Liverpool broke yet more records in their latest Premier League triumph over Tottenham, achieving a benchmark that not even Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain or Bayern Munich have previously managed. 

Roberto Firmino scored the first-half winner as the unbeaten Reds recorded their 20th top-flight victory in 21 games to take their tally to 61 points this term.

In the three-points-for-a-win era, that is the biggest points haul any team in Europe's top five leagues has ever managed after 21 games.

The likes of Barcelona, PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich have enjoyed spells as all-conquering giants in their respective domestic leagues, yet none of those sides have been able to achieve such a total at the same stage.

In avoiding defeat, Klopp's side also extended their unbeaten Premier League run to 38 games, the equivalent of a full season.

They have accrued 104 points in that time, winning 33 times and drawing on five occasions, bettering the previous record totals Manchester City and Chelsea (both 102) managed across 38-match spells in 2017-18 and 2005 respectively.

An exasperated Jose Mourinho suggested the VAR official must have been "having a tea" after a heavy tackle from Andy Robertson went unpunished in Liverpool's 1-0 win over Tottenham on Saturday.

After taking a poor touch deep in Spurs territory during the second half, a stretching Robertson appeared to catch Spurs debutant Japhet Tanganga firmly on the shin with his studs.

However, the Liverpool left-back was not even booked for the incident and Mourinho was less than impressed.

After hailing Jurgen Klopp's side, who are 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League after a 20th win from 21 games, the Spurs head coach suggested his team had been hard done by, comparing Robertson's challenge to the incident that saw Son Heung-min dismissed against Chelsea following a VAR review.

"They are so, so good and so, so strong in every area," said Mourinho of Liverpool in an interview with Sky Sports. "On top of that, they are lucky.

"Because they were lucky – they could perfectly concede a goal, they could perfectly finish the game with 10 because the VAR at the time they were having a [cup of] tea and they didn't watch Robertson for a red card.

"Compare that with Son [against Chelsea], when Son got a red card."

Mourinho also felt Liverpool were wrongly awarded a throw-in prior to Roberto Firmino scoring the only goal of the game, but he was proud of Tottenham's efforts in the absence of injured talisman Harry Kane, who is set to be out until at least April.

"I think I have only reasons to be sad with the result, but I have only reasons to be happy and proud of what the boys did and tried to do with the situation we had," he added.

"I think we deserved more from this game.

"With the throw-in [before Firmino's goal], that should be a throw-in in our favour, so it's a bit frustrating. I think the refs did a very good job, but unfortunately the assistant on the opposite side of us didn't see that throw-in."

In an interview with the BBC, Mourinho said: "This is football. Sometimes you get more than you deserve, sometimes you get less. I think this was one of the occasions when we got nothing when we deserved so much to get something.

"It was probably the best team in the world in the maximum of its potential against a team in a difficult moment, lots of injuries, important injuries, a difficult season, and I think the boys competed in a fantastic way. We were just unlucky not to score."

Jurgen Klopp described Liverpool's record-breaking points tally as "special" but insists he will not get carried away until his side have an unassailable lead at the top of the Premier League. 

The Reds made it 61 points from their 21 league games this season with a 1-0 win at Tottenham on Saturday, courtesy of Roberto Firmino's first-half goal.

That is the most any side has registered after the same number of games in a single season across Europe's big five leagues.

Klopp's men are now a whopping 16 points ahead of second-place Leicester City – who lost to Southampton earlier in the day – although their lead at the summit would be cut to 14 points if Manchester City overcome Aston Villa on Sunday.

"That is special [the points tally]," the German told Sky Sports. "If it would be easy then a lot more teams would have done it.

"It's really difficult to win the number of games and always be ready to fight on your best day, on your worst day and on the average days. Always that's what the boys do; that's why we are here.

"I'm really happy about it. The only problem is you don't get anything for best starts apart from numbers. The only thing we are interested in is what happens at the end of the season and so that's not done yet, because this league is so strong, because we face so many strong opponents.

"The moment that we have enough points that nobody can catch us anymore, then we start talking about it. Until then I couldn't be less interested."

Tottenham should have sealed a point late on, with Son Hueng-min and Giovani Lo Celso guilty of squandering golden opportunities, and Klopp expressed his frustration at his side's failure to put the game out of the hosts' reach. 

