Brighton and Hove Albion are certain to be in the Premier League next season after a draw on Monday, while Everton put a serious dent in Sheffield United’s hopes of playing in Europe. 

A 0-0 stalemate with Newcastle United on the south coast means Graham Potter's Brighton are mathematically safe with a game to spare. 

The teams combined to produce just four shots on target in a tepid clash that certainly had an end-of-season feel about it, meaning the six Premier League meetings between them have now produced just four goals. 

"We are there now, the target is done," Lewis Dunk told Sky Sports. 

"It's disappointing we didn't create much, but they didn't create much either. It was not the best game - I think both sides cancelled each other out."

At Bramall Lane, Richarlison scored the only goal less than a minute after the break as Everton recorded their first victory in five outings. 

The Brazilian headed in Gylfi Sigurdsson's inviting free-kick and United were unable to respond, the narrow loss meaning they remain eighth in the table ahead of Sunday's final round of fixtures. 

Chris Wilder's Blades could have risen above Wolves into seventh with a home win, but now are relying on other results to help them out in their quest to qualify for the Europa League. 

Barcelona players reportedly want Patrick Kluivert to take charge of the LaLiga giants.

Quique Setien is under growing pressure at the helm of Barcelona after giving up the league title to rivals Real Madrid.

Amid uncertainty over Setien, it seems Kluivert would be a popular appointment.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA PLAYERS WANT KLUIVERT AS COACH

Barcelona's dressing room want Kluivert as head coach, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The club's former striker returned to Barcelona last year, becoming the academy director.

The report says Kluivert is seen by players as Barcelona's answer to Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, who starred at the Santiago Bernabeu during his playing career.

Kluivert, 44, has limited experience as a head coach, having previously been in charge of Jong FC Twente and Curacao.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester City could be busy during the next close season. Tuttosport reports City are targeting Juventus forward Douglas Costa, who has also been linked to Paris Saint-Germain. The report says City could pay around £36.5million (€40m) to £45.6m (€50m) for Costa.

- While Gianluigi Donnarumma is coming out of contract at Milan next year, the goalkeeper is expected to re-sign. However, CalcioMercato says the shot-stopper is in no rush to get a deal done.

- Victor Osimhen is close to sealing a move to Napoli. L'Equipe claims the Lille forward, who scored 18 goals in 2019-20, will sign a six-year deal with Napoli. The Serie A club will pay €81m for the 21-year-old.

- After two impressive seasons with Atalanta, Duvan Zapata is catching the eye. CalcioMercato says Juventus are interested in the Colombia international forward.

- Mario Gotze has plenty of interest. After leaving Borussia Dortmund, the 28-year-old is a target for Fiorentina, according to Corriere dello Sport. Meanwhile, Sport Bild reports Gotze is also on the wish list of Monaco, where Niko Kovac has been named coach.

- On loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United, Dean Henderson has impressed. The Daily Express reports Chelsea are yet to decide whether they will make a move for the goalkeeper, amid constant speculation over their own shot-stopper, Kepa Arrizabalaga.

- As he departs Liverpool, Adam Lallana looks set to stay in the Premier League. The Sun reports Leicester City, Everton, Burnley and Brighton and Hove Albion are all targeting the midfielder.

Ayoze Perez and Demarai Gray gave Leicester City a 2-0 win over Sheffield United which boosted their Champions League ambitions, while Aston Villa's Premier League survival hopes were dented after a 1-1 draw at Everton.

Leicester's victory was only their second since the restart, having seen their grip on a top-four place weaken in recent weeks.

But the win left the Foxes are a point behind third-placed Chelsea, although they have tough matches against Tottenham and fellow Champions League hopefuls Manchester United to come.

Ezri Konsa gave Villa a 1-0 lead against Everton but Theo Walcott's 87th-minute equaliser for the Toffees left Dean Smith's side three points adrift of 17th-placed Watford having played a game more.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers was critical of his players after a 4-1 thrashing by Bournemouth in their last Premier League outing, but his side were much improved against the Blades.

Perez put Leicester ahead shortly before the half-hour mark when he controlled a fine pass from Luke Thomas, who caught the eye on debut, and guided a shot through John Egan's legs and into the bottom corner.

