Chelsea have reportedly joined the race for Erling Haaland as Manchester United consider their options.

Haaland, 20, has been heavily linked with a move after starring for Borussia Dortmund.

Europe's biggest clubs are lining up to sign the forward, and Chelsea are apparently among them, while United may look elsewhere.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA JOIN RACE FOR HAALAND

Chelsea are ready to enter the race for Dortmund star Haaland, according to 90min.

Manchester City are also reportedly heavily interested in the Norway international, who has also been linked with Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Haaland has scored 33 goals in 32 games for Dortmund since arriving at the Bundesliga club from Salzburg in January.

 

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- Manchester United, meanwhile, may look elsewhere. The Mirror reports the Premier League giants may be unable to sign Haaland due to their "sour relationship" with his agent, Mino Raiola. The report says United see Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin as an alternative.

- With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez still sidelined, Liverpool continue to be linked with defenders. Todofichajes.com reports the Premier League leaders are interested in Real Madrid centre-back Eder Militao. Meanwhile, the Liverpool Echo says the club are in talks with Celta Vigo over 16-year-old defender Stefan Bajcetic.

- Struggling in the Premier League, Arsenal are expected to strengthen in January. The Daily Star reports the Gunners are considering a loan move for Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior next month.

- After just one Premier League appearance for Chelsea this season, Antonio Rudiger has been linked with a move away. Le Parisien reports Paris Saint-Germain want the defender in January.

- Celtic forward Odsonne Edouard is apparently attracting interest from elsewhere. CalcioMercato reports Juventus and Milan are interested in the 22-year-old.

- Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig is set to leave Camp Nou following repeated criticism from Blaugrana boss Ronald Koeman. Manchester City and Bayern Munich are both keen on the 21-year-old, according to Fichajes.

Manchester United and Manchester City will once again face one another in the EFL Cup semi-finals as Pep Guardiola's side continue their quest to win the competition for a fourth consecutive season.

City prevailed 3-2 on aggregate against their neighbours in the final four last season, winning 3-1 at Old Trafford, where this year's single-legged encounter will take place.

United and City are just the second pair of teams to meet in the League Cup semi-finals in consecutive seasons, after Arsenal and Tottenham faced off in the last four in both 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Their 1-0 loss in the return was the second of three defeats suffered against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team in 2019-20, while the Manchester clubs played out a dour 0-0 draw in the Premier League earlier this month. 

The other semi-final is an all-London affair, with Brentford eying Tottenham as potentially their fifth Premier League scalp in tournament.

Josh Dasilva scored the only goal on Tuesday to sink Newcastle United and book a trip to Spurs, following triumphs over Southampton, West Brom and Fulham for Thomas Frank's men.

United were the last team to book their semi-final spot as late goals from Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial saw off Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday.

Solskjaer will aim to make it fourth-time lucky, having gone down to Chelsea and Sevilla in the FA Cup and Europa League semi-finals respectively last season, compounding the City reverse of 11 months ago.

The holders brushed aside Arsenal 4-1 in a Tuesday quarter-final – Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte all on target at Emirates Stadium.

Spurs ensured the Brentford would be the only Championship representatives in the final four as Gareth Bale, Ben Davies and Harry Kane scored to complete a 3-1 win at Stoke City.

Both one-off ties will be played in the week commencing January 4.

This week, the English Football League pushed the final back to April 25, in the hope of being able to welcome fans to Wembley.

Frank Lampard is furious at Chelsea's schedule for the coming week as they must play twice in the space of 48 hours.

The Blues visit Arsenal at 1730 GMT on Boxing Day before kicking off at the same time at home to Aston Villa two days later.

Lampard is particularly frustrated at the prospect as Chelsea's subsequent match against Manchester City has been pushed back, providing a six-day gap, but pleas to rearrange the Villa game have fallen on deaf ears.

"It's 48 hours," Lampard told reporters when the two matches in three days were posed to him. "I'm not trying to be clever there, but it's an important point for us because there are other teams challenging at the top of the league that have two games in three days [72 hours].

