Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed his side's ability to "grind out results" after the Red Devils survived a flurry of late Burnley chances to triumph 2-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.

Anthony Martial scored his third goal in two games one minute before half-time to put United ahead in a game they dominated for long periods, but hosts Burnley heaped pressure on David De Gea's goal in the final 15 minutes at Turf Moor.

A late United break produced a second goal when Daniel James played in Marcus Rashford for his 12th Premier League strike of the season and clinched a result that moved the Red Devils up to fifth in the table, just a point behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Solskjaer admitted his players should have put the game to bed sooner but praised their performance following back-to-back victories, describing himself as "very happy".

"In the first half I thought we were very good," said Solskjaer. "We controlled it, dominated it, scored a nice goal. Second half of course there's going to be a couple of instances in your box because they're desperate to get a goal and throwing men forward.

"We could have finished the game off really, we had some great counter-attacking chances. We should have got the second goal earlier but there was some great defending.

"It's important for us to know that we can grind out results as well, even though when you score one you don't always win. If we can get clean sheets we've got a chance to move up the table."

United travel to Emirates Stadium to play Arsenal on New Year's Day and Solskjaer called for his players to maintain the momentum that has helped them go nine matches with just one defeat in all competitions – a 2-0 reverse at Watford on December 22.

With Martial and Rashford hitting form, United will be widely backed to get a result against an Arsenal side adapting to life with a new head coach Mikel Arteta at the helm.

Solskjaer said his forwards must be less wasteful than they were against Burnley, adding: "You're always kicking yourself when you don't take your chances. There were so many great counter-attacking opportunities, when we made wrong decisions or were a little bit too slow to get the finish off, but it was an excellent performance.

"Let's see what we do against Arsenal. We want to keep that momentum going. Two wins after a disappointing game against Watford. Happy with that. Good response. The boys are learning."

West Ham sacked Manuel Pellegrini following a 2-1 home defeat to a much-changed Leicester City side before Manchester United won at Burnley on Saturday. 

Pellegrini was relieved of his duties following a loss that leaves the London club just a point above the Premier League relegation zone in 17th.

Leicester were thumped 4-0 by runaway leaders Liverpool on Boxing Day after suffering a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, but got back on track in the capital despite Brendan Rodgers making nine changes – leading scorer Jamie Vardy absent after his wife gave birth.

Goals from Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford gave United a 2-0 win at Turf Moor, where they kept a first clean sheet in 15 league games.

Jose Mourinho's Spurs needed Harry Kane's 83rd-minute penalty to salvage a point in a 2-2 draw against Norwich at Carrow Road.

In the day's earlier matches, Watford's mini-resurgence under Nigel Pearson continued and Carlo Ancelotti made it two wins from as many matches in charge of Everton.

Brighton and Hove Albion were 2-0 winners over Bournemouth, while Southampton and Crystal Palace drew 1-1.

 

Gray makes amends as Leicester end Pellegrini's reign

Losses to City and Liverpool left doubts over Leicester's ability to challenge near the top of the table for the rest of the season, but they showed their squad depth and resilience at West Ham.

Demarai Gray, given a rare start, was presented with a fine chance to open the scoring when Lukasz Fabianski fouled Kelechi Iheanacho, but the goalkeeper saved the resulting penalty on his return from injury.

Iheanacho opened the scoring just before half-time, heading in from close range after Ayoze Perez knocked a delivery back across goal – but Pablo Fornals restored parity a few minutes later, finishing off a lovely move following great work from Felipe Anderson.

Gray made up for his miss from the spot early in the second half, confidently slotting past Fabianski after being released by Perez. West Ham rarely threatened thereafter in what proved to be Pellegrini's last game in charge.

 

United up to fifth

Martial scored his third goal in two Premier League matches as United moved up to fifth.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men broke down Burnley's packed defence with some patient attacking play, forcing the opener just before half-time and doubling their lead in second-half stoppage time through Rashford.

After losing 2-0 at Watford in their previous away game, United delivered the improvements they sorely needed at the back while dominating possession in midfield despite the absence of Paul Pogba, who was rested following his return to fitness, as they built on a 4-1 win over Newcastle United on Boxing Day.

Burnley were looking to make it three league wins from four but failed to recover from an error by full-back Charlie Taylor that led to Martial's strike, squandering a flurry of late opportunities before Rashford scored his 12th league goal of the season.