"First and foremost the result is the most important thing," he said. "One team deserved to win and that was us. That the game was not decided after 50-60 minutes was, of course, our fault as well.

"We had big chances and didn't score with them. There were a lot of good parts but we should have scored more goals; that's the truth. We have to be honest to ourselves and that's what we are.

"So, we could have scored more and when you can do that you have to do it; especially against an opponent like Tottenham, in a stadium like this."

Despite their stunning campaign, defender Virgil van Dijk claims there is more to come from the Merseysiders. 

"It gives us all a good feeling, but I think you see especially in the second half there's still room for improvement, so we're going to have to look at the things we have to improve," he said.

"That's the mentality we have and obviously we're in a good situation but there's still so much work we can do to make it even easier at times. It's a difficult place to come and three points is outstanding for us."

Jose Mourinho certainly sprung a surprise with his team for Tottenham's Premier League clash with runaway leaders Liverpool as he handed a top-flight debut to Japhet Tanganga.

The 20-year-old, whose only previous experience of senior football came in an EFL Cup tie, operated in a centralised right-back role behind Serge Aurier, and was handed the unenviable task of shackling Sadio Mane.

Though Spurs were unable to record their third clean sheet of the season, Tanganga had an encouraging debut, winning 71.4 per cent of his duels.

We took a closer look at Tanganga's display in Spurs' 1-0 loss.

 

2' - It was quite an introduction to the Premier League for Tanganga, whose first touch was a goal-line block with his outstretched left leg to deny Roberto Firmino the opener. The Spurs youngster would have been well placed to thwart Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's follow-up effort had it been on target and not hit the post, though Tanganga was fortunate the ball did not go in via the back of his leg after it ricocheted off him. 

8' - Perhaps buoyed by that fine intervention, an eager Tanganga naively surged upfield to try to dispossess Mane, only to see the Senegal international easily turn away from trouble. Tanganga eventually brought Mane down and can count himself lucky not to have been booked.

22' - Spurs were utilising a somewhat hybrid formation, with regular right-back Aurier sometimes operating slightly further forward to account for the raiding Andy Robertson. However, as Aurier squared up to Mane with Tanganga directly behind him in support, nobody had thought about Robertson, with Spurs' debutant eventually recovering to snuff out the attempted cutback to Firmino. 

32' - Tanganga's next direct duel with Mane resulted in a victory for the rookie. He stepped in to win the ball, outmuscled the Reds attacker and burst forward. This time Mane brought down Tanganga, who needed some treatment on a blow to the back of the head sustained as he fell.

37' - The Liverpool breakthrough. The Spurs defending in the build-up was shoddy but Tanganga's attempt to cut out Mohamed Salah's pass to Firmino was futile, the Brazilian opening his body to fire the league leaders ahead.

62' - After a quiet start to the second half, Tanganga made his mark by winning a 50-50 against Jordan Henderson, nullifying a potential Liverpool counter-attack.

64' - Tanganga may have been fortunate early on when the ball hit the back of his leg and did not go in, but Lady Luck was not smiling on him just after the hour mark as he slipped, fell and saw Mane glide beyond him. Toby Alderweireld had to deal with Robertson's eventual cross.

65'-  The youngster was in the wars again moments later after a loose touch from Robertson saw him chase the ball and mistime a tackle on Tanganga, who was caught on the shin by the full-back's studs. VAR did not look at the incident again and both men were still on the ground in pain when Paulo Gazzaniga pushed away Mane's header.

69' - A double change for Spurs saw a new role for Tanganga, who shifted across to left-back after a chat with Mourinho when Danny Rose was withdrawn.

88' - Spurs pressed for a late leveller – one that never came – and the newcomer offered very little to their attacking cause, opting to pass backwards or across and rarely venturing beyond the halfway line. Tanganga was, unsurprisingly, tiring late on as he let Henderson easily go past him via a one-two.

Roberto Firmino scored the only goal of the game as relentless Liverpool won at Tottenham to go 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League following Leicester City's defeat to Southampton.

Firmino's first-half strike on Saturday took the runaway leaders to 61 points, a European record among the continent's big-five leagues after 21 games played.

Liverpool look unstoppable in their quest to be crowned champions of England for the first time in 30 years, with second-placed Leicester – who have played a game more than the Merseyside club – slumping to a 2-1 loss at home to Southampton.