"Manchester United, Tottenham, I think Liverpool play two games in three days.

"It's counter-productive for the quality of the Premier League. It's a risk to play both games in top-end, elite sport, everybody knows that."

Asked if he would be able to name his best XI against both Arsenal and Villa, Lampard replied: "I don't think so.

"I think that's pretty much impossible. I couldn't say what I've just said and then put out the same team."

The Blues coach is surprised there was no change to the schedule as he believes it would be in the Premier League's best interests to have the Villa fixture on December 29.

"I'm surprised," Lampard said. "We hear a lot about how we'll have conversations and we'll talk, but not much action gets done at the critical time.

"Again, I have sympathy for the scheduling, I have sympathy for the difficult times, I have sympathy that if can we work together we try to find the best solution and sometimes there isn't one.

"Everyone loves football and everyone wants the season to be finished and everyone wants the Champions League to continue and international football to continue.

"But when you're given two teams asking for a game to be played one day later to try to get their best players on the pitch as fit as they can, why would you not do that? That surprises me."

First, Chelsea must tackle Arsenal, the side who beat them in the FA Cup final but have since failed to mount a challenge at the top of the Premier League and instead slumped to 15th place.

Lampard said: "I saw a very strong team and I think they added very well in the window.

"It's so early in the season. I know Arsenal's position, but I'll let them speak about their position; even ourselves, if we're going to fight for a title, that is on us and the games ahead. There are a lot of games to go.

"I think they're a quality team and I know a lot of people had them in the [title] argument at the start of the season.

"I heard that and maybe we were in the argument, maybe not firm favourites and Arsenal were in the same batch as us because of the way they finished last season.

"In the recent period, it hasn't worked for them in terms of results. Some of the performances have been better than results, for sure.

"The important thing for us is not to get caught up in any of that talk, because I can feel it coming with this game because of Arsenal's recent results.

"We must go there with a determination to win, a respect for Arsenal but a determination to win."

Erling Haaland is Chelsea's number one transfer target, while a pair of Premier League giants are lining up January bids for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish.

Borussia Dortmund star Haaland has netted 23 goals in 23 games since moving to the Bundesliga in January, leading to him reportedly being installed as Frank Lampard's top target for the off-season.

Will Haaland make the move to Chelsea?


TOP STORIES – CHELSEA WANT HAALAND

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland has been identified as Chelsea's top transfer target along with West Ham's Declan Rice, according to Sky Sports journalist Angelo Mangiante.

Haaland has been linked with LaLiga champions Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool.

But Haaland is wanted in London as Chelsea prepare for a clear-out, with seven players being made available – Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Jorginho, Marcos Alonso, Ross Barkley, Danny Drinkwater and Victor Moses.

Mikel Arteta is convinced he has the fighting spirit in his Arsenal squad which will enable the embattled Gunners to turn their dismal domestic season around.

Arsenal have not won a game outside of the Europa League since November 1, when they defeated Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Premier League.

The FA Cup holders have lost five of their last seven Premier League matches and on Tuesday were dumped out of the EFL Cup by Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola's side winning 4-1 at Emirates Stadium.

It was the first time Arsenal have conceded four times at home in the competition since November 1998, when they lost 5-0 to London rivals Chelsea, who were also the last team before City to win four successive away games against the Gunners in all competitions, with the Blues doing so between 1960 and 1965.

With Arsenal 15th in the Premier League table – just four points clear of the relegation zone – Arteta now has to gather his players for fixtures against Chelsea, Brighton and Hove Albion and West Brom between Boxing Day and January 2.

Gunners manager Arteta conceded the run will likely decide Arsenal's league campaign, but insisted he has full belief in his players.

"It's a hard one to take considering how the game went. This level of opponent, when you give the goals away it makes the game impossible," Arteta told Sky Sports.

"A lot of strange things are happening in every game and that makes things really difficult.

"We have to turn it around round – there is no question with the fixtures we have it's going to decide our season.

"On the basis of what we have shown tonight against difficult opponents, I have fighters in my team. Yes, I have fighters."

