Virgil van Dijk felt Liverpool shot themselves in the foot as their hopes of setting a record Premier League points haul were ended by a 2-1 loss at Arsenal.

Liverpool, already crowned champions for the 2019-20 season, led through Sadio Mane at Emirates Stadium but the normally assured Van Dijk and Alisson both gave the ball away for the Gunners' two first-half goals.

Alexandre Lacazette and Reiss Nelson took advantage of the blunders to boost Arsenal's top-six hopes as Mikel Arteta's side bounced back from the derby loss to Tottenham at the weekend.

The defeats means Jurgen Klopp's Reds can now only finish with a maximum of 99 points – one shy of Manchester City's landmark total from two seasons ago – and Van Dijk acknowledged Liverpool had nobody to blame but themselves.

"The goals we give them, as a present," the Netherlands international told Sky Sports.

"Until their first goal I think it was totally us, we dominated, put pressure on them and we gave them two goals.

"Obviously then it's difficult to come back. We created some opportunities, they tried to break at us on times but if you give the goals away like we did – including myself – then you get what you deserve.

"If you look at the goals then they shouldn't happen, but until then there was nothing wrong. We played very well, pressed them, scored a fantastic goal. 

"A moment of concentration, that happens in football sometimes as well, you have to deal with it and today, unfortunately, we had to deal with it twice."

This was Liverpool's seventh game since the restart and they have dropped points in four of them.

Two of their defeats have come after they were confirmed as champions, yet Van Dijk feels using that as an excuse is unfair.

"It's so easy to say that, it's so easy to blame that," he added.

"If you watch the game, until I made a mistake, there was nothing wrong. We played well.

"I had a feeling we could win here, comfortably, at one point. But if you give them the goals, you see what happens.

"Unfortunately, I made the mistake. I take the blame for it, of course, I take it as a man and we move on."

Mikel Arteta believes he faces a tougher job at Arsenal than Arsene Wenger did when he arrived in London in 1996, although he sees evidence the Gunners are fighting for him now.

Arsenal defeated Premier League champions Liverpool 2-1 on Wednesday, but Arteta acknowledged the gap between the sides remains "enormous".

Asked by Sky Sports to compare his brief with that of Wenger, who took over a team that had finished fifth in the previous season and won the title in his second campaign, Arteta did not shy away from the scale of the task.

"I think the context is different," said the Spaniard, who replaced Unai Emery in December. "I think the competition in the country right now is much harder than it was before.

"Arsene did some incredible things and he brought a new philosophy, new ideas to the country, and he was very successful. I've done nothing yet. I have everything to do.

"We will need support, we will need belief, and we need to go in the direction, it doesn't matter what happens."

Arsenal trailed to Sadio Mane's opener and only claimed the lead after uncharacteristic Liverpool errors let in Alexandre Lacazette and Reiss Nelson.

Arteta was therefore under no illusion that Arsenal are ready to compete with the Reds, explaining: "It's massive. We only need to look at the difference between the two teams today.

"The gap is enormous. The gap in many areas we cannot improve in two months.

"But the gap in the accountability, the energy, the commitment and the fight is now equal. Before, it wasn't like this. I'm very proud of that.

"The rest will take some time, but at least we've got that now. My message to the players is, with that, we can create something."

Arteta recognises Arsenal will need to invest if they are to make up the deficit, however.

"I don't know [if Arsenal have the necessary finance] – it's a big concern," he accepted. "You just have to see how [Liverpool] build those squads and it's no magic.

"You need to improve with quality, quality players, and you need bigger squads to compete in this competition. That is the challenge."

Pep Guardiola repeated his praise for Gabriel Jesus but acknowledged his return to form in front of goal represented a boost to Manchester City.

Jesus has had a key role to play for City since the season's restart, with Sergio Aguero ruled out for the rest of the domestic campaign.

However, the Brazil striker had not scored since the February Champions League win at Real Madrid until netting in a rout of Newcastle United last week.

Jesus added to that strike in a 5-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion, then scored the decisive goal as City edged past struggling Bournemouth on Wednesday.

A third goal in three games for his front man gave Guardiola some cheer, even if he insisted Jesus' earlier contributions had also been appreciated.