 

VAR to the fore as Spurs make fortunate escape

Norwich might have been two to the good at half-time were it not for the most marginal of offside calls as Spurs were let off the hook.

Teemu Pukki slotted home on the break, only for VAR to rule him offside seemingly by his armpit after Mario Vrancic had capitalised on a series of defensive lapses to open the scoring in the 18th minute.

Spurs levelled with a free-kick effort from Christian Eriksen just after the break, but Norwich were back in front again by the 61st minute – Toby Alderweireld knocking the ball on to Serge Aurier when tackling Pukki and watching on as it found the back of the net.

But Kane rescued Spurs, as he often does. A clumsy sliding tackle from Christoph Zimmermann on the England striker resulted in a penalty and he swept home from 12 yards.

 

New managers having desired effect

A tense first half between Watford and Aston Villa at Vicarage Road remained goalless until just before the interval, when Ezri Konsa's error allowed

Abdoulaye Doucoure to get a shot away and Troy Deeney converted on the rebound.

Villa were given a boost just before the hour when Adrian Mariappa was shown a second yellow card for appearing to catch Henri Lansbury late, though replays suggested contact was minimal.

But Watford got a second goal in the 67th minute – Deeney smashing in a penalty after he had been barged over by Douglas Luiz, and Ismaila Sarr finished Villa off 19 minutes from time.

Ancelotti is overseeing an improvement at Everton, who beat Newcastle United 2-1 at St James' Park.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin grabbed a brace either side of Fabian Schar's strike, allowing the Toffees to move above their hosts in the table and up to 10th.

 

Seagulls pick off Cherries to arrest slump

Brighton hosted Bournemouth having not won any of their previous four matches in the top flight.

But it did not take them long to establish control against the Cherries – Alireza Jahanbakhsh putting them in front within three minutes by lashing into the bottom-right corner, finally opening his account for the club more than a year after costing a reported £17million.

Brighton thought they had sealed the win just before the hour when Dan Burn slammed home, only for a VAR review to adjudge him to be offside by a shoulder.

But Aaron Mooy did wrap up the victory 12 minutes from time in style, bringing down Leandro Trossard's cross, cleverly beating a defender and coolly slotting home.

Victory moves Brighton above Southampton, who could only salvage a draw at home to Palace, Danny Ings cancelling out James Tomkins' header with 16 minutes to go.

 

Chelsea may have sold David Luiz to rivals Arsenal ahead of this season, but Blues boss Frank Lampard says he will always respect the Brazil defender from his time at Stamford Bridge.

Centre-back David Luiz could come up against Chelsea for the first time since he left on Sunday when Lampard's men visit Emirates Stadium for Mikel Arteta's first home game in charge of the Gunners.

Arteta's predecessor Unai Emery brought David Luiz across London back in August, the 32-year-old sold just a month after Lampard took over at Chelsea.

The emergence of Fikayo Tomori – who won his first England cap last month – and Kurt Zouma's form has meant Chelsea do not appear to have not missed David Luiz, though his old team-mate Lampard was unwilling to make such declarations ahead of the latest London derby.

"What I don't want to do is look like it's a personal question going into a game against a player I respect and played with," he said at a news conference when asked about selling David Luiz.

"If you look at our defenders and the emergence of Tomori, that's obviously been a big plus for us, but it was just a decision that was made and while I'm here I'll be making countless more of those in different ways.

"I certainly wish David well when he leaves this club. He was part of a Champions League-winning team, played with half a hamstring in the final, I know that.

"[He] got himself fit when he was under pressure with the injury and I will always respect that, and he moves on."

Both David Luiz and Lampard faced new Arsenal head coach Arteta during the Spaniard's playing days.

Arteta has taken on his first head coaching post with the Gunners and Lampard feels he was destined for the role.

"[He was] a very good player, a very intelligent player, very technical player," the Chelsea boss added.

"Seemed to be a leader, not a fist-pumping kind of leader, but a leader in whatever teams he was playing in. He looks like he could be well-suited to management.

"I do wish him well – obviously not on Sunday – but I wish him well because when you see a fresh manager come into a job like that, I understand the strains and the pressures of it and the desires to want to do well in it. On a personal level I wish him well."

Arteta has landed a job at a leading Premier League side despite having no previous managerial experience, unlike Lampard, who spent a year with Derby County before returning to Chelsea.

However, Lampard feels Arteta's grounding as Pep Guardiola's assistant at Manchester City for three and a half years has prepared him for his new job.