One player who may embody the fighting spirit Arteta spoke of is Gabriel Martinelli, who made his first start of the season after returning from a long-term knee injury.

Martinelli returned as a substitute in Saturday's defeat to Everton and looked lively in the first half against City, having one attempt and setting up Alexandre Lacazette's equaliser.

However, Martinelli sustained a blow to his shin and, despite trying to battle on, had to be taken off in the 49th minute, though Arteta suggested the injury was not serious.

"It was a really bad kick on his shin, it was swelling up and he could not continue," Arteta told a news conference.

"I think Gabi has a unique energy and a way to transmit his passion for the game. I think he plays the game in a different way to any other player, we can't compare him.

"What we have to say is it's great to have him back. To bring that spirit and that fight, and to play against this opponent the way he did it in that first half, I think that it's something to be really proud and happy with."

Pep Guardiola described Mikel Arteta as an "incredible manager" after his Manchester City side beat struggling Arsenal 4-1 to reach the last four of the EFL Cup. 

Arteta left his role as Guardiola's assistant a year ago to take over at Arsenal but he is under intense scrutiny after a dismal start to the season, which has left the Gunners 15th in the Premier League. 

He enjoyed no respite on Tuesday, with Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte sealing an 18th consecutive win in the competition for holders City after Alexandre Lacazette had cancelled out Gabriel Jesus' early opener. 

Arteta's position will come under further scrutiny after Arsenal conceded four goals at home in an EFL Cup game for the first time since a 5-0 defeat to Chelsea in November 1998, but Guardiola is in no doubt about the Spaniard's talents. 

"What can I say, everybody knows we are judged on results. He can defend himself perfectly," he told Sky Sports.

"I worked with him, we cannot have had our success without him. He is an incredible manager. I know his proposals and what he will do. Not even a little run of bad results is going to change my opinion."

The victory meant City became the first team to win four consecutive away games against Arsenal in all competitions since Chelsea between 1960 and 1965. 

They were helped on their way by Gunners goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson, who allowed Mahrez's free-kick to squirm through his grasp and gift City a 2-1 lead. 

It was Mahrez's first goal from a free-kick since September 2019 – and his fifth in all competitions in English football – and the Algerian knew there was an element of luck to it. 

"It was a solid performance," he said. "We started good and then they equalised. We got lucky with the free-kick and then we got the third one and then it was easier for us.

"I was surprised at the position of Runarsson. He was so close to the post and luckily didn't catch it properly and that was good for us.

"We've been struggling but it's football. It's not always easy to score four or five goals. Today we scored four goals and it was a solid performance."

Manchester City booked an EFL Cup semi-final spot and piled more pressure on Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta with a resounding 4-1 win at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday. 

Arteta, who was Pep Guardiola's assistant at City before taking charge of the Gunners a year ago, has faced questions over his future after a dismal start to the season has left his side languishing in 15th in the Premier League. 

He did not find any respite against his former club, with City – who have won the competition in each of the last three seasons – easing through to the last four after second-half goals from Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte. 

Alexandre Lacazette had earlier given the hosts hope of ending a run of three straight home defeats to City when he cancelled out Gabriel Jesus' early opener, but that proved to be a rare moment of joy in yet another turgid defeat for the beleaguered north London club.

The visitors started in ruthless fashion, taking the lead after just 125 seconds when Jesus headed Oleksandr Zinchenko's left-wing cross past Runar Alex Runarsson inside the six-yard box, ending a goal drought of 609 minutes for the Brazilian.

Laporte headed wide from a corner before the Gunners pulled level with their first effort on target in the 31st minute, Lacazette heading home Gabriel Martinelli's cross from six yards out.

City should have restored their lead before the interval, but Runarsson raced off his line to deny Jesus after a smart move on the edge of the penalty area involving Foden.

The Arsenal goalkeeper was entirely at fault for City's second nine minutes after the interval, though, allowing Mahrez's free-kick from the edge of the area to squirm through his tepid grasp.