"Even when it was the first four or five games and he didn't score, I said many times about the amount of things he is able to do for us," Guardiola told a news conference.

"But we are very satisfied for him, for the team. In the past three games, he's scored three goals and he's playing really well.

"He can play in different positions. It's really good."

Jesus has started City's past six games in all competitions, but his involvement against Bournemouth – when others were rested – might hint at a substitute role for this weekend's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

And Guardiola confirmed his plans for the Wembley clash were in place regardless of performances in midweek.

"No, I rotated all of the team for this period," the manager explained. "Now we have time to recover, the players who played. Some players who played are going to play."

Liverpool saw their hopes of achieving a record Premier League points total extinguished at Arsenal as two errors resulted in a 2-1 loss for the champions.

The Reds needed at least a point to remain in with a chance of equalling Manchester City's 100-point haul from two seasons ago, and their hopes of reaching 102 were boosted by Sadio Mane's opener.

However, uncharacteristic gaffes from Virgil van Dijk and then goalkeeper Alisson saw the Gunners come from behind as they put Sunday's defeat to rivals Tottenham behind them.

Alexandre Lacazette equalised and Reiss Nelson scored his first Premier League goal to leave Liverpool on 93 points with just two games remaining.

There was an early warning regarding Emiliano Martinez's clearances when Roberto Firmino charged down one of his attempts and blocked the ball onto a post.

Ten minutes later, Martinez was harried again and Liverpool won the ball back from his kick, with Firmino releasing Andy Robertson to slide across for Mane, whose first-time finish gave the Reds a 20th-minute lead.

However, Arsenal quickly turned the game around following mistakes from Van Dijk and then Alisson.

First, Van Dijk, under pressure from Nelson, played a loose pass between Fabinho and Alisson, allowing Lacazette to capitalise for the equaliser.

Alisson was the next to sloppily give away possession, Lacazette again seizing upon the ball and squaring for Nelson to give the Gunners the lead prior to the interval.

Liverpool almost hit back early in the second period when Mohamed Salah, making his 150th appearance for the club, sat down David Luiz with a dummy before prodding towards goal only to see Martinez tip over the crossbar.

Jurgen Klopp called for Takumi Minamino from the bench and, after he dragged one shot wide, the Japan international felt he should have had a penalty when Kieran Tierney's pressure on him in the box went unpunished.

Salah then directed a weak header straight at Martinez, Mane fired a great opportunity wide and Trent Alexander-Arnold's deflected effort was saved as Liverpool saw their chance of becoming centurions pass them by.

 

What does it mean?

There was always a danger that Liverpool might fail to maintain their relentless pace once the season resumed, and this was the fourth time in seven games since the restart that they dropped points.

Their status as champions is, of course, already confirmed, but a record points haul is now beyond them. For Arsenal, this was an all-too-rare victory over a 'big six' club, which bodes well for the future and keeps them in the hunt for a top-six finish.

Lacazette not lacking

It is now three goals in four games for Lacazette, who has reached double figures in the Premier League in each of his three seasons in London.

His quick thinking saw him make the most of Liverpool's errors and, having looked like a spare part early in Mikel Arteta's reign, Lacazette is making himself a vital cog again.

Alisson all at sea

Van Dijk should cop the flak for the first Arsenal goal but, having just seen his team-mate make such a basic error, Alisson's blunder was even more unforgivable.

The arrival of those two in 2018 transformed Liverpool into Champions League winners, and then Premier League champions, but this was a night to forget.

What's next?

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – who started on the bench as one of five changes – will be expected to return to the starting line-up for Arsenal's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City on Saturday. Liverpool will hope to complete an unbeaten Premier League season at Anfield against Chelsea next Wednesday, when they will also finally get their hands on the trophy.

Jose Mourinho appeared to take aim at Pep Guardiola and Manchester City over their Financial Fair Play (FFP) dispute as he bristled at a question regarding his Tottenham team selection.

Mourinho oversaw Spurs' 3-1 win at Newcastle United on Wednesday, with Harry Kane on the scoresheet twice – passing 200 club career goals – as the London outfit boosted their hopes of European qualification.

But even after victory – Mourinho's first in the Premier League at St James' Park – the head coach's focus did not seem to stray far from the result of City's appeal this week.