Premier League top scorer Jamie Vardy struck the post while Harvey Barnes brought two fine saves out of Blades goalkeeper Dean Henderson as the Foxes went for the kill.

They had to wait until 11 minutes from time to wrap up the points, though, when substitute Gray received the ball from Vardy and coolly finished off a counter-attack with an angled finish.

Villa suffered late heartbreak at Goodison Park and remain mired in the Premier League relegation zone with two matches left to play.

Konsa put Villa ahead in the 72nd minute when he showed quick reactions inside the box to get on the end of Conor Hourihane's free-kick.

However, Carlo Ancelotti's side levelled three minutes from time when Walcott headed in despite Konsa's attempted acrobatic clearance.

Pep Guardiola lauded Raheem Sterling's development after the attacker's hat-trick in Manchester City's 5-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Sterling's treble saw him move onto 27 goals this season, the most he has scored in a single campaign.

Guardiola paid tribute to the England international, with Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva also on the scoresheet in the convincing win on Saturday.

"All credit to [Sterling]. Not just for the three goals, it's important for what we have ahead of us," the Manchester City manager told a news conference.

"His development as a player is because he wants to improve and we are so delighted with his performance.

"Raheem himself knows exactly what he has to do. He's a huge competitor and is self-confident, aggressive, he loves to score goals.

"We have wingers with the mentality to score goals which is so important."

City's win saw them mathematically secure a top-four finish in the Premier League with three games remaining.

However, they will have to wait until Monday to learn whether their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against a two-year European ban has been successful.

Guardiola said he was "very" confident City would be successful, while adding they had proven they deserved their place in the Champions League.

"It's the [CAS] decision, so it's so important. Of course it is. We have done what we have done, won our qualification on the pitch. No one can doubt this," he said.

"It's been an outstanding season from Liverpool, and congratulations to them again for winning the Premier League.

"In general, the level that we played at today has been quite similar for the whole season and now we're going to wait for Monday for the decision that will be taken."

Raheem Sterling is eager to make his record scoring season count by helping Manchester City secure silverware after his hat-trick in the 5-0 away win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

City made a top-four finish mathematically certain, as well as all but wrapping up second place as a treble from Sterling, plus goals from Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva, saw off sorry Brighton.

It was a welcome away win on Saturday after three consecutive Premier League defeats on their travels, with a home game with Bournemouth up next before a key FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.

Sterling has six goals in his past five games and moved onto 27 in all competitions, making this his best scoring season.

"The most important thing for me is trying to have goals to add value to the team," Sterling said to Sky Sports.

"At the end of the day [it is most important] to try and win the FA Cup final and try to win the Champions League as well otherwise these goals don't mean anything.

"I need to try and make these goals count.

"I think the problem we have had this season is we have created a lot of chances, but last season and the season before we had finished them and buried games early on.

"This season we haven't had that slight bit of luck but we are growing, doing things right and that is we need to do, continue making chances. We can't complain.

"We were disappointed last weekend with the loss away to Southampton when we created chances but we didn’t finish them. It is great to bounce back with another away win."

Sterling moved onto 17 Premier League goals and was asked if he was eyeing a late push for the golden boot, with Jamie Vardy five ahead of him atop the scoring charts.

Sterling said: "I said to myself earlier that I'm on 14 now and I need to score a hat-trick – and I’m grateful that I scored a hat-trick."

The England international was laughing as he attempted to answer what his intentions were for his hat-trick goal, which came in unusual circumstances nine minutes from time.

He inadvertently scored a header – his second of the match – through the legs of goalkeeper Mat Ryan while he was falling to the ground having forced his way past two Brighton defenders.

Sterling said: "I tried to flick it over his head, and I've seen the keeper come out and I have headed it in! It counts!"

Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick as Manchester City ran riot in a 5-0 away victory over Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League.

England international Sterling made it six goals in five games, moving on to 27 strikes in all competitions – his best scoring tally in a single season.

His opener and a goal from Gabriel Jesus, who ended Saturday's match with two assists, ensured City were in complete control by half-time after making six changes to their starting XI.

Sterling netted again and Bernardo Silva scored before the hour mark as Brighton, who remain eight points clear of the bottom three, had no answer.