City added a third five minutes later when Foden latched onto Fernandinho's pass and lofted a delightful finish over Runarsson, although the goal would have been disallowed if VAR had been in use with replays clearly showing the midfielder was offside. 

The holders added gloss to an 18th straight victory in the competition in the 73rd minute, Laporte stealing in at the back post to head home Foden's inviting cross. 

Manchester City and Manchester United are set to battle it out for the signature of Bayern Munich's star defender David Alaba.

Alaba's Bayern contract expires in June 2021 and both Manchester clubs have made approaches for the 75-cap Austria international.

Pep Guardiola coached the 28-year-old during his time in the Bundesliga, but City may face further competition for the two-time Champions League winner.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED AND CITY SET FOR TUG-OF-WAR OVER ALABA

Manchester City and Manchester United have each made formal contact with Alaba 's agent Pini Zahavi, reports Spanish media outlet AS.

Bayern's chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has accepted the European champions can do nothing to keep Alaba, despite trying "everything" to convince the nine-time German league champion to stay.

But the Manchester rivals are not the only interested parties, with Real Madrid the favourites to land Alaba, according to the Daily Mail.  Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are also in the race.

 

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- Everton left-back  Lucas Digne  is another player on Guardiola's wish list, say the Daily Mail. The Toffees are set to offer the France international a bumper new contract to ward off  City 's advances, according to the Times.

PSG  are lining up a bid for Atletico Madrid's wantaway goalkeeper  Jan Oblak , say the Daily Mail. The Ligue 1 champions see 27-year-old Oblak, who wants a new challenge, as the successor to 34-year-old gloveman Keylor Navas in the French capital.

The 2020-21 EFL Cup final has been moved from February to April in order to have "as many supporters in attendance as possible", the EFL has announced.

The first major domestic showpiece of the English season was previously scheduled for February 28, 2021.

However, restrictions relating to the coronavirus pandemic in the United Kingdom have limited the attendance of fans this term.

Some stadiums are still allowed to house spectators, but their return in London was brief as the capital was placed under lockdown.

The EFL hopes a new Wembley Stadium date of April 25, 2021 will enable supporters to make the trip.

"The number of fans permitted will be dependent on government guidance in place at the time and it is hoped that moving the date to later in the year will give clubs and their fans the best opportunity to attend in person." a statement read.

The competition is at the quarter-final stage, with last-eight ties to be played this week.

Holders Manchester City face struggling Arsenal on Tuesday after Brentford host Newcastle United, with Tottenham at Stoke City and Manchester United travelling to Everton on Wednesday.

Mikel Arteta insists the first-team squad remains united despite Arsenal's struggles this season, with the club needing "fighters" to help turn their situation around.

There was so much positivity at Arsenal ahead of the 2020-21 campaign after Arteta's early work in charge, including winning the FA Cup in August.

However, the Gunners have won just four games in the Premier League so far this term and, after Saturday's loss away at Everton, worryingly sit 15th in the table.

Stories have suggested there is unrest within the dressing room amid poor results, as well as the decision taken to ostracise Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Tuesday's EFL Cup quarter-final against Manchester City could provide a welcome distraction from their league woes, though Arteta again faced questions about morale among his players ahead of the game.

"When you talk about the dressing room and the atmosphere at the club, the atmosphere is good, as good as it can be when we are all hurting because results in the Premier League are hurting us," Arteta told the media on Monday.

"Everyone is worried and everybody is suffering because we want much more. We are working to get much more.

"In the dressing room, when you are losing football matches, it is difficult because they suffer as well because they care, because they want more, because the confidence level starts to go, but the unity is there.

"Is there 100 per cent unity around the club? It is impossible in any club even when you win because when players are not participating, it is more difficult but when you look at the perspective about how we are losing football matches and how we are where we are, it is pretty incredible."

Arsenal are only four points above the relegation zone and face trips to two of the teams below them - Brighton and Hove Albion and West Brom - during a busy festive period.