Guardiola's side were initially banned from European competition for two years by UEFA but successfully appealed against that punishment at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Mourinho called the outcome "a disgraceful decision" and again made reference to FFP following the game on Tyneside, going slightly off piste as he discussed his line-up.

Asked about Steven Bergwijn's role as a substitute, Mourinho replied: "You do this question to me but not to [Frank] Lampard, to [Jurgen] Klopp, to Pep.

"Lampard plays [Christian] Pulisic, you don't ask him why he doesn't start [Callum] Hudson-Odoi. Pep leaves Bernardo on bench, you don't ask why he doesn't start Bernardo Silva.

"I'm the only guy who doesn't have the right to play certain players. If Bergwijn started, you'd be asking me why Lucas [Moura] didn't start.

"You don't ask [Wolves boss] Nuno [Espirito Santo] why he leaves [Adama] Traore on the bench. [Bergwijn] is a team player, he plays for Tottenham."

It was put to Mourinho that he would be pleased by Bergwijn's impact from the bench, prompting his reply: "It is credibility for the players and for the group.

"We need good players and more than 11. We need a good group of players. And if we can do that without breaking FFP, we'll do even better."

Mourinho was cheerier as he discussed the end of his St James' Park hoodoo, halting a run of seven games as a visiting manager in the league without victory.

"It's special for us as we needed these three points," he said. "For me, it's a good feeling.

"I'm very happy for the team and finally I can leave the stadium and look at the statue of [former mentor] Bobby Robson and smile at him."

Jose Mourinho hailed Serge Aurier's character and lavished praise on Harry Kane after Tottenham's 3-1 win at Newcastle United.

Kane scored the 200th and 201st club goals of his career in the second half to give Mourinho his first Premier League victory at St James' Park on Wednesday.

Son Heung-min put the visitors in front in the first half, but Matt Ritchie deservedly equalised with a stunning second-half strike.

Kane made wasteful Newcastle pay for a lack of ruthlessness to move his side up to seventh in the table with two games to play in the battle for European qualification.

Mourinho lauded his captain and full-back Aurier, who played the entire game just two days after the death of his brother.

"We had resilience and a great desire to win the match and to fight until the last for our objective which is the Europa League," the Spurs boss told Match of the Day.

"Since I started we are fourth in the table. If we cannot get the Champions League than the Europa League is important."

The Portuguese added: "Harry Kane knows how important he is, he is incredible.

"After such a difficult recovery [from injury] he is playing every minute of every game, this is the fourth game with two days in between, we are the only team to have this, and Harry gave everything.

"I am proud of them and happy with the points. Serge Aurier is a very strong character, every person is different and in his case he wanted to play."

David Silva produced a decisive display in Manchester City's 2-1 win over Bournemouth on Wednesday, leaving Pep Guardiola in awe of the departing playmaker.

Silva, 34, joined City in 2010 and has gone on to enjoy a wonderful career in Manchester, winning 11 major trophies and establishing himself as a club icon.

The veteran midfielder looks set to depart at the end of the season, with a return to Spain likely as he winds down his glittering career.

But on Wednesday he provided another reminder that his days at the top are by no means over, as he scored with a wonderful free-kick, before then setting up Gabriel Jesus.

It was an unconvincing win, but Guardiola was thrilled with Silva.

"He is in an incredible performance, he is one of the guys who came back from lockdown in an incredible position," Guardiola told Sky Sports.

"He's in an incredible condition right now, incredible condition, and the way he is playing is really good.

"His mentality with and without the ball, scoring goals – it's his second in a row with the free-kick. He's really, really well."

When Silva initially joined from Valencia, there were certainly some doubts over whether the technical midfielder could adapt to the Premier League.

But he resoundingly disproved his doubters, and Guardiola hopes he gets to see out the final years of his career in a place of his choosing.

"All the people think about it with this situation, to come here and play in this league it will not be easy, but it shows the mentality of David, he has [it], so the reality was like this," Guardiola continued.

"He decided to go, so hopefully he can find the place where he wants to play his last years."

Wolves' slim Champions League hopes were dealt a huge blow after Chris Wood's stoppage-time penalty earned Burnley a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor.