"He's worked under one of the greatest, if not the greatest, for a couple of years there," Lampard said.

"He was always an intelligent player and now has worked for that. I don't buy the whole 'inexperienced' one. I think you don't know until you take the chance with somebody and who's to say that managers are better or worse because they're in their first or 50th year of management? I don't buy it."

Pep Guardiola acknowledged Manchester City will need to change if they are to return to the top of the Premier League, though he again ruled out making January signings.

The reigning champions suffered their fifth defeat of the season at Wolves on Friday to leave them 14 points adrift of runaway leaders Liverpool, who also have a game in hand on City.

It means City are highly unlikely to start the new decade by adding to the four domestic titles they have won in the 2010s, during which time they also won the FA Cup twice and lifted the EFL Cup on four occasions.

Such success has transformed City but Guardiola knows the club cannot afford to stand still if they are to win more trophies.

"The club in the last decade make an incredible step with different managers, different players and sustain that," Guardiola said at a news conference.

"I think in 10 years [City] won four Premier Leagues so it's not bad considering this league.

"There are periods. Football is not all the time being up there. We were incredible for two seasons and in this competition, the Premier League, we lost more games [this season] than the previous two seasons and you have to adapt.

"You have to analyse and move forward."

That adaptation process is likely to take place after the season, though, when it has already been confirmed that David Silva is leaving and Fernandinho may follow him out of the exit door.

City seemingly have issues to address now, yet when asked whether that would result in incomings next month, Guardiola replied: "Nope."

Guardiola's side had to play with 10 men for 78 minutes of a 3-2 loss against Wolves after goalkeeper Ederson was sent off.

They are next in action on Sunday against Sheffield United, with Guardiola, like many of his counterparts, not a fan of the quick turnaround.

"All the managers, everybody agrees about that," he said.

"Every season is the same. The first season was the same – I played at Anfield and two days later with Burnley at home we played 75 minutes 10 against 11 as well.

"My words are not going to change. I think Jose Mourinho said the same and Jurgen [Klopp]. Every season is the same. TVs decide and we have to adapt.

"I don't have any confidence about that [changing long term], they don't care."

Mikel Arteta has challenged Arsenal's much-maligned record signing Nicolas Pepe to show the work ethic and willingness to fulfil his "absolutely top" potential.

Pepe rose to prominence with Ligue 1 side Lille over the previous two seasons, scoring 35 top-flight goals for the club as he marked himself as a potential star of the future.

Although many of the world's biggest clubs were said to be interested in him, Arsenal managed to bring the Ivory Coast international to England in July, making him the costliest signing in their history at a reported £72million.

However, in 16 Premier League matches since, Pepe has only managed three assists and two goals, with his general performances falling some way short of expectations.

New Arsenal coach Arteta is credited with having a big impact on the improvements of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane at Manchester City, and he is confident Pepe can find a similar level if he applies himself.

"I think, obviously, it was a big change to come from France to here," Arteta told reporters ahead of Sunday's clash with Chelsea.

"As well, he found a team that, in the moment he wasn't performing at his best, the environment for him to settle wasn't ideal, so it's not only about him.

"We're here to help him. If he's willing to learn, to work hard, I assure you he has the potential be top, absolutely top.

"He showed in two or three actions [in the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth on December 26] how good he can be, but he has to be consistent."

It was put to Arteta that Pepe is simply suffering from a lack of confidence, though the Spaniard suggested belief works both ways as he highlighted the importance of the collective in getting players to reach their desired level.

He added: "The problem with confidence is he's only confident if he plays, or he has [the] confidence [of] the manager if he trains well enough to convince me to have confidence in him. I think it has to be a mix between the two.

"But the overall structure, the way we play and approach the game and the things we do on these pitches is going to help them [the players].

"We can't demand the strikers or attacking players to generate things like [the flick of a switch] – they have to have the play that sustains everything together and arrive in better positions as many times as possible to then be able to create as many situations as we want."

After hosting Chelsea on Sunday, Manchester United are Arsenal's visitors on New Year's Day. The Gunners then face Leeds United in the FA Cup on January 6 at Emirates Stadium.

Anthony Martial scored his third goal in two Premier League matches to help Manchester United to a 2-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor that moves the Red Devils up to fifth in the table.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men kept their first clean sheet in the league since September and successfully broke down Burnley's packed defence with some patient attacking play, forcing the opener just before half-time and doubling their lead in second-half stoppage time through Marcus Rashford.

