Mikel Arteta claimed his first win as Arsenal head coach against Manchester United on New Year's Day.

The end of a hectic spell of Premier League fixtures brought some belated joy for Arteta and Arsenal in a 2-0 home victory.

A fine day for the Gunners also saw rivals Tottenham beaten, but Manchester City and Liverpool made no mistake at the top.

We review the key midweek top-flight matches with the help of Opta data.


INGS AND SAINTS PREY ON LEAKY SPURS

Danny Ings is a man in top form and his goal on Wednesday - a ninth in his past nine Premier League starts - saw Southampton to a 1-0 win over Tottenham at St Mary's Stadium.

Only Jamie Vardy (17) can better Ings' tally of 13 league goals this term, while the former Liverpool man has scored eight times against 'top-six' sides since the start of last season - second only to Sergio Aguero (nine).

His goal meant Spurs have still only kept one clean sheet under Jose Mourinho in all competitions 11 games into his reign.

Tottenham lost their first league game of a calendar year for the first time since 2009, while Southampton are on the up, having won three of their past five home matches in the competition.

JESUS DOWNS FAVOURED FOES EVERTON

Manchester City maintained their recent dominance of Everton with a 2-1 win at Etihad Stadium, winning five consecutive league matches against the Toffees for the first time.

The champions also got the better of Carlo Ancelotti for a fourth time in the Premier League. He has lost to City more times than any other team in the competition.

Gabriel Jesus grabbed both City goals and now has seven against Everton - all of them coming in his past five league games - while he has been directly involved in 69 goals in his 75 starts for the club in all competitions.

With Richarlison responding for Everton to set up a tense finish, this became just the fourth match in Premier League history to see a Brazilian score for either side (excluding own goals).

ARTETA'S ARSENAL END WINLESS HOME RUN

After seven home games without a win in all competitions since beating Vitoria SC in October, Arsenal belatedly got the better of United.

In a further sign of the Gunners' struggles this term, this was their first win against a team currently in the top half in the Premier League in 2019-20, drawing four and losing five of their previous nine.

Nicolas Pepe and Sokratis Papastathopoulos got the goals, making Arteta the seventh Premier League boss to claim their first victory in the competition against United.

Defeat perhaps came as little surprise to the Red Devils, as they have a miserable recent record at Emirates Stadium, losing on four of their past five league visits.

RELENTLESS REDS RECORD ANOTHER WIN

There looks to be no stopping Liverpool, who moved on to 58 points after just 20 Premier League games this season with a 2-0 home victory over Sheffield United. Adjusting to three points for a win, the only team in top-flight history to match that outstanding tally were Manchester City in 2017-18 (also 58).

The Reds scored in a 29th consecutive Premier League game - the third-longest run in competition history - as Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane found the net, the latter registering his 100th goal involvement for the club in all competitions (74 goals, 26 assists in 151 appearances).

Mane has 25 league goals at Anfield since the start of last season, with only Lionel Messi (29 at Camp Nou) and Kylian Mbappe (27 at the Parc des Princes) netting more at a specific stadium in that time.

Liverpool condemned the Blades to back-to-back league defeats for the first time since they lost their first two Championship matches in 2018-19.

Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts has joined Championship side Middlesbrough on loan after having his Norwich City stay cut short.

Roberts, 22, joined the promoted Canaries ahead of the 2019-20 season after signing a new Man City contract and was expected to see plenty of first-team football given Daniel Farke's faith in young players.

However, the former England youth international has made just three substitute appearances in the Premier League, amounting to 23 minutes.

Boro will be Roberts' fourth loan destination following his spells with Norwich, Girona and Celtic.

The winger had been highly rated as a teenager, bursting on to the scene as a 16-year-old with Fulham and earning a move to City in 2015.

However, since then he has generally struggled to live up to his early billing, bar the first 18 months of his two-and-a-half-year period with Celtic.

He joins Boro until the end of the season, with Jonathan Woodgate's side – who are 16th in the Championship – hoping to eventually challenge for a play-off place having strung together four successive wins following a difficult start to the season.

Roberts has two-and-a-half years left on his City contract.

Pep Guardiola praised Manchester City's attitude in their win over Everton, saying other teams would "finish seventh or eighth" if they were so far behind the leaders.