After Romain Saiss and Diogo Jota passed up decent opportunities in the first half, Raul Jimenez slammed home his 17th Premier League goal of the season with a deadly volley in the 76th minute.

Burnley's hopes of snatching a draw appeared to be over after Wood failed to head Matej Vydra's back-post knockdown into a gaping goal from inside the six-yard box, but referee Mike Dean awarded the hosts a penalty for a handball by substitute Matt Doherty.

Wood atoned for his earlier miss by firing the spot-kick into the top-right corner in the 96th minute, meaning Wolves will find themselves six points adrift of the top four with two matches remaining if either Leicester City or Manchester United win their game in hand on Thursday.

Harry Kane scored the 200th and 201st club goals of his career as Tottenham boosted their bid for European qualification with a 3-1 win at Newcastle United.

Kane had gone three games without a goal, but the England captain headed home twice as Jose Mourinho celebrated his first Premier League victory at St James' Park.

Son Heung-min opened the scoring for Tottenham in the first half with his 18th goal of the season, but Matt Ritchie deservedly levelled after the break with a thunderous drive.

Kane restored the London club's advantage four minutes later, though, and struck again late on as Spurs followed up their derby win over Arsenal with another three points to move up to seventh with two games to play.

Tottenham were not at their best but ground out another victory, Serge Aurier showing great character to play just two days after the death of his brother.

Newcastle did not start like a team that had lost their last two games and Jonjo Shelvey spurned a great chance to put them in front, heading Ritchie's inviting cross over the crossbar from close range unchallenged after Miguel Almiron had an early shot deflected wide.

Son made the Magpies pay for their profligacy, DeAndre Yedlin allowing him too much room inside the penalty area to find bottom-left corner of the net after Fabian Schar had given the ball away after 27 minutes.

Martin Dubravka produced an acrobatic save to deny Son from long range soon after and Newcastle were almost level when Dwight Gayle headed Shelvey's inviting cross against the post.

Steve Bruce's side were level 11 minutes into the second half, though, Aurier's attempted clearance only finding the onrushing Ritchie, who smashed a stunning strike into the far corner.

Kane ensured Newcastle were not level for long, however, nodding in substitute Steven Bergwijn's cross to reach another landmark.

Valentino Lazaro found the side-netting as Newcastle strived for an equaliser, but Kane sealed it when he nodded in with time running out after Erik Lamela's shot was palmed into his path by Dubravka.

David Silva and Gabriel Jesus did the damage as Manchester City earned an unconvincing 2-1 home win over Bournemouth on Wednesday, nudging their visitors closer to the brink.

Eddie Howe's Cherries went into the contest on the back of a shock 4-1 win over Champions League hopefuls Leicester City, but they had no such joy in Manchester, with Silva providing another reminder of his class as his Premier League career winds to its conclusion.

The Spanish midfielder opened the scoring with a wonderful free-kick and then found Jesus for City's excellent second, but in the intervening period Bournemouth were twice unfortunate not to net themselves.

Joshua King then strayed agonisingly offside while scoring a second-half goal the visitors had chalked off, before David Brooks did net legally two minutes from time.

But it was too little, too late, as City clung on at the end as Bournemouth remained three points adrift of safety.

Although Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling dropped to the bench, City began with great intent and took just six minutes to open the scoring – Silva bending a free-kick around the wall and in from 25 yards.

Bournemouth responded excellently, however.

Junior Stanislas went close with a free-kick of his own just past the half-hour mark, as Ederson tipped it on to the post and then got lucky as the ball struck his head and went out for a corner.

Dominic Solanke then saw a close-range effort crucially deflected just over by Nicolas Otamendi, and City capitalised in the 39th minute, Jesus finding the bottom-right corner after a wonderful slaloming run.

Bournemouth were unfortunate again with an hour played – King turned Stanislas' shot in from close range, but a VAR review showed the Norwegian was marginally offside.

City had another escape soon after, with Dan Gosling's effort blocked by Ilkay Gundogan after Ederson had fumbled a cross.

Ederson's clean sheet was wiped out in the 88th minute, with Callum Wilson squaring to Brooks for an easy finish on the break, but City managed to hold on in the face of intense late pressure.