After losing 2-0 at Watford in their previous away game, United delivered the improvements they sorely needed at the back while dominating possession in midfield despite the absence of Paul Pogba, who was rested following his return to fitness, as they built on a 4-1 win over Newcastle United on Boxing Day.

Burnley were looking to make it three league wins from four but failed to recover from an error by full-back Charlie Taylor that led to Martial's strike, squandering a flurry of late opportunities before Rashford scored his 12th league goal of the season.

Rashford stung Nick Pope's palms with a free-kick from 30 yards in a cagey opening spell in which the England forward also hit the outside of the post with a low, first-time shot from the edge of the box.

The ball fell to Martial little more than six yards out after 33 minutes, but the France international's effort was crucially blocked on the line by former United defender Phil Bardsley.

Having kept the visitors at bay for 44 minutes, Burnley self-destructed when Taylor fumbled possession and allowed Andreas Pereira to feed Martial, who took a touch and stroked a low shot past Pope into the bottom-right corner.

Martial had the ball in the net again four minutes into the second half, but the goal was disallowed for a foul on James Tarkowski and Burnley almost equalised when Bardsley's angled drive drew a diving save from David de Gea.

Harry Maguire brought down Jack Cork on the edge of the United box to present substitute Johann Gudmundsson with a chance from a free-kick, but the Iceland international blazed over the crossbar.

Burnley threatened an equaliser throughout a frenetic final 15 minutes only to be caught out right at the end when Daniel James sprinted over the half-way line in posession and squared to Rashford, who rounded Pope before scoring his second in as many games.

 

What does it mean? Creativity shortage sets up tense finish

Solskjaer will have been pleased to see his defence cut out the errors that cost them dearly at Vicarage Road but a failure to put the game to bed sooner might have been punished by a side better than Burnley.

Rashford runs Burnley ragged

Finding a link between midfield and attack has often been United's problem against sides who sit back this season, but the immense amount of ground covered by Rashford – who frequently dropped deep to carry the visitors forward – solved that here. He then rounded off the win in the latter stages.

Taylor toils in tussle with James

James has proven himself to be a handful for Premier League defences since he joined United in January and Clarets left-back Taylor struggled to cope with him, playing misplaced passes and getting forced into errors by the rapid Wales winger.

What's next?

While Burnley will fancy their chances of taking three points when Aston Villa visit Turf Moor on New Year's Day, United could find victory harder to come by against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

 

Manuel Pellegrini has been sacked by West Ham with the club hovering just above the Premier League relegation zone.

A 2-1 defeat at home to high-flying Leicester City on Saturday proved to be the final straw.

West Ham are just a point above the bottom three and co-chairman David Sullivan said the board had to act.

"It is with great disappointment that we've had to make this decision. Manuel is a gentleman and it has been a real pleasure to work with someone of his calibre," Sullivan said.

"However, it has become clear that that a change is required to get the club back on track in line with our ambitions this season. 

"We felt it was necessary to act now in order to give the new manager as much time as possible to try and achieve that goal."

Pellegrini arrived at the London Stadium in May 2018 on a three-year deal and led the club to a top-10 finish in his maiden campaign. 

However, the Chilean – who guided Manchester City to Premier League glory in the 2013-14 campaign – has seen West Ham lose 10 of their 19 top-flight matches this term despite forking out big sums on the likes of Sebastien Haller and Pablo Fornals in the close season.

Former boss David Moyes is the early bookmakers' favourite to replace Pellegrini, while Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe and Rafael Benitez have previously been linked with the role.

Jose Mourinho has admitted to being "frustrated" by the number of individual errors being made by his Tottenham players after they drew 2-2 at Norwich City.

Tottenham twice fought back from a goal down to salvage a point against the Premier League's bottom side in Saturday's clash at Carrow Road.

Mario Vrancic capitalised on some slack defending to give Norwich an 18th-minute lead and Teemu Pukki had one ruled out by the video assistant referee for offside.

Spurs improved after the break and equalised through Christian Eriksen's free-kick, only for Toby Alderweireld's clearance to hit Serge Aurier and trickle in for City's second.

Harry Kane rescued Tottenham with a penalty seven minutes from time on his 200th Premier League appearance, but Mourinho was not happy with what he saw.