Gabriel Jesus' second-half brace helped City to a 2-1 home victory on Wednesday as Guardiola's third-placed side moved within 11 points of pacesetters Liverpool, who have played two fewer games.

The City manager was pleased with his team's approach as they continue to fight in the Premier League despite Liverpool's big lead at the top.

"We played top. I am so delighted with the performance, the behaviour as always, as always that we are," Guardiola told a news conference.

"Being so far away from first after being champions for two seasons, a team in normal situations, in this situation, give up. And finish seventh or eighth in the table.

"Maybe we will finish seventh or eighth in the table, but not because we don't try. So, the game was always there, we played so good, and a good victory for us."

Guardiola opted for a 3-4-3 formation against Everton, starting Eric Garcia, Fernandinho and Rodri in defence, with Benjamin Mendy and Joao Cancelo as wing-backs.

The former Barcelona boss was pleased with City's execution of the new system, saying it could be a more regular option moving forward.

"Maybe we will do it again," Guardiola said. "In the first half against Sheffield United, we played with three at the back, too.

"Not just second half. We changed position, but the structure was that.

"We can do it in the future. We played it really well. The five guys are so good with the ball. Riyad [Mahrez] receives the ball in better positions and that helps, too."

City are back in action on Saturday when they host Port Vale in the FA Cup third round.

Everton's 100 per cent record under Carlo Ancelotti came unstuck in a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City, but Mikel Arteta and David Moyes got their first victories in charge of West Ham and Arsenal, respectively. 

Arteta, whose Arsenal side put in a much-improved performance, claimed a 2-0 victory over Manchester United, while West Ham crushed Bournemouth 4-0 on the Scot's return to the club.

Danny Ings scored the only goal of the game as Tottenham suffered a surprise 1-0 loss to Southampton, while top-four rivals Chelsea were held 1-1 by Brighton and Hove Albion.

There were also wins for Aston Villa, Leicester City and Watford, along with a draw between Norwich City and Crystal Palace, as 2020 got off to an eventful start, with VAR once again proving to be a big talking point.

Jesus at the double while Noble inspires Hammers

Ancelotti delivered back-to-back wins in his opening two games as Everton boss and his Toffees side frustrated City for 51 minutes in a tight game at the Etihad.

The deadlock was broken by Gabriel Jesus, who scored with a scintillating right-footed shot into the top corner from the edge of the box, and he connected with a Riyad Mahrez pass to score with a low shot seven minutes later.

Richarlison turned Theo Walcott's deflected cross into the net at the far post with 19 minutes left to give Everton hope, but they failed to find an equaliser and suffered a first defeat in six league games.

At London Stadium, Moyes produced a markedly improved performance from West Ham as they strolled to a 4-0 victory over Bournemouth, with captain Mark Noble scoring a brace.

Noble scored with a deflected shot with 17 minutes played and Sebastien Haller found the net via a bicycle kick before the Hammers' skipper converted a first-half penalty.

Felipe Anderson netted with a neat finish when Declan Rice found him with a measured pass, West Ham's fourth wrapping up their biggest margin of victory in the Premier League for over a decade.

 

Arteta off the mark at jubilant Emirates

Arsenal's home faithful were treated to a dominant display and a 2-0 victory over Manchester United that harked back to the days when Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp tormented the Red Devils in north London.

Nicolas Pepe opened the scoring in the eighth minute, firing home from 12 yards after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sead Kolasinac combined to great effect down the Arsenal left.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos doubled the hosts' lead shortly before half-time, lashing high into the net from close range after United failed to clear their lines at a corner, but Arsenal had capitulated from a winning position on this ground against Chelsea three days earlier.

There was to be no turnaround this time, however. The win moves Arsenal up to 10th in the Premier League table, while United remain fifth, but the balance of play suggested the two sides could end the season much closer together.

 

Chelsea held by Jahanbakhsh stunner

Cesar Azpilicueta scored the first Premier League goal of the decade with a close-range finish after Tammy Abraham's shot was blocked by Aaron Mooy, but Chelsea could not get the job done against Brighton.

Jahanbakhsh celebrated with tears of joy after scoring his first goal for Brighton in the 2-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday and he did not have to wait long for his second goal.

The Iran winger sent an acrobatic attempt past Kepa Arrizabalaga with six minutes of normal time remaining to deny Frank Lampard's side a third away league win on the spin.