Before then, however, there are two huge homes games coming up, with Chelsea visiting on Boxing Day after the midweek cup tie with City at Emirates Stadium.

Arteta was asked how he responded to tough times during his playing days, to which he responded: "I liked to look around me, whether it's the staff, coaches, players and I wanted to see fighters.

"Normally when that happens, you have two types of people: fighters and victims. You need fighters and you don't want any victims.

"Victims bring excuses, victims bring negativity and they start to blame anything that is happening around them or is not going their way.

"You need people who fight, people who contribute and people who are ready to give everything to the club in this moment."

The Spaniard, who left his role as Pep Guardiola's assistant at City to take charge at Arsenal, also confirmed he has not considered walking away from the job.

"I don't like to think about those steps because then I will be thinking in a negative way and I cannot do that," Arteta said.

"At the moment, I have to try to be as positive as I can, believe in what we're doing, try to modify things to make it work better, and stay strong.  

"We're going through a lot of difficulties, the last thing we want to be thinking of is more problems coming up in the next few months.  

"I'm not in that state of mind. I know the responsibility that I have and why I am here."

Arsenal will be without striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in Tuesday's EFL Cup quarter-final with Manchester City.

The Gabon international missed the 2-1 Premier League loss at Everton, a match that extended the Gunners' winless domestic run to seven games.

Manager Mikel Arteta confirmed Aubameyang is improving but will not be ready to face Pep Guardiola's side at Emirates Stadium.

"Auba is feeling much better and he was more positive yesterday [Sunday] than in the previous two days," Arteta told reporters on Monday. "He will have another scan in the next few days and we will see how quickly we can get him back in the team.

"We know how important he is for us and he feels that responsibility and he is trying his best to be back fit as quickly as possible. For the rest, I don't think we're going to have any news today before training.

"Auba is not fit for tomorrow, that's for sure. He won't be playing tomorrow so we will see who is available because we have a few doubts as well in other positions. We want to get together a very competitive team because we know the level of City and we want to win the game tomorrow."

Arteta admits the match will serve as a welcome distraction from Arsenal's league campaign, with the defeat to Everton leaving them 15th in the table having taken five points from their past 10 matches.

"This is what we want to use it for. It's a competition we want to try to win," he said. "We had two difficult opponents before in Leicester City and Liverpool, we managed to beat them both and now we are playing at home and we are one step closer to Wembley. So, it is a really nice game to play, as this is the type of game we are looking for through the season."

Arteta suggested he could choose to field some youngsters against City and admits he has been surprised by the maturity they have displayed during a difficult few weeks at the club.

"It's part of what they have to do and what they have to go through to become really important players for this football club," he said. "You have to see how people react in difficult moments and they have to experience it themselves, to get through these difficult moments and how they're going to handle that pressure.

"If they are able to do that, they have to handle good moments and how they handle that to continue performing at the level that is required here. So it's another experience for them and I must say that they have been much more mature, responsible and efficient than I was expecting. So in my opinion, they are doing really well."

Real Madrid are still eyeing Kylian Mbappe next year.

Mbappe, 22, has been heavily linked with the LaLiga giants with his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expiring in 2022.

Madrid may be looking to make a move in 2021.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID CONFIDENT OVER MBAPPE IN 2021

Real Madrid are very confident of completing a deal for PSG star Mbappe next year, according to 90min.

Mbappe has developed into one of the world's best forwards at PSG, where he has scored 13 goals in 17 games this season.

The France international is admired by Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.

 

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- Barcelona may be active in January. Sport reports Ronald Koeman is insisting on signings to begin 2021, with Lyon star Memphis Depay said to be available for just €5million. It also says Barca will negotiate with Manchester City for Eric Garcia.

- Staying at Manchester City and the Premier League giants have been boosted by John Stones' form. The Telegraph reports the defender is poised for a contract extension, with his current deal running until 2022.

- Yves Bissouma is seemingly attracting plenty of interest after his form for Brighton and Hove Albion. The Daily Express reports Manchester United have joined the race for the midfielder, who has also been linked to Liverpool and Arsenal.