"I think the same defensive mistakes we made in the first half, we made in the second half. This is being a little bit of our history," he told Sky Sports.

"We started very, very well and had three or four big chances at the beginning of the first half and conceded two very bad goals - one of those offside.

"I have lots of work to do but it has been difficult because I always say you have to try and hide your fragilities."

Tottenham have conceded 12 goals in eight league games since Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino and have kept just one clean sheet on their travels in 2019.

"We have to improve defensively because there are too many individual mistakes," Mourinho added. 

"That's very frustrating because we play well and cannot be more offensive than we were in the second half. Our defensive mistakes are match after match."

Eriksen was handed a first start since November and left his mark on the game by scoring his eighth direct free-kick to cancel out Vrancic's first Premier League goal.

The Denmark international's contract expires at the end of the season and he has been strongly linked with a move ahead of the January transfer window.

Mourinho praised Eriksen for his display against Norwich but was unwilling to discuss the playmaker's future.

"I don't want to speak about it," he said. "We are so open with one another. We keep it to ourselves, and I obviously I share it with my boss. But its just between us. 

"The only thing I can say is he is trying to help the team and I am happy with his man of the match."

Leicester City bounced back from their humbling defeat to Liverpool by claiming a 2-1 win at West Ham despite ringing the changes, while Tottenham rescued a 2-2 at rock-bottom Norwich City with a late equaliser on Saturday.

Brendan Rodgers' men were thumped 4-0 by runaway leaders Liverpool on Boxing Day after suffering a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City.

But the Foxes returned to winning ways to strengthen their position in second even though Rodgers made nine changes – leading scorer Jamie Vardy absent after his wife gave birth.

Jose Mourinho's Spurs needed Harry Kane's 83rd-minute penalty to salvage a point at Carrow Road.

In the day's earlier matches, Watford's mini-resurgence under Nigel Pearson continued and Carlo Ancelotti made it two wins from as many matches in charge of Everton.

Brighton and Hove Albion were 2-0 winners over Bournemouth, while Southampton and Crystal Palace drew 1-1.

 

Gray makes amends as Leicester get back on track

Losses to City and Liverpool left doubts over Leicester's ability to challenge near the top of the table for the rest of the season, but they showed their squad depth and resilience at West Ham.

Demarai Gray, given a rare start, was presented with a fine chance to open the scoring when Lukasz Fabianski fouled Kelechi Iheanacho, but the goalkeeper saved the resulting penalty on his return from injury.

Iheanacho opened the scoring just before half-time, heading in from close range after Ayoze Perez knocked a delivery back across goal – but Pablo Fornals restored parity a few minutes later, finishing off a lovely move following great work from Felipe Anderson.

Gray made up for his miss from the spot early in the second half, confidently slotting past Fabianski after being released by Perez and West Ham rarely threatened thereafter.

 

VAR to the fore as Spurs make fortunate escape

Norwich might have been two to the good at half-time were it not for the most marginal of offside calls as Spurs were let off the hook.

Teemu Pukki slotted home on the break, only for VAR to rule him offside seemingly by his armpit after Mario Vrancic had capitalised on a series of defensive lapses to open the scoring in the 18th minute.

Spurs levelled with a free-kick effort from Christian Eriksen just after the break, but Norwich were back in front again by the 61st minute – Toby Alderweireld knocking the ball on to Serge Aurier when tackling Pukki and watching on as it found the back of the net.

But Kane rescued Spurs, as he often does. A clumsy sliding tackle from Christoph Zimmermann on the England striker resulted in a penalty and he swept home from 12 yards.

Spurs are up to fifth ahead of Wolves, who have a game in hand.

 

 

New managers having desired effect

A tense first half between Watford and Aston Villa at Vicarage Road remained goalless until just before the interval, when Ezri Konsa's error allowed

Abdoulaye Doucoure to get a shot away and Troy Deeney converted on the rebound.

Villa were given a boost just before the hour when Adrian Mariappa was shown a second yellow card for appearing to catch Henri Lansbury late, though replays suggested contact was minimal.

But Watford got a second goal in the 67th minute – Deeney smashing in a penalty after he had been barged over by Douglas Luiz, and Ismaila Sarr finished Villa off 19 minutes from time.

Ancelotti is overseeing an improvement at Everton, who beat Newcastle United 2-1 at St James' Park.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin grabbed a brace either side of Fabian Schar's strike, allowing the Toffees to move above their hosts in the table and up to 10th.

