you play a player in goal, like Kyle Walker did with Manchester City.

"You don't expect Kyle Walker to make a phenomenal save and grab the ball and be tactically perfect."

But Mourinho is hopeful Moura and Bergwijn can learn on the job and benefit in the long term.

"You can always learn and, in this job, I think the accumulation of experiences are only making you better," he said. "With the players, it's a little bit of the same.

"For Lucas, for Bergwijn, for these wingers to be playing the way they are playing and [are] probably going to play until the end of the season, it's going to make them better players when they come to the inside.

"They are normally external players - they normally play in the corridor. In this moment, they are learning with the difficulties, they are learning how to play inside.

"So, I think they are going to be better wingers in the future because then they can mix their game in the corridor and their game when they come to the central areas. It's an accumulation of experience."

Jose Mourinho understands why Harry Kane was rushed back for last season's Champions League final but is unwilling to take any risks with the Tottenham striker's latest injury.

England captain Kane has been out since January 1 with a hamstring tear that required surgery.

Spurs have struggled for goals in their star man's absence, although Mourinho revealed on Friday the 26-year-old is ahead of schedule with his rehabilitation and could feature in the closing weeks of the campaign.

There will be no repeat of last season's perceived risk, however, when Kane played in the Champions League final less than eight weeks after suffering significant ankle ligament damage.

"Tottenham doesn't end in May," Mourinho told reporters. "There is Tottenham for many, many, many years, so we would never risk Harry in a difficult situation, no chance.

"He is going to be back when he is ready to be back."

That is not to say the Spurs coach has an issue with the call made under previous boss Mauricio Pochettino, though, as he understands the player's desire to feature in a major final.

"I would play only with one leg," he said. "If I was a player playing the Champions League final, I would play only with one leg. With crutches.

"How can you stop a player playing a Champions League final? Every player breaks protocol to play a Champions League final, to play a World Cup final.

"There are some matches where protocol means nothing. Nothing. So, if that was the case, I think it isn't the case to blame Harry or the medical department, it's just the nature of how football is."

Spurs had Fernando Llorente to fill the void in 2018-19, and Mourinho believes they would again have coped without Kane had Son Heung-min and Moussa Sissoko been available for selection.

"Even without 'Kane number two', our squad, without any problem, is a squad that can answer to the problems," he said. "Like last season, when Harry was injured, the squad managed to answer.

"Okay, I know Llorente played some matches, but they had Son, they had [Erik] Lamela, they had Sissoko, they had Lucas [Moura]. Our problem went to a limit because it was an accumulation.

"If instead of Kane, Sissoko and Son, it's Kane, a left-back and a right-back [out injured], our problems would not be of this dimension."

A spectacular first Premier League goal from Jamal Lewis secured a 1-0 win over Leicester City as Norwich City boosted their survival hopes.

Left-back Lewis' only previous senior strike came against Chelsea in the FA Cup in 2018, but a low, angled drive beat Kasper Schmeichel with 20 minutes remaining at Carrow Road.

Dennis Praet had hit the base of the post in a first half Leicester controlled, while the visitors were frustrated four minutes after the restart when a superb opener from Kelechi Iheanacho was ruled out following a VAR review, the striker having controlled the ball with his hand.

However, Schmeichel was twice forced into saves from powerful Ondrej Duda drives, and an improved Norwich spell resulted in the crucial goal.

Daniel Farke's men move to within four points of safety, having played a game more than their relegation rivals, while Leicester - missing Jamie Vardy on Friday - remain third but have now won just once in their last seven outings in the league.

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