So delighted to be able to help the team again today! Happy new year to everyone  #BHAFC pic.twitter.com/nW7p7E8zMY

— Alireza Jahanbakhsh (@Alirezajb7) January 1, 2020

Foxes march on with win at 10-man Newcastle

Despite being without the Premier League's leading scorer Jamie Vardy for a second game, firstly due to the birth of his child and this time due to a minor injury, Leicester were comfortable 3-0 winners at Newcastle.

The Foxes' incredible campaign continued thanks to goals from former Newcastle attacker Ayoze Perez, James Maddison and substitute Hamza Choudhury.

While Leicester's outside title hopes just about remain intact, moving back to within 10 points of Liverpool after playing two games more than the runaway leaders, a third defeat in a row for Newcastle leaves them five points above the relegation zone.

 

Villa pick up much-needed win while Wickham pegs bag Norwich

Villa boss Dean Smith insisted he still had the support of the dressing room in the build-up to the trip to Burnley, and that showed as Villa returned to winning ways with a 2-1 triumph at Turf Moor that saw them climb out of the relegation zone.

Wesley got the first goal after 27 minutes and the Villans added a second on the stroke of half-time when Jack Grealish scored his sixth Premier League goal in his 19th appearance this season.

Chris Wood pulled one back from Burnley's first shot on target in the 80th minute, though it was not enough to prevent a third successive loss for Sean Dyche's out-of-form side.

Meanwhile, Todd Cantwell put Norwich City ahead after just four minutes of their clash with Palace, who battled bravely to stay in the game before substitute Connor Wickham turned Wilfried Zaha's cross into the net five minutes from time to earn his side a share of the points.

Kane limps off for stuttering Spurs, Watford's revival continues

Danny Ings scored the 16th goal Tottenham have conceded in their last 11 matches when he lifted the ball over Toby Alderweireld and fired past Paulo Gazzaniga for what proved to be the only goal of the game after 17 minutes at St. Mary's.

Tottenham have taken only four points from the 12 on offer over the festive period and their misery was compounded by Harry Kane limping off after hurting his hamstring, and Jose Mourinho was shown a yellow card by referee Mike Dean late on after being involved in touchline confrontation.

Watford maintained their impressive form with a 2-1 win at home to Wolves after Gerard Deulofeu opened the scoring half an hour in with a curled finish into the bottom corner.

Abdoulaye Doucoure fired in on his 27th birthday to double the home side's tally, but Pedro Neto reduced the deficit with a deflected shot on the hour and Christian Kabasele was sent off with 19 minutes to play.

Wolves could not find a way past Ben Foster again, though, meaning just a third loss in 16 league outings for Nuno Espirito Santo's men.

Pep Guardiola hailed Gabriel Jesus after his double against Everton but also labelled Sergio Aguero "irreplaceable" at Manchester City.

Jesus' quickfire goals early in the second half ultimately proved enough to claim the points against the Toffees, who pulled one back through Richarlison following Claudio Bravo's mistake.

Meanwhile, Aguero, who marked his return from injury with a crisp finish in City's 2-0 win over Sheffield United on Sunday, remained on the bench as an unused substitute.

Brazil international Jesus now has 13 goals to his name in all competitions this season, but Guardiola insists Aguero is still number one.

"Gabriel has been excellent, but Sergio is irreplaceable," Guardiola said in quotes reported by City's official Twitter account.

"What he means for our fans, what he's done, the goal against QPR [in 2012], we need a good back-up for all the players and Sergio has a great complimentary player in Gabriel.

"They have a great relationship."

Jesus, in a post-match interview with BT Sport, said he is still attempting to learn as much as possible from Aguero.

"Of course, it's always good to start [the year] with the victory," the 22-year-old said. "The team played well, very well. I'm happy with the goals, the guys played so well today.

"I'm a striker, I have to score and try every time. We have Sergio, who scores every game. I have to learn from him. When I go on the pitch, I have to score."

City's win kept them within a point of second-placed Leicester City, though they are still 11 adrift of runaway leaders Liverpool, who play on Thursday.

Over the festive period, City beat Leicester, the Blades and Everton, though slumped to a 3-2 defeat at Wolves on December 27.