 

Seagulls pick off Cherries to arrest slump

Brighton hosted Bournemouth having not won any of their previous four matches in the top flight.

But it did not take them long to establish control against the Cherries – Alireza Jahanbakhsh putting them in front within three minutes by lashing into the bottom-right corner, finally opening his account for the club more than a year after costing a reported £17million.

Brighton thought they had sealed the win just before the hour when Dan Burn slammed home, only for a VAR review to adjudge him to be offside by a shoulder.

But Aaron Mooy did wrap up the victory 12 minutes from time in style, bringing down Leandro Trossard's cross, cleverly beating a defender and coolly slotting home.

Victory moves Brighton above Southampton, who could only salvage a draw at home to Palace, Danny Ings cancelling out James Tomkins' header with 16 minutes to go.

 

Harry Kane scored a late penalty to rescue Tottenham a 2-2 draw against bottom-of-the-table Norwich City in Saturday's Premier League clash.

The England international marked his 200th appearance in the competition by winning and then converting a spot-kick with seven minutes remaining at Carrow Road.

Mario Vrancic's first Premier League goal had earlier given Norwich a first-half lead and Teemu Pukki had one ruled out by the video assistant referee for a contentious offside.

Christian Eriksen's free-kick temporarily restored parity before Serge Aurier comically put into his own net, but Kane spared Spurs' blushes somewhat in the closing stages.

Trent Alexander-Arnold intends to stay at Liverpool for the rest of his career in the hope of becoming a club legend.

The England international has become an integral part of the Reds' first team over the past two seasons and finished 19th in this month's Ballon d'Or voting.

He further highlighted his importance with a goal and two assists in the 4-0 win over Leicester City, a result that leaves Liverpool well on course for a maiden Premier League trophy.

And the Liverpool-native, who came through the club's academy ranks, has his sights set on writing his name in Anfield folklore.

"I've always wanted to be a club legend," he told Swedish newspaper Sportbladet. "Winning titles, playing as many matches as possible, winning matches, becoming captain.

“Of course, I can't become a legend if I leave Liverpool to play elsewhere. So, my focus is there and on making the club as successful as possible."

Alexander-Arnold is already in possession of a Champions League winner's medal after playing 11 times in Liverpool's successful European campaign last season.

Jurgen Klopp handed the right-back his first-team debut in October 2016 and he is grateful to have been given a run in the side.

"He always talks about how we can improve, what we can do to get into the team, what we have to do to make it happen," Alexander-Arnold said.

"It's obviously something you have to hear as a young player. You have to feel that the manager may give you a chance."

"You never begin to doubt yourself if the manager tells you what you need to do or what you need to improve in order to play."

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is available for his side's clash with Wolves on Sunday, according to manager Jurgen Klopp.

England midfielder Henderson suffered a kick on the shin in Liverpool's 4-0 victory at Leicester City on Boxing Day but Klopp described the injury as "only pain" as he confirmed the Reds have no new fitness concerns for the visit of Nuno Espirito Santo's in-form side.

The runaway Premier League leaders played a full-strength side at King Power Stadium, with Henderson alongside Naby Keita and Georginio Wijnaldum in Klopp's midfield three, and the Liverpool boss said the same squad of players would be in contention against Wolves.

Assessing his players' recovery, Klopp told the club's official website his charges were "quite OK", adding: "The boys we had available should be available again.

"The only problem is that we are training later this afternoon so I still have to wait for all the information, that's how it is in this period. But it looks like they should be all fine."

Henderson has started 14 of Liverpool's 18 league games this season, scoring once in October's 2-1 victory over Tottenham.

James Milner and Adam Lallana could feature against Wolves should Klopp choose to rest his skipper, but when asked whether Henderson is fit to be involved the Liverpool manager replied: "Yeah, it's only pain!"

Watford eased to a 3-0 win over relegation rivals Aston Villa despite having Adrian Mariappa sent off, while Carlo Ancelotti got a second win in succession as Everton boss on Saturday.

Nigel Pearson's impact is becoming impressively clear at Watford, with the new manager guiding them to two wins in a week, having also presided over the 2-0 defeat of Manchester United before Christmas.

Watford are now within two points of 18th-placed Villa and having previously looked doomed for relegation, they have been revived under Pearson.

Everton are also enjoying something of an improvement, as they left St James' Park with a 2-1 win over Newcastle United – Ancelotti's early work seemingly getting a reaction out of the Toffees.