The Foxes consigned the Saints to a record-equalling 9-0 drubbing in October, but had three goals ruled out for offside at the King Power Stadium and Danny Ings' 10th goal in his last 10 top-flight starts gave the south-coast club sweet revenge.

Manchester United replaced Sheffield United in fifth spot with a 4-0 drubbing of Norwich City at Old Trafford, Marcus Rashford claiming a brace, after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored and was sent off in Arsenal's 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.

Chelsea are five points better off than the Red Devils in fourth, having avoided a third successive Premier League home defeat with a 3-0 victory over Burnley.

Richarlison scored the only goal in Everton's win over Brighton and Hove Albion at Goodison Park, while Newcastle United and Wolves had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Molineux.

 

FIRMINO GIVES REDS CAPITAL GAINS

Jurgen Klopp's all-conquering side took another stride towards an elusive title by making it 20 wins out of 21 in the Premier League.

A clinical finish from Firmino eight minutes before half-time was enough to seal maximum points in north London.

Son Hueng-min and Giovani Lo Celso squandered great chances to level for Spurs and they proved to be costly as Jose Mourinho's side suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats to sit in eighth spot.

INGS KEEPS SAINTS MARCHING

Southampton pulled off a magnificent victory to leave high-flying Leicester stunned.

Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho and Jonny Evans had goals disallowed for offside and Southampton had a penalty decision overturned by VAR in an action-packed encounter.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's upwardly mobile side were not to be denied maximum points, though, courtesy of a deflected first-half strike from Stuart Armstrong and a 14th of the season in the league from Ings – who hit the crossbar twice – either side of Dennis Praet's first Leicester goal.

 

RUTHLESS UNITED HAMMER CANARIES

Manchester United responded to their 3-1 EFL Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City with a ruthless demolition of bottom side Norwich.

Rashford took his tally of league goals this season to 14 with one in each half and Anthony Martial scored United's third two minutes after the England striker helped himself to a double from the penalty spot.

Mason Greenwood was given far too much time to add a fourth soon after coming off the bench as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side ran riot, leaving Norwich still seven points adrift of fourth-bottom Aston Villa.

AUBA AND OUT

Aubameyang's 15th top-flight goal of the campaign gave the Gunners a first-half advantage at Selhurst Park, but things turned sour for the striker after the break.

The Gabon international was initially booked by referee Paul Tierney for a challenge on Max Meyer, but a red card was brandished after a VAR review which took over two minutes. 

Jordan Ayew's deflected strike had brought injury-hit Palace level before Aubameyang was ordered off and neither side could force a derby winner.

Liverpool's seemingly unstoppable march towards a first Premier League title continued as Roberto Firmino's goal sealed a 1-0 win over Tottenham on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp's side are now a whopping 16 points ahead of second-place Leicester City – who lost to Southampton earlier in the day – although their lead at the summit could be cut to 14 points if Manchester City overcome Aston Villa on Sunday.

The Reds were dominant in the first half and made the most of their superiority when Firmino expertly drilled home from inside the penalty area after 37 minutes.

Son Hueng-min and Giovani Lo Celso squandered golden opportunities to snatch a scarcely deserved point for Jose Mourinho's men late on, with Liverpool ultimately holding on for yet another three points.

Liverpool twice came agonisingly close to going ahead inside two minutes. Firmino's initial effort was cleared off the line by top-flight debutant Japhet Tanganga, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain lashing against the post from the follow-up.

Lucas Moura, Son and Dele Alli all missed the target from promising positions soon after, while at the other end Virgil van Dijk headed straight at Paulo Gazzaniga from just six yards.

There was little the Spurs goalkeeper could do to deny Firmino eight minutes before the interval, the Brazil international controlling Mohamed Salah's pass with a sublime touch before lashing in from 10 yards.

Spurs started the second half with a spring in their step and twice came close before the hour mark, with Serge Aurier testing Alisson and Son seeing an effort deflected narrowly wide.

The game was almost put out of their reach in the 66th minute but Gazzaniga got down sharply to paw away Sadio Mane's header.

Spurs rallied in the closing stages, with Son blazing over from a glorious position and substitute Lo Celso somehow diverting Aurier's cross wide from inside the six-yard box seven minutes from time.

