It was a Premier League weekend in which the Premier League seemed to take a back seat, with Sunday's emergence of a European Super League blowing everything else out of the water.

However, Monday's sacking of Jose Mourinho did at least serve to remind us that, yes, Tottenham did play on Friday and were typically flaky, letting a lead slip again even if they did get a leveller to tie with Everton.

Against the same Super League backdrop, Arsenal added more fuel to the burning question of why they're involved in it at all, given they required a 97th-minute equaliser to draw with Fulham, who now look doomed to relegation with Sheffield United.

And a week on from emulating Cristiano Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood levelled a record held by Wayne Rooney.

Using Opta data, we look at some of the quirky facts from the latest Premier League matches.

Everton 2-2 Tottenham: Mourinho pays the price for Spurs' mentality issues

Given what's happened in the time since, it's easy to forget Spurs' draw at Everton was as long ago as Friday.

But it proved to be Mourinho's final game in charge of Spurs nonetheless, with Tottenham's Champions League qualification hopes hanging by a thread – good job they've secured themselves a spot in a closed competition!

There will be many theories about Mourinho's demise, but perhaps the most pertinent with respect to his Spurs team relates to concerns over mentality.

After all, the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park saw them drop points from a winning position yet again. That's 20 points they've thrown away in 2020-21 – no team has a worse record.

Even Harry Kane's heroics weren't enough, as he twice punished defensive errors and became only the fourth player to score 20 or more goals in at least five Premier League seasons.

Who knows, maybe he'll soon follow Mourinho out the door…

Wolves 1-0 Sheffield United: Blades among the Premier League's worst ever teams?

Now, obviously it depends on how you determine the "worst" teams – everyone will likely have their own point of view.

Derby County of course hold the record for the lowest ever points total of 11, which the Blades have already surpassed, but their 1-0 defeat at Wolves consigned them to relegation.

It means they suffered the joint-earliest relegation in Premier League history, along with Derby (2007-08), Ipswich Town (1994-95) and Huddersfield Town (2018-19).

Certainly, United are party to one of the biggest drop-offs in a relegation season, as no team had finished as high as ninth one campaign and then been relegated the next since Birmingham City in 2010-11.

But here's the kicker – it was their 26th defeat of the season, equalling a club record. They could yet surpass the 29 suffered by Sunderland and Derby.

Arsenal 1-1 Fulham: Gunners' late equaliser highlights lack of progress against Super League backdrop

The rumours relating to the European Super League had emerged prior to Arsenal's Sunday clash with struggling Fulham. It provided a timely reminder of the competition's nonsensical premise.

Eddie Nketiah scored an equaliser deep into second-half stoppage to spare Arsenal's blushes – actually, if anything it probably accentuated their blushes given Fulham's failing battle against relegation.

The point means Arsenal have the exact same number of points (46) after 32 games as they did last term.

The last time they amassed fewer at this stage of a season was 1994-95 – it's hardly a show of progress.

On this evidence, Arsenal might be better off performing a Super League U-turn to avoid humiliation.

Manchester United 3-1 Burnley: Greenwood finding his groove again to match Rooney

It's not been the easiest of seasons for Greenwood. From getting booted out of an England camp to struggling badly for goals, it's fair to say a few have questioned whether they were right to believe the hype.

Thankfully the youngster has rediscovered his scoring touch lately and appears transformed, attacking defenders with confidence and purpose once again.

His brace against Burnley took him to 15 Premier League goals for United, levelling a record set by Wayne Rooney for the most goals scored by a teenager for United.

Greenwood will surely overtake Rooney in this regard as well, given he doesn't turn 20 until October 1.

On a similar note, his second effort on Sunday meant he has scored more top-flight goals as a teenager than any other player in the top five European leagues since the start of 2019-20.

But has he left this surge too late for a Euro 2020 call-up?

Mikel Arteta insists he knows nothing about Arsenal being involved in a European Super League.

Widespread reports emerged on Sunday claiming that up to 12 clubs – including the Premier League's 'big six' – were set to announce the new competition.

Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal are said to have been joined by teams from Italy and Spain in backing the plans.

UEFA issued a strong response condemning the apparent proposals, vowing to do everything in its power to block the move, and its statement was co-signed by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), LaLiga, the English Football Association (FA), the Premier League, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Serie A.

European football's governing body also reiterated a threat it has made before, that it would bar clubs from taking part in other competitions, while it also suggested FIFA still plans to ban players from playing at the World Cup if they feature in such a 'Super League'.

Aside from other footballing authorities, the plans have been met with widespread condemnation, but Arteta was not willing to add to the dissenting voices.

Speaking after ninth-placed Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw with relegation-threatened Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday, Arteta said: "I don't know anything about it.

"I don't know. Once I know every detail and I have all the information then I can evaluate and give you my opinion."

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is rumoured to be heading up the new league, while the owners of Liverpool, United and Arsenal are reported to be filling vice-chairman roles.

It has been suggested an announcement from the clubs in question could come as early as 21:30 BST on Sunday.