What does it mean? A hint of hope remains for Bournemouth

Even after their remarkable win over Leicester, this was never going to be a realistic chance for three points, given the obvious gulf between the two sides.

In any other scenario, this loss would have essentially doomed Bournemouth, but they can take solace in the fact that at least one of Watford and West Ham – the two teams directly above them on 34 points – will drop points on Friday as they face each other at London Stadium.

Silva stands out

It was hardly a vintage performance from City, but Silva was his usual classy self, opening the scoring in style, before releasing Jesus for his goal with a well-weighted pass.

Big shoes to Phil

Phil Foden is expected to be Silva's so-called heir at City, and while there is no doubt he is a fine talent, he was a little quiet in this game. He did eventually come to life towards the end, setting up half-time substitute Sterling for a chance before then going close himself, but on the whole he was somewhat disappointing.

What's next?

City turn their attentions to the FA Cup now, as they prepare to face Arsenal at Wembley in Saturday's semi-final clash, before going to Watford in the league three days later. Bournemouth's faltering fight against relegation resumes with the visit of Southampton on Sunday.

Liverpool will finally lift the Premier League trophy in a presentation on the famous Anfield Kop following their final home match against Chelsea.

The Reds had waited 30 years for a top-flight title but claimed the championship for the first time in the Premier League era in a dominant 2019-20 campaign.

However, due to measures put in place amid the coronavirus pandemic, Anfield will stand empty again for the Chelsea game, Liverpool's latest behind-closed-doors fixture next Wednesday.

Nonetheless, Jurgen Klopp's side will still find a way to incorporate the Kop into their celebrations.

Rather than greeting a wall of supporters, Liverpool will take their place in the stand following the match for captain Jordan Henderson to receive their silverware – a ceremony usually carried out on the pitch.

Kenny Dalglish – the club's last title-winning manager – will join Premier League chief executive Richard Masters in giving out the medals.

Liverpool have earned 93 points from 35 matches this season as they attempt to top Manchester City's 2017-18 record haul of 100 points.

They face Arsenal away on Wednesday and, after hosting Chelsea, finish the season at Newcastle United.

Chelsea's recent signing Hakim Ziyech is confident he can dispel fears that the Premier League will be too physical for him.

Winger Ziyech completed his move from Ajax to Stamford Bridge at the start of this month after a £33.3million deal was agreed between the two clubs back in February.

The Moroccan's creativity was evident throughout his time in the Eredivisie - where he provided at least 10 assists in each of his six previous campaigns - while he scored five times during Ajax's run to the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finals too.

However, Ziyech's former Ajax team-mate Anwar El Ghazi - who now plays for Aston Villa - jokingly told his friend he would need to hit the gym to adjust to the demands of the Premier League.

Ziyech is aware of the theory he may be too lightweight to thrive in the English top flight, yet he believes his intelligence can help him adapt.

"They always told me the Premier League is a tough competition. I know it is," he told Chelsea TV.

"They always said, 'You're physically not ready', and stuff like that.

"But if you see in all competitions, players have the same body as me, football is just playing with your head and being smart and creating spaces, it's always in the small things."

The 27-year-old Netherlands-born winger was in attendance at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday to watch the Blues boost their Champions League hopes by beating Norwich City 1-0.

He will hope to be playing in Europe's elite competition next season when he is allowed to play for Chelsea, a club he grew up idolising.

"When I was a young guy, you always want to play for a big club," he added.

"If you look at when I was young, the players that played here, it was always a big club. I'm very happy.

"I can remember I was playing in the youth at Heerenveen and here was playing [Didier] Drogba, [Frank] Lampard, [John] Terry, we were always for Chelsea.

"If you look at it now, that you can play here, it means a lot to me."

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) has extended the option for competitions to allow five substitutes per team in every match into 2021.

Football's rules governing body took the decision to give competitions scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020 the option to permit five subs back in May as leagues around the world resumed following widespread coronavirus-enforced stoppages.

Its board of directors conducted an in-depth review to determine whether to extend the option following feedback from stakeholders and an assessment of COVID-19's impact on competition calendars.

The board took the decision to extend it to competitions set to be completed by July 31, 2021 and to international competitions scheduled in July/August 2021.