Klopp was visibly furious at his side's defending, but it mattered little in the end as they held on for a win that strengthens their already formidable position at the summit.

 

What does it mean? Relentless Reds march on

Klopp's men have now taken a scarcely believable 88 points from their last 90 available in the Premier League, winning their last 12 matches in a row.

They rarely looked in danger of failing to claim all three points against a Spurs side desperately missing the presence of the injured Harry Kane in attack.

Mourinho, meanwhile, needs to turn his side's fortunes around sharpish. They have now won just one of their last five Premier League games and are nine points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Firmino's touch of class

Mane and Salah often steal the headlines, but Firmino once again proved his worth with a superb goal. His first touch was exquisite, and the finish was not bad either. He also created four chances for his team-mates.

Eriksen's Spurs career ending with a whimper

With a move to Inter seemingly on the cards, it was a surprise to see Christian Eriksen named in Mourinho's starting XI.

Despite creating a few chances, he failed to repay his manager's faith, serving up a dismal display where he was often outmuscled and appeared to be lacking intensity. 

What might be one of his last appearances in a Spurs shirt ended with a 69th-minute substitution.

What's next?

Tottenham host Middlesbrough in an FA Cup third-round replay on Tuesday before visiting Watford in the Premier League on Saturday. Liverpool, meanwhile, welcome bitter rivals Manchester United – the only side they have dropped points against this season – to Anfield on Sunday.

Danny Ings gave in-form Southampton sweet revenge over Leicester City and Manchester United hammered bottom side Norwich City in the Premier League on Saturday.

Leicester consigned the Saints to a record-equalling 9-0 defeat in October, but the second-placed Foxes – who had three goals ruled out – were beaten 2-1 at the King Power Stadium less than three months later.

Ings' 10th goal in his last 10 top-flight starts sealed all three points for a Southampton side who have now won three and drawn one of their last four Premier League matches.

Manchester United replaced Sheffield United in fifth spot with a 4-0 drubbing of Norwich at Old Trafford, Marcus Rashford scoring twice, after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored and was sent off in Arsenal's 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.

Chelsea are five points better off than the Red Devils in fourth, having avoided a third successive Premier League home defeat with a 3-0 victory over Burnley.

Richarlison scored the only goal in Everton's win over Brighton and Hove Albion at Goodison Park, while Newcastle United and Wolves had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Molineux.

 

INGS KEEPS SAINTS MARCHING

Southampton pulled off a magnificent victory to leave high-flying Leicester stunned.

Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho and Jonny Evans had goals disallowed for offside and Southampton had a penalty decision overturned by VAR in an action-packed encounter.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's upwardly mobile side were not to be denied maximum points, though, courtesy of a deflected first-half strike from Stuart Armstrong and a 14th of the season in the league from Ings – who hit the crossbar twice – either side of Dennis Praet's first Leicester goal.

 

RUTHLESS UNITED HAMMER CANARIES

Manchester United responded to their 3-1 EFL Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City with a ruthless demolition of bottom side Norwich.

Rashford took his tally of league goals this season to 14 with one in each half and Anthony Martial scored United's third two minutes after the England striker helped himself to a double from the penalty spot.

Mason Greenwood was given far too much time to add a fourth soon after coming off the bench as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side ran riot, leaving Norwich still seven points adrift of fourth-bottom Aston Villa.

AUBA AND OUT

Aubameyang's 15th top-flight goal of the campaign gave the Gunners a first-half advantage at Selhurst Park, but things turned sour for the striker after the break.

The Gabon international was initially booked by referee Paul Tierney for a challenge on Max Meyer, but a red card was brandished after a VAR review which took over two minutes. 

Jordan Ayew's deflected strike had brought injury-hit Palace level before Aubameyang was ordered off and neither side could force a derby winner.

Tottenham have handed starts to Japhet Tanganga and Christian Eriksen in Saturday's Premier League clash against leaders Liverpool.

Twenty-year-old defender Tanganga will make his first top-flight appearance for Spurs, with Eriksen also playing from the start despite being heavily linked with a move to Inter.

With Harry Kane out injured, Eriksen, Dele Alli and Lucas Moura will support Son Heung-min in attack.