"We played great, so I am delighted for the guys. This period is so tough. We did really well. Three more points and closer to Leicester," Guardiola added.

"When you are far away from the first position sometimes people give up, but we never give up. We have to keep going. We have FA Cup then the EFL Cup. Other teams dropped points for the top four, so it was an important win."

As Manchester City continue to toil defensively in the absence of lynchpin Aymeric Laporte, the switch to a back three against Everton may not have represented the most obvious solution.

So largely desperate have Nicolas Otamendi's performances been this season, City's sole fit senior centre-back only made the bench against Sheffield United on Sunday, two days on from a 90-minute shift in the dramatic collapse at Wolves.

Injury meant there would be no recall for the Argentina defender on New Year's Day, so Pep Guardiola was again struggling to find a central pair, let alone a trio.

But faced with the nous of Carlo Ancelotti, a coach he spent much of the week lauding, Guardiola decided to make the bold call.

Teenager Eric Garcia kept his place following his full Premier League debut against the Blades, and he was joined by midfielders Fernandinho and Rodri.

A 2-1 City victory was the result, and the wider positives were clear to see as the champions stretched Everton to breaking point, a change in defence bringing a new dynamic to their forward line.

City are one of the best attacking outfits in world football, so improvements in that respect are always likely to be marginal. But there is no doubt Guardiola has had issues at full-back this season.

Kyle Walker might be playing as "the best Kyle I have faced" - Guardiola's words - but pre-season signing Joao Cancelo has struggled to establish himself.

Bought from Juventus just months ago, the right-back has been linked with former club Valencia and Bayern Munich, and discussion of his future took up a chunk of his manager's pre-match news conference.

"We buy players for many years, not for six months," said Guardiola, before handing Cancelo just his fifth league start against Everton.

On the opposite flank, Benjamin Mendy - brought in at huge cost in 2017 - has endured a tough campaign. Injuries halted his initial fine form upon his arrival in Manchester, and displays in 2019-20 have been extremely ordinary for the most part.

But both Cancelo and Mendy certainly saw benefit in this new system, given the freedom of the flanks as Rodri and Garcia stepped forward and Fernandinho anchored the side, the three covering for their wing-back colleagues.

Cancelo linked well with Riyad Mahrez and played a key role in the Phil Foden goal that was disallowed in the now customary stretch of VAR farce in the first half.

Meanwhile, Mendy, even up against two talented right-backs in Djibril Sidibe and Seamus Coleman, enjoyed himself going forward, moving the ball at greater speed than in previous miserable performances.

The France international created three chances - as many as any team-mate - while Cancelo supplied two.

Beyond the added threat of support from the previously limited pair, the set-up accommodated different roles for the likes of Mahrez and Foden.

The nominal wingers in this formation instead found space inside, Mahrez teeing up Gabriel Jesus' second. The Brazilian's first came from an Ilkay Gundogan pass, the midfielder let off the leash a little with three men behind him.

It was a system that had to sustain a testing finale, hampered by the predictably unpredictable Claudio Bravo, while crosses remained a source of concern for the diminutive defence into the closing stages, but Guardiola's men held on.

Openly already planning for next season but without Laporte to call on, the City boss could head home encouraged by a different, still dominant, display.

Gabriel Jesus scored a second-half brace as Manchester City claimed a 2-1 win over Everton, who suffered defeat for the first time under Carlo Ancelotti.

Brazil striker Jesus was restored to the starting line-up in one of five changes from City's victory against Sheffield United and more than took his opportunity in Wednesday's clash at the Etihad Stadium.

Phil Foden had a strike ruled out by the video assistant referee in a low-key first half, but the home side stepped things up in the second half and were rewarded through Jesus' quickfire double.

Everton had won back-to-back matches under Ancelotti previously and gave themselves a lifeline when Richarlison profited from a Claudio Bravo error 19 minutes from time, but they could not find a leveller as City saw things through.

Bravo retained his place in goal due to Ederson - suspended against United - missing out through illness and he pushed over a Seamus Coleman drive early on.

City thought they had found a way through after 12 minutes when Foden tapped in Joao Cancelo's cross, only for VAR to rule it out as Riyad Mahrez was offside in the build-up.

Mahrez was again undone by VAR when the technology upheld the linesman's decision to flag him for offside before charging into the box and being felled by Lucas Digne.