Nine minutes before the end, a determined Sterling grabbed his third.

Jesus and Eric Garcia had already missed early chances by the time Sterling put the visitors in front after 21 minutes.

He cut inside from the left and impressively found the far corner from 20 yards after collecting Jesus' headed lay-off.

Jesus had a shot deflected onto the crossbar by Brighton defender Lewis Dunk and also showed some great footwork to create a chance which Riyad Mahrez narrowly fired wide.

But City were not to be denied, Jesus tapping in from under the crossbar after Rodri had helped on a Kevin De Bruyne corner a minute before the break.

De Bruyne cannoned a free-kick off the post shortly after the restart and City soon got their third after 53 minutes when Sterling headed in Mahrez’s in-swinging free-kick from inside the six-yard box.

It was four in the visitors' next attack when Mat Ryan could not hold Bernardo Silva's deflected effort and Jesus kept the ball alive to allow the Portugal international to convert a simple follow-up.

Sterling’s hat-trick goal came in unusual fashion, as he forced his way past Dunk and Adam Webster before somehow creeping a header between Ryan's legs while he fell to the ground, with a scrambling Dan Burn then helping it over the line.
 

What does it mean? City emphatically end away-day blues

City had lost their last three Premier League away games, while they had scored just three times in their last six top-flight matches on their travels, despite an expected goals figure of 13.

They had no issues bringing those poor runs to a welcome end with a victory that all but secures second place in the Premier League after Chelsea's defeat against Sheffield United.


Jesus impresses with Aguero out

Brazil international Jesus scored his first goal since lockdown against Newcastle United last time out and, apart from the superb Sterling, was excellent as City's other standout in this game.

He scored one and assisted two as well as being a constant threat in a lively 63-minute outing. He now has 20 goals and 10 assists in a season where he has become even more important with Sergio Aguero out injured.


Brighton backline a concern

Convincing home defeats against Manchester United, Liverpool and now City mean Brighton are not yet mathematically safe. Facing Pep Guardiola's side is a formidable task at the best of times, but their defending did themselves no favours here, with City players constantly finding themselves unmarked close to goal.


What's next?

City will likely make changes ahead of their FA Cup semi-final with Arsenal when they host struggling Bournemouth in the Premier League on Wednesday, a day before Brighton could seal safety when they play away to Southampton.

Pep Guardiola has urged his Manchester City players to fight for the Champions League "until the last effort they have in their bodies" after Friday's draw mapped out a devilishly tough route to glory.

The deposed Premier League champions hold a 2-1 last-16 advantage over Real Madrid ahead of the August 7 return at the Etihad Stadium.

The winners of that tie will take on the victors of Lyon versus Juventus – the Ligue 1 outfit 1-0 to the good at the midway point – at UEFA's mini-tournament to decide the coronavirus-impacted Champions League in Lisbon on August 15.

Whichever team progresses from that quarter-final will meet the team remaining from Barcelona or Napoli and Bayern Munich or Chelsea.

"All of us want to try, to be ourselves in the game against Real Madrid, to try to defend really well and suffer the bad moments," Guardiola said ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Brighton and Hove Albion.

"Try to impose our game and our football, try to score our goals and defend the game against Real Madrid. It is incredible what [Madrid] have done in this competition, nobody has done it."

If City finally claim the prize Madrid have lifted on a record 13 occasions, they will do so in unique circumstances heightened by the reality of a trying season on and off the field.

Guardiola's team could be facing up to their final European game for two years next month, if the Court of Arbitration for Sport decides to uphold a two-season ban for contravening UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules. A verdict in the case is due on Monday.

The Champions League, along with the FA Cup, offers the chance to triumphantly salvage a campaign where they meekly surrendered the Premier League title to Liverpool.

This crescendo of events is something Guardiola believes has got through to his players.

"I feel the motivation," he said. "I have the feeling from my players and the club that we have, in the next four weeks, something that is not coming back again.

"Of course, we have the chance to fight but the situation that we have is not coming back again.

"I think the big clubs don't miss these chances to try until the last effort they have in their bodies."

The situation will certainly not come back for club great David Silva.