- Yet to play for Napoli this season, Arkadiusz Milik is set for an exit. CalcioMercato reports Tottenham have given up on trying to sign the striker, who is also apparently a target for Juventus, Inter and Roma.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are confident over a move for Lionel Messi, while Mohamed Salah is eyeing Real Madrid.

Messi sensationally requested to leave Barcelona during the close season, but ended up staying with the LaLiga giants.

While the star made more history on Saturday, his contract expires at the end of the season – and two European giants think he is ready to make a move.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY, PSG CONFIDENT OVER MESSI

Manchester City and PSG are confident Messi is prepared to leave Barcelona in 2021, according to 90min.

The big-spending European giants have been among the most heavily linked with a move for Messi, who is out of contract at Barca next year.

Messi equalled Pele's record of 643 goals for one club with his header against Valencia in LaLiga on Saturday.

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- Liverpool star Salah discussed a potential move to Real Madrid or Barcelona in an interview with Diario AS on Saturday – and the forward apparently has a club in mind. DefensaCentral reports the Egypt international wants a move to Madrid, who have apparently maintained close contact.

- Barcelona could be set for good news in January. L'Equipe reports Lyon are prepared to sell Memphis Depay – who has been linked with the LaLiga giants and is out of contract at the end of the season – for €5million.

- Manchester City are prepared to listen to offers for Oleksandr Zinchenko in January, according to 90min. Zinchenko has played just 12 minutes in the Premier League this season.

- Struggling for game time this season, Daniel James has been linked with a move away from Manchester United. However, the Manchester Evening News reports James is committed to staying with the Premier League giants beyond January.

Liverpool registered a historic win in their seven-goal blitz of Crystal Palace and the records of an unwanted kind kept coming for Arsenal in their defeat to Everton.

The reigning Premier League champions opened up a five-point lead at the top, with Merseyside rivals Everton their closest challengers after beating an Arsenal side slipping further into the abyss with each passing game.

Manchester City also got back to winning ways thanks to a Raheem Sterling-inspired success at Southampton, while Newcastle United and Fulham played out a draw at St James' Park in the late kick-off.

Here is the pick of the Opta facts from Saturday's action in the Premier League.

Crystal Palace 0-7 Liverpool: Reds run riot as Klopp overtakes Rafa

Jurgen Klopp registered a landmark victory in a historic win for Liverpool at Selhurst Park as the Reds won an away top-flight match by a margin of seven goals for the first time in their history.

German coach Klopp overtook Rafael Benitez (126) for the most triumphs as a Liverpool boss in the Premier League with his 127th success.

It was the first time the Merseyside outfit scored seven goals in a league game - each assisted by a different player - since a 9-0 triumph over Palace in September 1989, with the Eagles conceding seven in a home match for the first time.

Substitute Mohamed Salah netted a brace and laid on an assist for fellow two-goal forward Roberto Firmino - the 17th time the pair have combined for a Premier League goal for Liverpool, placing them behind only Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman (24).

Takumi Minamino, Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane were also on the scoresheet, the latter becoming only the fourth player in Premier League history to score in seven successive appearances against an opponent.

Southampton 0-1 Manchester City: Sterling sinks Saints again

Sterling's sweeping finish proved enough for City to return to winning ways at St Mary's Stadium as they became the first team to stop Southampton from scoring in the Premier League since the opening weekend of the season.

Match-winner Sterling has been directly involved in 11 goals in 16 Premier League meetings with Southampton – only against West Ham (14) has he had a hand in more.

Kevin De Bruyne set up that goal and now has 15 Premier League assists in 2020, which is three more than anyone else. The only time the Belgium playmaker set up more goals in a single calendar year in the competition was in 2017 (18).

City kept their opponents at bay from that point on and now boast the best defensive record in the division, conceding the fewest goals (12) and keeping more clean sheets (six) than any other team.

Everton 2-1 Arsenal: Arteta Holding on after latest defeat

Two days ahead of the one-year anniversary of his Everton appointment, Carlo Ancelotti celebrated victory over Arsenal to guarantee the Toffees a place in the top four at Christmas for the first time since 2004-05.