Tottenham look set to play a five-man defence, with Jan Vertonghen, Ryan Sessegnon, Moussa Sissoko, Tanguy Ndombele and Kane dropping out of the team who played Southampton in their last league game.

Tanganga, Son, Harry Winks, Davinson Sanchez and Danny Rose are the players to come in.

Liverpool make one change, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain starting his first game for over a month as he replaces James Milner, who has a hamstring injury.

Xavi seems set to return to Barcelona as head coach, replacing Ernesto Valverde.

Valverde is under pressure again at the helm of the LaLiga giants after Thursday's Supercopa de Espana semi-final loss to Atletico Madrid.

And, it seems Barca are wasting no time finding a replacement.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA OFFER XAVI DEAL TO REPLACE VALVERDE

Barcelona have offered Al Sadd boss Xavi a two-and-a-half-year deal to replace Valverde, according to AS.

Xavi's potential return to Camp Nou, where he won eight LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues in a glittering playing career, is dominating headlines in Spain.

The cover of Sport reads 'Earthquake Xavi', while Marca also reports that Barcelona have offered the job to the former midfielder.

ROUND-UP

- Bruno Fernandes. Manchester United. Here we go again. Record reports Sporting CP officials met with the Premier League club with a move potentially going ahead in January. The Daily Mail says United are considering a £55m (€64.6m) move for Fernandes, who they were reportedly interested in during the close season.

- Staying at Old Trafford and The Sun reports Manchester United are eyeing a £40m move for West Ham defender Issa Diop, who is also apparently a target for Chelsea.

- Manchester United are at the centre of plenty of speculation this month, including a potential exit for Ashley Young. CalcioMercato reports Inter want the 34-year-old and the Serie A side are offering Young – who is out of contract at season's end – a deal until 2021.

- Gedson Fernandes is seemingly set for a move to London, but to which club remains to be seen. The Guardian reports West Ham fear they will miss out on the Benfica midfielder to Tottenham.

- Out of contract at the end of the season, Hugo Vallejo appears set for a Malaga exit. AS reports Real Madrid are considering making a move for the forward this month before sending the 19-year-old out on loan until the end of 2019-20. Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Valencia are also reportedly interested in Vallejo.

- Meanwhile, Barca have had an offer of €6m for midfielder Matheus Fernandes rejected by Palmeiras, according to Globo Esporte.

Daniel Farke has insisted Norwich City have no intention of selling promising defender Max Aarons, who has been linked with Tottenham, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund.

Aarons has made 19 Premier League appearances for Norwich this season, with the 20-year-old impressing despite the Canaries' struggles at the bottom of the table.

The full-back's performances have reportedly resulted in interest from Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton, while Bundesliga side Dortmund are the latest club to be linked.

However, Farke – who also confirmed Norwich's key man Teemu Pukki is to miss Saturday's clash with Manchester United due to a hamstring injury – is adamant Aarons will be going nowhere this month.

"I wouldn't spend too much energy listening to all these rumours. Max is a young guy and he still has four-and-a-half years of his contract left," Farke told a news conference.

"I think it's not the right time for him to even think about a move. I would also be doubtful when too many clubs are linked with him. 

"He is totally at the right place here, he's played nearly 20 Premier League games, now leave him alone and let him play some football."

Jose Mourinho said it would be like having "two new players" as he confirmed Hugo Lloris and Ben Davies should be back in action for Tottenham by the end of January.

Spurs are going through a difficult period, having won only once in their past five matches and lost key players Harry Kane and Moussa Sissoko to serious injuries.

But head coach Mourinho is expecting to have first-choice goalkeeper Lloris and left-back Davies on the pitch by the end of January.

Lloris suffered an elbow injury at the start of October, meaning Paolo Gazzaniga has had to deputise, while Davies has been missing since sustaining ankle ligament damage in Mourinho's first match at the helm on November 23.

"The good news is that before the end of the month we have two new players, Hugo Lloris and Ben Davies. This is good news," Mourinho said in Friday's news conference ahead of facing Liverpool.

"Lloris never played a game for me, Ben played one, and very, very well in a system we were trying to develop, which was only possible with him because he's the one left-back that can play in that inside position, as Danny Rose is a pure left-back, Jan Vertonghen is not a left-back and Ryan Sessegnon is learning how to be a left-back.

"So, Ben is very important for our project. So, it's good news.