City's veteran playmaker is set to leave at the end of his contract and, as a World Cup and two-time European Championship winner with Spain, he is seeking the biggest honour to have eluded him over the course of a decorated career.

"David has won everything," Guardiola said. "The World Cup, European Championships with Spain, the Premier League and all the titles you can achieve except the Champions League.

"All of the players want to try but the younger ones, maybe they think they have more chances.

"Maybe David might go back to Europe with another top club and have another chance. But I'm pretty sure after one decade in this club, he will try."

With a top-four place in the Premier League now guaranteed – whatever that comes to mean – Guardiola's main challenge for the rest of the campaign is getting Silva and the rest to next weekend's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal and the Madrid match in prime condition.

He concedes this is a balancing act but will not shirk from giving Premier League minutes to the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, even if sight of the star midfielder receiving a heavy knock during the closing stages of Wednesday's 5-0 win over Newcastle United caused understandable disquiet among the City faithful.

"That's part of football. The important thing is they are fit," he added.

"We cannot say one or two games, don't play and then come back. Sometimes the players who play regularly are in better condition for the important games.

"Arsenal is an important point but it's important to keep momentum and rhythm to the way we play."

Pep Guardiola still feels Bernardo Silva is one of the most special footballers he has ever coached despite the midfielder's dip in form this season – something for which the Manchester City boss takes his share of responsibility. 

Silva was voted City's player of the season as he and his team-mates swept to a domestic treble in 2018-19, but his performances this time around have been indicative of a general malaise, with Liverpool storming clear of their rivals to claim the Premier League title. 

The Portugal international has featured infrequently in the right-sided attacking midfield position he occupied for a chunk of last term, with Kevin De Bruyne back to full fitness and in prime form. 

Similarly adept on the right-hand side of attack, Silva has found his path blocked by Riyad Mahrez and, more recently, Phil Foden. 

The previous campaign concluded with the former Monaco man being named player of the tournament as Portugal claimed the inaugural Nations League title, and fatigue has not been difficult to spot in his work at times. 

A Football Association ban for tweeting a racially insensitive cartoon to team-mate Benjamin Mendy placed Silva in hot water off the field and, speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to Brighton and Hove Albion, Guardiola conceded a downturn from the playmaker has been obvious. 

"That's true maybe he didn't play as much as last season," he said. 

"This season, maybe it was my fault or maybe Phil was more involved and Riyad maintained his level and the other players played good too. 

"They know the competition they have with each other, but my admiration, respect, especially my opinion about him, nothing has changed. 

"He's a special player for me. One of the most special players I had in my career as a manager, the relationship I have with him." 

Guardiola is particularly impressed by Silva's acceptance of his situation – a stark contrast to when his manager said the City team last season was "Bernardo plus 10" – and is confident the 25-year-old knows what he must do to turn things around.

"He's a guy who doesn’t change his mood whether he plays or doesn't play," he said. "There are players that just are happy when they play and they smile at me and smile at the backroom staff when they play. 

"When they don't play, they make you feel they are not happy and they behave like a little, little child. 

"Bernardo is completely opposite. He's a mature man. He's a man who knows exactly what has happened, how this moment is and always he's the same person. 

"That's why he is an incredible person for me to work with and always I will be grateful. 

"In the time we spend together, the only thing I want is to help him to come back at his best level. If there is one player in this team who I would give help and support, it's Bernardo Silva. He's the first on the list." 

Mahrez scored his 10th Premier League goal of the season during Wednesday's 5-0 thrashing of Newcastle United and Friday marked the two-year anniversary of his £60million arrival from Leicester City. 

Guardiola is impressed by the Algeria international's performances but suggested he could sometimes use some of Silva's good grace. 

"He's an incredible player, fantastic self-confidence," he added. "He is a guy who always creates something special, in assists and goals. 

"We are delighted to have him and hopefully he can help us when he plays and when he doesn't play. Hopefully I can help him to improve this detail." 

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero will not recover from his knee injury in time to face Real Madrid in the Champions League, Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

Aguero sustained meniscus damage during last month's 5-0 Premier League win over Burnley and was operated on by Guardiola's preferred surgeon, Dr Ramon Cugat.