But there was to be no denying Jesus early in the second half, the Brazil international controlling Ilkay Gundogan's pass and bending the ball past Jordan Pickford.

Jesus doubled his tally seven minutes later by taking Mahrez's pass in his stride and this time beating Pickford at his near post with a well-struck shot.

A poor pass from Bravo gifted Everton a route back into the game as Theo Walcott's shot deflected into the path of Richarlison for a tap in, but City came closest to scoring the game's fourth goal as Jesus struck the inside of the post.

 

What does it mean? City close gap despite rotation

Pep Guardiola's decision to rotate his side for this game perhaps indicates he will prioritise the cup competitions in the second half of the season, even if he has claimed he will not.

Despite leaving Sergio Aguero on the bench for the 90 minutes and only bringing on Raheem Sterling in added time, however, City got the job done in an efficient manner and are back to within 11 points of leaders Liverpool, albeit having played two games more.

Jesus maintains impressive run

Jesus has now scored in five successive Premier League meetings with Everton, netting seven goals in total - more than he has managed against any other side in the competition. 

He showed brilliant awareness for both goals by getting between two defenders, controlling a pass into his feet and finding a way past Pickford.

Bravo's blushes spared

Pickford hardly covered himself in glory for either of Jesus' goals, especially having been caught out at his near post for the second, while opposite number Bravo was at fault for Richarlison's goal.

City's back-up keeper played Cancelo into trouble with his pass and the ball was in the net seconds later.

What's next?

City host League Two side Port Vale in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, while Everton travel to Merseyside rivals Liverpool the following day in a mouth-watering tie.

Danny Ings scored the only goal of the game as Tottenham suffered a surprise 1-0 loss to Southampton, while top-four rivals Chelsea were held 1-1 by Brighton and Hove Albion.

In-form striker Ings fired home in the first half to make it 13 Premier League goals for the season against a below-par Tottenham, who also lost Harry Kane to a hamstring injury.

Jose Mourinho's side are now six points adrift of Chelsea in the final Champions League qualifying spot following the Blues' draw with Brighton in Wednesday's early kick-off.

Chelsea were heading for back-to-back away wins after Cesar Azpilicueta put them ahead, but Alireza Jahanbakhsh's overhead-kick earned Brighton a share of the spoils.

There were also wins for Aston Villa, Leicester City and Watford as 2020 got off to an eventful start, with VAR once again proving to be a big talking point.

Kane limps off for stuttering Spurs

Tottenham have struggled defensively in the early stages of Mourinho's tenure, conceding for the 16th time in 11 matches in all competitions through Ings' impressive strike.

The England international hopeful lifted the ball over Toby Alderweireld and fired past Paulo Gazzaniga for what proved to be the only goal of the game after 17 minutes.

Tottenham have taken only four points from the 12 on offer over the festive period and their misery was compounded by Kane limping off after hurting his hamstring in the process of scoring a disallowed equaliser.

Mourinho, who had never previously lost in six away league meetings with Southampton, was shown a yellow card by referee Mike Dean late on after being involved in touchline confrontation as his side remained sixth in the table.

 

Chelsea held by Jahanbakhsh stunner

Azpilicueta scored the first Premier League goal of the decade with a close-range finish after Tammy Abraham's shot was blocked by Aaron Mooy, but Chelsea could not get the job done against Brighton.

Jahanbakhsh celebrated with tears of joy after scoring his first goal for Brighton in the 2-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday and he did not have to wait long for his second goal.

The Iran winger sent an acrobatic attempt past Kepa Arrizabalaga with six minutes of normal time remaining to deny Frank Lampard's side a third away league win on the spin.

Chelsea had looked comfortable until Jahanbakhsh's moment of magic but had to survive a late scare as they opened the door for other members of the chasing pack to close the gap - something Tottenham were unable to achieve.


So delighted to be able to help the team again today! Happy new year to everyone #BHAFC pic.twitter.com/nW7p7E8zMY

— Alireza Jahanbakhsh (@Alirezajb7) January 1, 2020 Foxes march on with win at 10-man Newcastle

Despite being without the Premier League's leading scorer Jamie Vardy for a second game in a row due to the birth of his child, Leicester were comfortable 3-0 winners at Newcastle.