Rob Holding's own goal - the third by an Arsenal player in the Premier League this season - gave Everton the lead before Nicolas Pepe converted from the penalty spot for a team-high eighth goal involvement this term.

But Yerry Mina scored what proved to be the winning goal just before half-time to inflict an eighth defeat of the campaign on Arsenal, whose return of 14 points from 14 games is their fewest since 1974-75 (12 points when converted to three for a win).

Each of Mina's past four goals have come in the 45th minute - only Chris Eagles has scored as many consecutive goals in the same minute before, notching four times in the 90th between 2007 and 2011.

Goals are something Arsenal are still struggling for, meanwhile, having now failed to score from open play in their past five Premier League away matches, their only two goals in that run coming from the penalty spot.

Newcastle United 1-1 Fulham: Visitors pay the penalty in St James' stalemate

Newcastle benefited from another penalty - their third in six Premier League home games - as they recovered to earn a point against an improving Fulham side at St James' Park.

Callum Wilson made no mistake from 12 yards as he took his tally for the campaign to eight in 12 top-flight appearances, matching his return from 35 games with Bournemouth last term.

Fulham have conceded a league-high five penalties this season, including three in their past four outings, and had Joachim Andersen dismissed for the incident leading to the spot-kick - the third Danish player to see red for Fulham in the competition after Leon Andreasen and Claus Jensen.

However, Scott Parker's men - who led through Matt Ritchie's first-half own goal - held on to pick up at least a point when finishing a Premier League game with 10 men for the first time since they beat QPR 3-2 in April 2013, having lost on each of the five subsequent occasions.

Newcastle have failed to keep a clean sheet in their 11 most recent Premier League games on home soil, their longest run since February 2005 (also 11 games), but they still climbed two places into 12th.

Raheem Sterling revealed Manchester City "had a word" among themselves before getting back to winning ways at Southampton.

The England forward got the only goal at St Mary's as City's 1-0 win over the early-season high-flyers gave Pep Guardiola's team a foothold in the title race.

On a day when Liverpool scored seven at Crystal Palace, the narrow win for City was encouraging for the visitors after back-to-back draws against Manchester United and West Brom.

And for Sterling, who admitted his own form has dipped beneath the levels he would expect, it was particularly satisfying.

He told Amazon Prime Sport: "To win games and score goals has been really, really difficult for us, but we knew how important today was and we're just happy to get the three points.

"I just feel we had a word with ourselves. We've got to dig deep and find something within, because this is not the football club that we're at. We're a top team and we need to be competing every game.

"One of the things that's let us down in the past couple of weeks has been our aggressiveness.

"Normally we're a team that's really aggressive on the front foot, no matter whether that's on the press or with the ball. I think we play at our best when we’re on the front foot."

It was not vintage City but they edged most areas, and will hope future games see them hit fluent scoring form.

Sterling has played exactly 1,000 minutes this season in the Premier League but has only scored four times.

His shot conversion rate is just 16 per cent, which looks distinctly average when compared to some of the early-season leading scorers. Tottenham's Son Heung-min has put away 47.83 per cent of his chances.

However, Sterling can look at Son's club-mate Harry Kane if he wants encouragement that his own record is not as mediocre as it may appear. Nine-goal Kane's conversion rate is surprisingly only 18 per cent.

Sterling is level with Riyad Mahrez at the top of City's league scoring chart this season and will hope there are many more goals to come.

"It's a team sport," Sterling said. "Of course, you have to look at yourself as an individual and I'm constantly doing that.

"I know I haven't been at the level I should be, but it's a work in progress and the team has taken a step in the right way.

"At the end of the day, it's unpredictable and not every year you're going to be at your best. Sometimes, you need to dig deep and that's what makes you a player."

Sterling insisted City were not looking at chasing the title but at building up momentum, echoing recent messages from Guardiola.

"We don't look towards no title," he said. "We just look to win our next games."

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