A four-to-six-week recovery period appeared to place Aguero in contention for the August 7 second leg with Madrid, which UEFA this week announced was clear to take place behind closed doors at the Etihad Stadium.

City hold a 2-1 advantage over the 13-time European champions but, after Friday's draw paired the winner of their last-16 tie against Lyon or Juventus, they will have to try and seal a place at the final stages in Lisbon without their all-time record goalscorer.

"I told you many times no. [Defintely] no," Guardiola told a news conference when asked about Aguero's prospects.

Friday's draw mapped out City's potential route to glory, with prospective semi-final opponents coming from a quarter-final between Napoli or Barcelona and Chelsea or Bayern Munich. 

Nevertheless, Guardiola insists City must not look past an in-form Madrid who appear set to wrest LaLiga from his beloved Barca's grasp. 

"We play against Real Madrid," he said. "If we think about the next step the kings of this competition, Real Madrid, will put us out.

"There is not one person who knows Real Madrid better than me, their potential and history, and we have to play this game.

"I saw the draw maybe two or three hours after it was made. I’ve got Brighton [in the Premier League on Saturday] and continue to prepare for Arsenal [in the semi-finals of the FA Cup].

"After that, we have two games and a potential [FA Cup] final to prepare for Real Madrid. That's all I have in my mind." 

City's bid for an elusive Champions League crown might be thrown into sharper focus on Monday if the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) uphold their two-season ban from UEFA competitions for violating Financial Fair Play regulations.

Guardiola reiterated his belief that City will be cleared by CAS and, irrespective of the verdict, he does not feel events in a Swiss court room will fuel his players.

"The intention is every season to play in the Champions League as best as possible, it's not about Monday," he said.

"On Monday, I'm so confident because I know and hear the arguments of the club. Next season we will be there and after I will give my opinion and the club will give a statement."

City head to Brighton and Hove Albion looking to snap a run of three successive away defeats in the Premier League.

Guardiola could once again call upon Benjamin Mendy after revealing the left-back sat out matches against Southampton and Newcastle United over the past week due to "muscular issues". 

Jurgen Klopp was delighted with Naby Keita after the midfielder produced an influential performance in Liverpool's 3-1 Premier League win away at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Keita assisted Mohamed Salah's sixth-minute opener after his pressing led to a turnover in possession, while he also started the move that led to Liverpool's second, scored by captain Jordan Henderson on Wednesday.

The Guinea international has struggled for consistency since joining the Reds from RB Leipzig in 2018, his career on Merseyside hampered by injury issues, but he has impressed since the resumption of the season.

Keita – who set up Sadio Mane's opener in the 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday – created four chances before being substituted in the 61st minute against Brighton, with Klopp particularly pleased with his contribution to Liverpool's first goal.

"He is getting better and better, step by step and game by game and that's really cool," Liverpool manager Klopp told the media when asked about Keita's display.

"I am really happy about that. Long may it continue, let me say it like this. When him and the boys stay fit then everything is fine with the quality they have, the way we play suits them.

"Tonight, being a player like Naby but winning these balls, as the coach I am I couldn't be happier about these kind of goals. Everybody is involved in that and I am really grateful for seeing things like this."

Victory on the south coast moves Liverpool up to 92 points, eight shy of Manchester City's Premier League record with four games remaining.

However, Klopp is not interested in looking ahead to reaching a century and is instead focusing only on Burnley, who the champions face at Anfield on Saturday.

"What can I say? When I think about the next four opponents and look at them and think we will get 10 or 12 points," the German said in his post-match news conference. 

"I never did that. I can't do that. We play against Burnley, who are a results machine. I couldn't respect more what they are doing. They played away, won against West Ham, they will come to us and will fight with all they have – so that is what we have to do as well.

"After that, we play Arsenal in a really good moment. After that, we play against Chelsea in a really good moment.

"How could I assume we will get all of these points? I think from now on about the Burnley game."

Jurgen Klopp is unsure over the severity of the injury Jordan Henderson sustained in Liverpool's 3-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Reds' captain scored his side's second goal on the south coast on Wednesday, curling a shot beyond goalkeeper Mat Ryan just 127 seconds after Mohamed Salah had put the champions in front early on.