The Foxes' incredible campaign continued thanks to goals from former Newcastle attacker Ayoze Perez, James Maddison and substitute Hamza Choudhury.

Leicester, back to within 10 points of Liverpool after playing two games more than the runaway leaders, played almost all of the second half against 10 men.

That was due to the hosts suffering a string of injuries, Jetro Willems and Javier Manquillo being forced off in the first half and Jonjo Shelvey following them at half-time, with all three subs already made when Fabian Schar pulled up.

While Leicester's outside title hopes just about remain intact, a third defeat in a row for Newcastle leaves them five points above the relegation zone.


Villa pick up much-needed win at Turf Moor

The pressure had been building on Villa boss Dean Smith following a run of five league defeats in six matches, including a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of fellow strugglers Watford last time out.

Smith insisted he still had the support of the dressing room in the build-up to the trip to Burnley, however, and that showed as Villa returned to winning ways with a 2-1 triumph at Turf Moor that saw them climb out of the relegation zone.

Jack Grealish had a header contentiously ruled out by VAR, with Wesley adjudged to be offside in the build-up, but the two players linked up for the latter's opener 16 minutes later.

The Villans added a second on the stroke of half-time through Grealish, who scored his sixth Premier League goal in his 19th appearance this season - as many as he netted in 31 matches in the Championship last season.

Chris Wood pulled one back from Burnley's first shot on target in the 80th minute, though it was not enough to prevent a third successive loss for Sean Dyche's out-of-form side.

 

Watford's remarkable revival continues

Watford have now taken 10 points from four matches since Nigel Pearson was appointed as Quique Sanchez Flores' successor earlier this month, the Hornets maintaining their impressive form with a 2-1 win at home to Wolves.

Gerard Deulofeu, the hero when Watford edged out Wolves in a dramatic FA Cup semi-final last season, opened the scoring after half an hour with a curled finish into the bottom corner.

Abdoulaye Doucoure fired in on his 27th birthday to double the home side's tally, but Pedro Neto reduced the deficit with a deflected shot on the hour and Christian Kabasele was sent off with 19 minutes to play.

Wolves could not find a way past Ben Foster, though, meaning just a third loss in 16 league outings for Nuno Espirito Santo's men.

Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling were named among the subs and Ederson left out of the squad entirely due to illness for Manchester City's home Premier League clash with Everton.

City's leading goalscorer Aguero was on target for the 14th time across all competitions this season against Sheffield United last time out, while Sterling lasted 88 minutes of Sunday's 2-0 victory.

Both players were omitted from the starting line-up for the New Year's Day clash with Everton, however, as Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus came in.

Kyle Walker, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Bernardo Silva also made way, replaced by Joao Cancelo, Benjamin Mendy and Ilkay Gundogan, as Pep Guardiola opted for five alterations.

Ederson was eligible for selection after serving a one-match ban for his dismissal against Wolves last week, but Guardiola confirmed he has been laid low by a sickness bug, meaning Claudio Bravo retained his place.

Everton, who boast a perfect record from their first two matches under new boss Carlo Ancelotti, also made five changes for their trip to Etihad Stadium.

Real Madrid are already eyeing a move for Liverpool star Sadio Mane at the end of the season.

Mane has developed into one of the world's best attackers, starring for the Premier League leaders and finishing fourth in the 2019 Ballon d'Or.

Now, another one of Europe's biggest clubs are making initial moves for the 27-year-old.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID MAKE CONTACT OVER MANE MOVE

Real Madrid have spoken to Mane's representatives about a possible move, according to Le 10 Sport.

Mane is contracted at Liverpool until 2023, but appears to be attracting interest from the LaLiga giants.

The Senegal international has scored 14 goals and provided eight assists in 27 games in all competitions this season.

ROUND-UP

- The January transfer window will see Chelsea and Manchester City enter a bidding war for Leicester City defender Ben Chilwell, according to The I.

- Similarities between Moussa Dembele and Didier Drogba have made the Lyon striker a target for Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, according to Sky Sports News, with the 23-year-old having scored 10 goals in 25 appearances for the Ligue 1 side this season.

- Mikel Arteta is keen to assess all of his options as he aims to lift Arsenal back into the top half of the Premier League table, and he is considering a recall for £27million centre-back William Saliba from his season-long loan at Saint-Etienne according to The Mirror.