New managers having desired effect

A tense first half at Vicarage Road remained goalless until just before the interval, when Ezri Konsa's error allowed Abdoulaye Doucoure to get a shot away and Troy Deeney converted on the rebound.

Villa were given a boost just before the hour when Mariappa was shown a second yellow card for appearing to catch Henri Lansbury late, though replays suggested contact was minimal.

But Watford got a second goal in the 67th minute – Deeney smashing in a penalty after he had been barged over by Douglas Luiz, and Ismaila Sarr finished Villa off 19 minutes from time.

Ancelotti is overseeing an improvement at Everton, who beat Newcastle to make it two wins from as many matches under the Italian.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin got himself a brace either side of Fabian Schar's strike, allowing the Toffees to move above their hosts in the table and up to 10th.

Seagulls pick off Cherries to arrest slump

Brighton and Hove Albion went into Saturday's clash with Bournemouth having not won any of their previous four matches in the Premier League.

But it did not take them long to establish control against the Cherries – Alireza Jahanbakhsh putting them in front within three minutes by lashing into the bottom-right corner, finally opening his account for the club more than a year after costing a reported £17million.

Brighton thought they had sealed the win just before the hour when Dan Burn slammed home, only for a VAR review to adjudge him to be offside by a shoulder.

But Aaron Mooy did wrap up the victory 12 minutes from time in style, bringing down Leandro Trossard's cross, cleverly beating a defender and coolly slotting home.

Brighton's win moved them above Southampton, who could only salvage a 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace, Danny Ings cancelling out James Tomkins' header with 16 minutes to go.

Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Christian Eriksen were all recalled to the Tottenham starting line-up for their trip to Norwich City.

Club-record signing Ndombele ruled himself out of contention against Brighton and Hove Albion on Boxing Day having told Spurs boss Jose Mourinho he was not physically prepared having only recently recovered from a groin injury.

However, on the day he celebrated his 23rd birthday, Ndombele was back in Mourinho's XI at Carrow Road, as were Lo Celso and Eriksen, both of whom came off the bench against the Seagulls.

Juan Foyth came in for Davinson Sanchez in defence, with Lucas Moura, Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks the others to drop out.

Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano believes Pep Guardiola is the best coach in world football, but admits it is hard to argue with Zinedine Zidane's record at Real Madrid.

Guardiola won five major trophies in his first three full campaigns at the Etihad Stadium, including a clean sweep of domestic honours last season.

City look unlikely to retain their Premier League title, trailing leaders Liverpool by 14 points after a dramatic 3-2 defeat to Wolves on Friday.

Zidane has come under scrutiny since returning to Madrid, despite an incredible first stint at the club that saw him win three successive Champions League trophies.

And while Soriano agrees with Zidane's recent sentiment that Guardiola is the finest coach around, the City CEO has spoken of his admiration for the France legend.

 

"In the case of Zidane, the results speak for themselves, as in the case of Pep," he said at the the Globe Soccer Awards event. 

"There are all the titles he has won in LaLiga, the Bundesliga, the Premier League. For me, Guardiola is the best coach in the world because he is our [coach]."

City have never won the Champions League and face a huge challenge to be crowned European champions this season, having been drawn against Madrid at the last-16 stage.

The first leg is to be held at the Santiago Bernabeu on February 26 and Soriano believes there is very little between the two teams.

"You look at them and wherever you look - the quality of the players, the money invested, the salaries we pay - these are two great teams that are very even," he said. 

"It is unlikely that one team is far superior to the other - it will depend on how these two games take place.

"As usually happens in the Champions League, the tie can depend on a small detail, a defensive mistake or a referee error, which can be decisive."

Asked how the sides compare in terms of style of play, Soriano added: "You usually insist on the importance of City's style of play, while Real Madrid's style is usually winning no matter how.

"With Zidane they have won three Champions Leagues in a row. That's the reality. They have won three Champions Leagues in a row with Zidane and four in five years. Discussions about the style of play die when the data is exposed.

"I talk about what concerns Manchester City, where we play a certain style of football, but we do it because we believe in it and also because we are doing well, because when we don't play well we usually lose. 

"Ours is a way of looking at simple football: we have to play our way, and we can execute it in different ways, but the style, the fundamentals, have to be the same so that we do well.

"We can never lose that essence. Maybe other teams can play in several different ways, but not us."

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