However, Henderson was substituted in the 80th minute having seemingly hurt his knee in a challenge and Liverpool will have to wait to discover the full extent of the problem.

"I don't know [how serious it is], I don't know, honestly," Klopp said in his post-match press conference.

"I didn't see the situation back on the pitch, but I know that it will not be nothing, probably. That's how it is, but we have to wait. I cannot say more."

Asked if the England international was on crutches, the German said: "I have had press since the game is over, so I have no idea how he left the dressing room."

Klopp handed Neco Williams his first league start at left-back but opted to replace him at half-time, bringing on Andy Robertson in his place.

The Liverpool boss explained the decision was due to the teenager being shown a yellow card rather than an issue with his overall performance.

"I know football is like this. When we take a player off after 45 minutes and everyone thinks it's not good," he told Sky Sports.

"I don't care about this. He had a yellow card and the situation was we didn't protect him well enough on that side. 

"I can’t tell him not to make a challenge any more. That's the only reason [why he was taken off]. I liked a lot how he played."

Liverpool's 30th win in the Premier League this season lifts them to 92 points, just eight shy of Manchester City's record for the competition with four games remaining.

Mohamed Salah joined a trio of Liverpool legends in a prestigious club as he played a starring role in a 3-1 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Egypt international scored twice as the Premier League champions recorded their first away triumph since February 15, moving on to 92 points with four games remaining.

Salah steered the visitors in front in the sixth minute and then assisted Jordan Henderson's goal that arrived just 127 seconds later, laying the ball off for the Liverpool captain to curl a shot beyond Mat Ryan.

Leandro Trossard halved the deficit before the break, but Salah made sure of victory when he headed in Andy Robertson's corner, taking his tally in the league this season to 19 goals.

He has also now reached 100 goal involvements for Liverpool in the Premier League, tallying 73 goals and 27 assists to achieve the feat in only 104 appearances.

Only three players have reached the milestone previously for the Reds. Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler achieved the century in 148 and 158 games respectively, while Steven Gerrard's landmark came up in his 212th outing.

Jurgen Klopp's side also created history at Brighton by winning for the 30th time in their 34th Premier League fixture this season. No other side has reached that tally as quickly in the history of the English Football League.

Liverpool ended a five-game winless run on the road as Mohamed Salah scored twice in a 3-1 triumph over Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday. 

Salah and Jordan Henderson were on target inside the opening eight minutes as the Premier League champions quickly seized control on the south coast, albeit they were helped out by their opponents.

While a first away victory since a 1-0 success at Norwich City on February 15 was made trickier by Leandro Trossard's fine goal before break, Salah made sure of all three points when he headed in at a corner.

After going seven hours and 47 minutes without scoring an away goal in all competitions, a barren run stretching back to Sadio Mane's winner at Norwich City on February 15, Liverpool scored twice within 127 seconds.

Naby Keita was influential in both goals, setting up the opener as he robbed possession from Davy Propper to tee up Salah, who curled in a first-time finish with his left foot.

Brighton failed to heed the early warning as they were pressed into trouble again soon after, Keita springing the counter from a turnover. Roberto Firmino and Salah were also involved before Henderson ran onto the ball to send a shot across Mat Ryan and into the net.

To their credit, the hosts responded impressively following a shocking start.

Alisson kept out Neal Maupay with a point-blank save but the Brazil goalkeeper was left helpless by Trossard's half-volleyed finish from a Tariq Lamptey cross, the sweetly timed strike halving the deficit.

Dan Burn fluffed a glorious chance to equalise on the hour mark, scuffing his finish at the back post, and Salah made him pay.

The Egypt forward took his tally to 19 in the league this season when his run to the near post allowed him to meet Andy Robertson's set-piece delivery, flicking the ball in as Liverpool moved 23 points clear of City.


What does it mean? Reds closing in on century

Liverpool move into the nervous nineties as they chase Manchester City's points record in the competition.

This was an improvement on the tepid display against Aston Villa on Sunday but there are tougher hurdles to clear in the pursuit of a century, including a trip to Arsenal and a clash with Chelsea at Anfield. 