- Also on Arsenal's to-do list is a bid for promising RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, who is also a target for Tottenham and Manchester United, according to the Daily Mail.

- Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce wants to bolster his midfield with the addition of Burnley pair Danny Drinkwater and Dwight McNeil, and reports in The Telegraph say Genk striker Mbwana Samatta is also on his radar.

- Carlo Ancelotti said he will wait until January 5 before discussing potential transfer targets with the Everton board and when he does El Desmarque has suggested Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez could be one of the names on his list.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes the Premier League giants were the best club of the last decade.

City enjoyed a period of great success in the 2010-19 decade, winning four Premier League titles, four EFL Cups, three Community Shields and two FA Cups.

While Real Madrid won four Champions Leagues and Barcelona claimed two to go with seven LaLiga crowns, Guardiola believes City were the decade's best.

"I think this club, in the last decade, was the best team. In terms of points, in terms goals, of titles and everything," he said.

"So I congratulate Manchester City for that. So when we analyse every single day here, what happens day by day, we analyse that.

"But we have a perspective of what happened in 10 seasons, especially when the people from Abu Dhabi took over the club [in 2008] and bought good players, interesting managers and bigger staff. I think we did it incredibly well.

"Because fighting with the huge elephants here in England, the big clubs with the biggest history. With us in the last decade, we were a part of them, that is amazing."

Sitting 14 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool, City host Everton on Wednesday.

Pep Guardiola has appeared to rule out a January exit for Joao Cancelo by saying Manchester City sign players "for many years, not for six months".

Cancelo joined City from Juventus ahead of the 2019-20 season but has struggled to hold down a place in Guardiola's XI, starting just four Premier League matches.

The right-back has consequently been linked with mid-season moves to both his former club Valencia and Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.

However, Guardiola insists Cancelo, 25, was a long-term signing and a departure is therefore unlikely at this stage.

"Today he was training with us," the City manager said. "In the last month, Kyle [Walker, the first-choice right-back] was the best Kyle I have faced. I have given continuity to him.

"[Cancelo] is adapting and has special quality. He can help us in many, many games.

"There are many rumours about how many players we are going to buy in the summer, so I don't comment on rumours. Rumours are rumours.

"Until the agents call, or we call the agents to buy other players, I don't take any interest in that.

"We buy players for many years, not for six months. But what happens will happen. I don't know what's going to happen in a few weeks. In the summer, we're going to discuss.

"If one player is not happy and wants to leave, it's simple. They have to call to the club, reach an agreement and he will leave. If he doesn't agree, he will stay here. It's as simple as that."

Guardiola is not expecting any incoming transfers either in January, suggesting City cannot afford to splash out and only a unique opportunity, as when Aymeric Laporte joined two years ago, could change his thinking.

"I took that decision. We could not invest in the summer, why would we be able to invest in December? I like my squad," Guardiola said. "I have problems with injuries.

"If I have an opportunity, like it happened with Aymeric Laporte, the release clause, we knew the potential of the player, we could do it. But that's not the position now. I don't think the market gives us this opportunity.

"I never say never, of course. We could have 25 injuries in the next two games and then we have to buy, or maybe two or three players want to leave in the transfer window.

"Then the club get money and we can invest. It can happen. But in the summer, we could not do what we could not do for money [reasons]. We could not invest more.

"We could not invest in the summer, so why could we invest three or four months later? It makes no sense, so that's why we will wait until summer time."

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City must "work harder, play better and pray" to close the gap to Liverpool, but he is confident a fully fit squad could still compete for the Premier League title.

City have won the league in each of the past two seasons, yet they are now 14 points off the rapid pace set by Liverpool, who also have a game in hand heading into 2020.

While an ageing City squad have fallen below the standards set in previous campaigns, Guardiola is keen to emphasise the impact of key injuries on his team - with Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane out for long periods and David Silva and Sergio Aguero also dealing with issues.

Asked what his team must improve on to catch Liverpool, the City manager told reporters: "Work harder, play better and pray.

"With all the squad, yes, [City can compete]. There are some things that we cannot control. We can do what we can do.

"But other issues we cannot control, like what a fantastic team like Liverpool have done so far and other issues. If everybody's fit, we can do it."