"[Lloris' return] is very important. He's the captain with Harry. We lose one, it's nice to recover the other.

"The experience, the way he plays, speaking - it's very important for a goalkeeper to play and speak at the same time.

"We have a goalkeeper that's doing his best and we have confidence in him. For Hugo to be back after such an important injury is good and it opens space in the medical department.

"Some people are leaving the medical room, some people are coming in. Is there an area in the medical department with a plate saying Hugo Lloris? Because he's there every day for the past three months."

Stefano Pioli would love to be able to "move the clock forward" but accepts the transfer window is something he has to live with amid speculation over the future of Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek. 

Premier League side Tottenham are reportedly in talks to sign Piatek, who has scored only four goals in 18 Serie A appearances this season.

The Poland international's hopes of being a regular starter for the Rossoneri have been dealt a blow with the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to San Siro and Rafael Leao's emergence.

Despite the speculation, Pioli has named Piatek in his squad to face Cagliari on Saturday and expects him to be completely focused on the match in Sardinia.

"If I could move the clock forward I would be happy," Pioli told a media conference. "We have to live with the transfer market but given our current position everyone has to be fully focused on games. Piatek is called up and will be available for tomorrow."

Ibrahimovic played 35 minutes in his first game since signing for a second spell as Milan were held to a goalless draw by Sampdoria.

Asked if the Swede is ready to play 90 minutes, Pioli replied: "No but I will choose whether to play him from the beginning [or from the bench].

"To play 90 minutes you need a few games, that's normal for those who have not played for some time."

Pioli believes Ibrahimovic could have a significant impact on Leao, who has not scored since opening his account for the club against Fiorentina in September.

"He [Leao] understood that something can be learned from the great champions," added Pioli. 

"Having a champion like Ibra next to him can grow quickly."

Jose Mourinho is hopeful Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy can provide a transfer "solution" as Spurs face a testing few months without star striker Harry Kane.

After a positive start as Spurs coach, Mourinho has seen results take a turn for the worse in recent weeks, with just one win in five across all competitions.

To make matters worse, Spurs have lost Kane and Moussa Sissoko to serious injuries, while Tanguy NDombele continues to struggle with niggling fitness problems.

The club have been linked with making January moves in the transfer market, with Gedson Fernandes of Benfica and Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek rumoured to be key targets.

Spurs chairman Levy has garnered a reputation as a frugal spender in the transfer market, but Mourinho is optimistic the club can capitalise on the right opportunities should they arise.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with pacesetters Liverpool, Mourinho said: "Even the coaches without injuries, without problems in the squad, the coaches with the best squads – let's say Jurgen [Klopp, Liverpool manager], with the best team, with amazing players and an amazing squad, he was happy to get a new player [Takumi Minamino].

"We [managers] are all the same, but the reality is when I came here two months ago, I knew the situation.

"I didn't know that of course I was going to be without Kane and Moussa for so long, but I knew that the situation was about trying to get the best out of the players we have, and that doesn't change, so I'm focused on the work, the game.

"If the boss [Levy] arrives with a solution that can help us to face these difficult months that we are going to have ahead of us, so be it, that's welcome, but if we don't find the right solution, right opportunity, then we are going to wait for the next summer to make the right decisions for the evolution of the team.

"January is a strange market, it's not an easy market to be in. It's a market of opportunity, a market where an opportunity arises and you have the conditions to do it or you do not do it. We have to be calm and not think about the market – let the market think about us."

Kane is not expected to be back in training again until April, meaning he is likely to miss much of the remainder of the season, and although Piatek has been mentioned as a potential short-term replacement, Mourinho says no one can replace his captain.

"Kane is important, irreplaceable," he said. "There's no player who can replace him, and Moussa was playing so well since I arrived, one of our best performers.

"The bad news is that it's not just a couple of weeks then they're back, it's surgery and a long, long time [out].

"If you allow me, I would like to not speak about Kane and Moussa until they are back, so let's try talking about everything to do with them today.

"It's normal everyone wants to speak about Harry, but I don't want to speak too much because then I'll get depressed and then you are going to say I'm miserable and depressed and in a bad mood, so it's better to talk about things that make me laugh."

Tottenham appear close to landing a replacement for Harry Kane, while Thomas Lemar could also be set for the Premier League.