Positive signs for Keita 

Injuries and indifferent form have plagued Keita’s Liverpool career so far. However, after producing the assist for Mane’s opener at the weekend, the midfielder again demonstrated how he can make a difference in attack. He created four chances during his 61 minutes on the pitch.

Seagulls picked off 

Credit to Graham Potter’s side for trying to play out from the back, but their desire to do so proved costly. Propper had his pocket picked for the first, while Adam Webster overran the ball when in possession to leave a gap that Liverpool clinically exploited. 

What's next? 

Liverpool return home to welcome Burnley to Merseyside on Saturday. Brighton are at home on the same day, taking on the dethroned champions City. 

Fulham have confirmed Anthony Knockaert has joined the Championship promotion contenders on a permanent deal from Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Frenchman initially moved to Craven Cottage on loan for the 2019-20 season, during which he has scored three goals in 28 appearances.

He has now not committed his long-term future to Fulham, signing a contract until 2023 with the option of a further year.

"I'm happy to continue the adventure with Fulham for three more years," Knockaert told the club's website.

"I'm really excited for the remainder of this season and hopefully we can achieve our goal of being promoted to the Premier League.

"I've had a good time here since I joined the club and I’m looking forward to the future."

Knockaert helped Brighton secure promotion to the Premier League three years ago, having also done the same with Leicester City earlier in his career.

"The move has worked out well for Anthony, and I would like to wish him well for the remainder of the season and for the future," Brighton head coach Graham Potter said.

"There's no doubting his contribution to this club, as part of the promotion-winning team in 2017, and those first two seasons in the Premier League.

"On behalf of everyone at the club I would like to thank him for his achievements."

Jurgen Klopp feels Manchester City's attempts to dethrone his Liverpool side in the Premier League next season could be compromised if they reach the latter stages of the Champions League.

Liverpool stormed to their first domestic league title for 30 years in dominant fashion and their lead with five games remaining stands at an unassailable and mammoth 23 points.

City served notice of their intentions to make it three Premier League crowns in four seasons next time around with a dominant 4-0 victory over the Reds last week, although how their inconsistent 2019-20 will be judged rests upon whether they can add the FA Cup and the Champions League to the already-retailed EFL Cup.

Pep Guardiola's side hold a 2-1 advantage over Real Madrid ahead of the delayed second leg of their last-16 tie, which will take place on August 7 before the winner progresses to an eight-team mini-tournament in Lisbon that is slated to run from August 12-23.

Should City at least go close to getting their hands on the trophy that has eluded them in the modern era – not to mention one they stand to be banned from contesting over the next two years, pending the outcome of an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport – Klopp believes recuperation for the 2020-21 campaign will be tricky given the expectedly quick turnaround.

"For pretty much all the teams, it is the same, apart from the teams still in Europe," said Klopp, who knows Liverpool's season ends with the July 26 trip to Newcastle United.

"I don't know how they'll sort that. If City go through to the Champions League final, that's the end of August. It's really tough then.

"Or [Manchester] United and Chelsea and Wolves – they're all still in Europe. That's really tough.

"For us, it's already tough, but we can deal with it. We cannot start until other teams have finished.

"It will be September, I guess, when we start again. This period we will use for a break and pre-season."

Fatigue is a present concern for Klopp in this compressed Premier League schedule.

Brighton and Hove Albion are up next on Wednesday for Liverpool, who travelled overnight to England's south coast after finding a hotel in line with the coronavirus protocols they are required to meet.

"When we heard about the fixtures, it was tough. It's tough for everybody, but when you get yours, you don't look where others play," Klopp said.

"We know we have these kind of fixtures around Boxing Day, where we play 48 hours after the last game, which makes absolutely no sense and never will make sense. I stick to the opinion that's a crime, but three days [to recover] is kind of okay.

"We had to make a decision: would we travel on the matchday? But Brighton is not around the corner, especially the airport is not around the corner, so we would have had to travel a lot."

Klopp added: "We decided to do it like we would do it in the middle of the season. It should be okay, but then we're coming back in the middle of the night and playing a few hours later again against Burnley.

"But Burnley has the same situation; they are in London against West Ham and then play us. It's not easier for them or easier for us. It's just tough for all of us and the logistics are really difficult."

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