A FIFA media release said that the reasons for giving competitions the option remain valid and that player welfare will likely continue to be impacted due to the shorter-than-usual recovery and preparation period athletes in competitions that resumed in 2020 may have before the start of the 2020-21 season.

The release also pointed to the condensed fixture schedule that is set to be a feature of most major competitions next term due to delayed starts and major international tournaments preventing a later end to the 2020-21 campaign.

The Premier League, LaLiga, the Bundesliga and Serie A are all set to start in September and end in May, with Ligue 1 - which will commence in August - the lone exception among the top five European leagues.

Euro 2020 - delayed to 2021 because of the pandemic - is scheduled to begin on June 11, as is the 2021 Copa America. Both competitions are set to finish on July 11.

Mason Greenwood is a doubt to face Crystal Palace on Thursday after being left with a damaged ankle by Oriol Romeu's challenge on Monday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says. 

Greenwood was caught late by Romeu in an incident that went unpunished by referee Chris Kavanagh during Manchester United’s 2-2 draw with Southampton at Old Trafford. 

Manager Solskjaer, who was unhappy to see the challenge escape further punishment through a VAR review, now fears the in-form 18-year-old will not be available for the Premier League clash at Selhurst Park. 

Luke Shaw twisted his ankle in the same match and replacement Brandon Williams sustained a head injury, leading to substantial second-half injury time in which Michael Obafemi scored Southampton's equaliser. 

"I'll give Luke as much time as possible – him and Mason, their ankles are swollen and a bit blown up," Solskjaer told MUTV. "I'll give them as much recovery time as possible to give them a chance.  

"Brandon should be fine, he has a gash over the eye but if he can see out of it, then...

"We've not trained obviously this morning [Wednesday] yet but we'll hopefully have two, maybe all three of them."

Solskjaer added of Greenwood, who played on until the 84th minute: "In the heat of the moment, he'll play on and the adrenaline gets you going, and then you get a little bit of reaction after.

"I said after the game that my ankles were a bit weak after many years of football. But obviously Mason carried on and I think it should have been looked upon by the referee, definitely."

Greenwood has played in all seven of United's matches since their campaign restarted on June 19, scoring four goals in his past four starts.

The Saints draw means United are fifth in the table, behind Leicester City on goal difference with three matches remaining.

Diego Simeone is not surprised by rumoured interest in Jan Oblak but hopes the goalkeeper will remain at Atletico Madrid.

Oblak has been named best keeper in LaLiga for the previous four seasons and has only conceded 26 goals in 36 games in the current campaign, helping Atleti once again clinch a top-four finish.

Chelsea are reported to be interested in the 27-year-old Slovenian, with speculation suggesting they could look to involve Kepa Arrizabalaga in player-plus-cash deal.

Simeone has become accustomed to rumours over the future of key players in his squad, however, as was the case previously in the Antoine Griezmann transfer saga before he eventually joined domestic rivals Barcelona.

"It does not surprise me, every year our most important players are wanted by the best in the world," the Atletico boss told the media ahead of Thursday's game with Getafe.

"It is normal to always look for the best – and we have many. Some have left and others have stayed.

"It is logical and normal that anyone wants Oblak. He is our captain and an important player. I hope we can count on his work, which is enormous for Atleti."

When asked again about Oblak's future at Atletico during the media call, Simeone replied: "I repeat the same thing: it is normal that they want a goalkeeper of his characteristics and value.

"It does not surprise me. He is decisive and important in the dressing room year after year. He has evolved in every way, as a goalkeeper and within the group."

Oblak has been integral in helping Atletico's nine-match unbeaten run since the resumption of the season in Spain.

The impressive streak – which includes a 2-2 draw away to second-place Barcelona – has secured Champions League football again for next season, while they still remain in the running to win this year's competition after knocking out holders Liverpool in the last 16.

For Simeone, qualification is crucial for Atleti's development both on and off the field.

"It's our responsibility to qualify, always looking at the growth that the club has from this possibility that we generate by qualifying year after year," he said.

"That's how the club grows in every aspect, so it is a responsibility, an objective to be met, which is not easy always to do in life.

"We all have objectives, in any type of job. I have the luck, the work ethic and the perseverance to qualify every year and allow the club to grow and improve. When the goals are met it is normal for the club to grow."

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