Kane needs surgery on his left hamstring and is not expected to return to training for Spurs until April.

It seems the Premier League club are nearing a move for Milan forward Krzysztof Piatek, although there are contrasting reports over the status of the deal.

And, Atletico Madrid midfielder Lemar could also be heading to London.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS CLOSE TO LANDING PIATEK AS KANE REPLACEMENT

Tottenham have agreed a deal worth £28million (€32.95m) for Piatek, according to The Sun.

However, the Mirror reports Spurs have had a loan bid for the 24-year-old Poland international rejected, although talks are continuing.

After netting 11 times in 21 games for Milan last season following a January move from Genoa, Piatek has four goals in 18 this campaign.

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea and Tottenham are both trying to sign Atletico's Lemar on loan until the end of the season, according to The Telegraph. Lemar is linked with an Atletico exit after just nine LaLiga starts this season.

- While Christian Eriksen's possible Spurs exit will dominate headlines this month, it appears the midfielder will not be heading to Old Trafford. Sky Sports reports Manchester United have ruled out making a bid for the Denmark international this month.

- Searching for a right-back, Tottenham are keen on signing Barcelona's Nelson Semedo, according to the Mirror. The position has been a problem for Spurs since Kieran Trippier's off-season move to Atletico.

- Javier Hernandez's stay at Sevilla could be coming to an end. Marca reports the club could let the forward, who has one goal in nine LaLiga games this season, leave amid apparent interest from LA Galaxy.

- Leicester City are trying to sign Juventus defender Merih Demiral, according to the Mirror. Manchester City and Everton are also reportedly interested in the Turkey international.

- Piatek aside, there may be other moves at Milan. La Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira says Roma are interested in Suso and Cengiz Under could be heading to San Siro, while Milan are still eyeing Inter's Matteo Politano.

- Could David Moyes and Marouane Fellaini reunite for a third time? Sky Sports reports Moyes' West Ham are interested in signing the Shandong Luneng midfielder, who played under the Scot at Everton and Manchester United.

Tottenham and England are set for a spell without talisman Harry Kane following his injury.

The striker suffered a ruptured tendon of his left hamstring and will require surgery, meaning he is not expected back in Spurs training until April.

With Jose Mourinho's men off the pace in the Premier League while England prepare for Euro 2020, the news comes as a blow to both club and country.

Using Opta data, we take a look at just how Kane's absence impacts both Tottenham and England.

 

SHOT-SHY

It should come as no surprise that Spurs and England shoot less often when Kane is not playing, with the forward boasting the ability and willingness to score from just about anywhere.

But Kane is also a wonderful playmaker, often dropping deep to create space and pick passes for runners such as Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura, Raheem Sterling or Marcus Rashford.

Since the start of the 2014-15 season, Kane has played 187 Premier League matches, in which Tottenham averaged 15.6 shots per game. In the 24 fixtures he has missed, that figure drops to 14.9 shots per game.

The difference is more marked with England. Since his international debut in March 2015, the Three Lions have attempted 15.1 shots per game with Kane in the side (45 matches) and 12.3 without (16 matches).

 

GOALS DRY UP – AT BOTH ENDS...

So it follows that with fewer shots come fewer goals. Spurs and England certainly feel Kane's absence when it comes to putting the ball in the net.

The London club have scored 359 times across his Premier League matches since 2014-15, an average of 1.9 per game. They net 1.3 per game without him.

England score a hugely impressive average of 2.3 goals per game – 103 in total – when the top scorer in Euro 2020 qualifying is involved. That drops to that same mark of 1.3 when he is missing.

Interestingly, though, England's defence is statistically meaner when Kane is absent, conceding 0.5 goals per game, down from 0.9.

Tottenham concede roughly one goal per game regardless of their front man's availability.

 

WINNING WOES

Tottenham were already struggling to finish in the top four in this season's Premier League with Kane in the side, so Mourinho really has his work cut out now.

Their top-flight win rate since 2014-15 falls from 57.2 per cent to a relatively ordinary 45.8 per cent when Kane is not involved.

They have lost seven of the 24 games he has not been involved in, while their points return drops from 1.9 per game to 1.6.

Although England may concede more often on average with Kane on the pitch, they are a much better side going forward when they can count on their captain, winning 64.4 per cent of matches with him compared to 50 per cent without.

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