Guardiola refused to accept, however, that the failure to bring in signings in the previous transfer window had contributed to their problems.

"No, I think the team is fantastic. I love it," he said. "We have had problems with injuries - these things happen - and then Liverpool are incredible.

"They are the champions of Europe and have dropped two points. After that, we just congratulate them. I know the distance we are [behind] is not what it should be, but it's what it is."

As 2019 drew to an end, Guardiola also wanted to offer a reminder of City's success in 2019 - winning the Premier League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and Community Shield before slumping to third in the table.

"How was 2019? Now the people say it was a disaster. We won four titles in 2019," he said. "It was an incredible year for us, which we have enjoyed a lot.

"In some games in this last part of the season, we struggled a little bit. But it was an incredible year for us."

Pep Guardiola dismissed the "genius" tag given to him by Carlo Ancelotti and warned that the Italian's Everton side would test Manchester City.

After the new Toffees boss described Guardiola in glowing terms in his own news conference, the City coach reciprocated the praise for one of European football's most decorated coaches.

City bounced back from defeat at Wolves by beating Sheffield United 2-0 at home on Sunday and will hope to end Ancelotti's 100 per cent record in the 60-year-old's third game in charge of Everton at the Etihad Stadium on New Year's Day.

"Everton is Everton, one of the biggest, most traditional, historical teams in England with incredible quality in its players," Guardiola told reporters.

"They struggle a bit this season for points but the quality is there, with a new manager with incredible experience.

"A manager like Carlo with his incredible capacity, he is one of the smartest guys and always he is able - it doesn't matter which team he takes, he makes them work.

"I know him quite well. We played a few times against [each other], not much. His teams always beat our teams. He is an incredible gentleman. He conducted some of the greatest and more experienced teams in Europe, the list is huge. When that happens it's because you're an incredible manager.

"It's incredible news for English football that he's back. He can do an incredible job at Everton."

Guardiola confirmed that defender John Stones and midfield playmaker David Silva were both fit to face Everton after recovering from injuries, but he said his side's packed fixture list is putting players at risk.

City take on Everton, Port Vale and Manchester United in the first seven days of January and Guardiola said short breaks in between games were making recovery difficult.

"We have five games in 12 days," said Guardiola. "It's quite similar for the other teams but in this period one or two more days to recover is a lot.

"We take the risk, it was the same in the last game: 80 minutes with 10 against 11 in a difficult test against Wolves, then we train for two days and come back and play. It's a risk but you have to take it."

Carlo Ancelotti described Pep Guardiola as "a genius" - despite admitting Manchester City's levels have dropped since last season - as he prepares to take his Everton side to the Etihad Stadium.

Former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss Ancelotti has overseen victories in both of his matches in charge of the Toffees since taking over from caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson, but he said facing the champions on New Year's Day would be a stern test.

Third-placed City are 14 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool after suffering two defeats in their last five league outings, but Ancelotti said he still regards Guardiola as a master of the game.

"Pep is a fantastic manager," Ancelotti told reporters. "I have a good relationship with him. 

"We met some times, not a lot in games, but at some conferences in Italy. I have a good relationship with him and a lot of respect for his job.

"He is, at a certain point, a genius because he has always tried to do something special on the pitch.

"City are maybe not on the level of last year but they remain a fantastic team with fantastic players and a fantastic manager, so for us it will be really, really tough to compete with them but we need to have the confidence and focus on our football.

"Against City will be a fantastic test for us to see where we are in the sense that it's a really strong team but we have confidence to do our best. It's good to have this kind of test. We have to be happy to compete with the best teams in England and in Europe."

Everton beat Burnley 1-0 at Goodison Park in Ancelotti's first game in charge and then won 2-1 at Newcastle United, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring all three of the Toffees' goals under the Italian.

Asked whether he would seek to improve his squad when the transfer window opens in January, Ancelotti said he would wait until after Everton's FA Cup clash with Liverpool on January 5 before speaking to the club's board.

"The market is not open yet," said the 60-year-old.

"There are a lot of rumours, that is normal. Everywhere in the world is like this, Italy is the same. We are not looking in this moment.

"After the fifth of January I'm going to have a meeting with the club and we can talk about if it's possible to try to improve the squad. In my opinion it's a good squad.

"Some players I didn't know very well but we've started training together and I know them better."

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