Eddie Nketiah scored a dramatic late equaliser as Arsenal rescued a 1-1 draw at home to Fulham, who subsequently moved a step closer to relegation.

Scott Parker's side looked to be on course for a first ever win at Arsenal in any competition, but the Gunners spared their blushes – to a certain extent – deep into stoppage time.

Gabriel Martinelli was Arsenal's biggest threat throughout but saw presentable opportunities go begging, while a Dani Ceballos goal was disallowed for a marginal offside spotted by VAR in the first half.

The visitors took the lead against the run of play thanks to a Josh Maja penalty and Arsenal lost Alexandre Lacazette to injury soon after, but what would have ordinarily been a bitter blow seemingly led to the late equaliser, with the Frenchman's replacement clinching a point for Arsenal.

Declan Rice may be looking to make a move to Manchester United from resurgent West Ham. 

The 22-year-old midfielder talked to United players during last month's international break as England won their opening three World Cup qualifiers.

The Red Devils could be in need of midfield help if Paul Pogba leaves at the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY - RICE TO RED DEVILS

England international Declan Rice is interested in swapping West Ham for Manchester United, the Manchester Evening News reports. 

During the recent international break, he spoke with Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw about the atmosphere at the club. 

Rice is under contract with the Hammers through to 2024 but could be prised away for the right price. 

David Moyes has said Rice could net £100 million for the London club. 

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona have made prolific Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland their primary transfer target, according to Marca. Barca are willing to wait until the end of next season to get their man.

- Brest defender Romain Perraud has the attention of Leeds United and Lyon, according to the Daily Mail. Perraud would shore up the defence of either club while serving as a potential asset going forward; he has three goals and six assists this season.

- Goal reports Jesse Lingard is yet to decide whether he wants to make West Ham his permanent home as he continues to enjoy a stunning spell on loan from Manchester United.

- Lyon center back and Danish international Joachim Andersen, currently on loan to Fulham, is drawing interest from Tottenham and Manchester United, B.T. reports, with Chelsea, Leicester City and Crystal Palace also potential destinations.

Charles De Ketelaere may be on the move from Bruges, with Milan and Atalanta both potential landing spots, according to Calciomercato. 

The Premier League made its comeback this weekend, and there was no shortage of drama on Sunday.

It was a tail of turnarounds throughout the four fixtures – three sides coming from behind to win while Newcastle United and Tottenham played out a topsy turvy 2-2 draw.

Manchester United needed a late goal to see off Brighton and Hove Albion, while Southampton and Aston Villa claimed victories.

United have now won 95 Premier League points after conceding first, seven more than any other team in the history of the competition and, using Opta data, we take a look at more of the best facts from across the day's matches.

Southampton 3-2 Burnley: Ings puts former club to the sword in thrilling fightback 

Southampton picked up their first Premier League home win since their opening game in 2021 as they came from two goals down to beat Burnley 3-2, ending a run of five league outings at St. Mary's without a victory (D1 L4).

The Saints had not won a league game that they had trailed in by two goals since March 2016, when they defeated Liverpool under Ronald Koeman, but Danny Ings inspired the turnaround against his former club.

Having teed up Stuart Armstrong's goal, Ings became just the fourth player in Premier League history to score in four successive appearances against sides he has previously played for in the competition, after Robbie Keane in 2004, Jermain Defoe in 2009 and Wilfried Bony in 2017.

It was Nathan Redmond who then dealt the decisive blow, volleying in from Theo Walcott's cross after Nick Pope had brilliantly denied Ings a second.

Redmond has been directly involved in five goals in his past two games for Southampton (three goals and two assists), as many direct goal involvements as he had registered in his previous 30 appearances in all competitions combined.

Chris Wood gave Burnley the lead from a VAR-awarded penalty – the 100th spot-kick taken in the top flight this season, and the 83rd to be converted. This is only the seventh Premier League campaign to see a century of penalties awarded.

Newcastle United 2-2 Tottenham: Kane double not enough as Spurs let another lead slip

Tottenham looked set to move into the top four as they led 2-1 at Newcastle – Harry Kane's double putting them ahead after Joelinton carried on his goalscoring form against Spurs; he has now netted a total of four Premier League goals in 62 appearances, with two of those coming in four matches versus the north London team.

Kane has been directly involved in 45 goals in all competitions this term, scoring 29 times and providing 16 assists, equalling his career-best tally from 2017-18 (41 goals and four assists).

He has also scored 84 goals in 120 away games in the Premier League for Spurs, the most goals any player has scored on the road for a single club in the competition, going past Wayne Rooney's 82 for Manchester United.

Yet his efforts were not enough – Joe Willock rescuing a point for relegation-battling Newcastle, who have drawn three consecutive Premier League games at St. James' Park for the first time since another three-game run spanning December 2017 and January 2018.

Tottenham have dropped four points from winning positions against Newcastle this season, their most in a campaign against a single side since also dropping four versus Arsenal and West Brom in 2015-16, while Spurs have now failed to win six Premier League games after leading at half-time, the most of any side in 2020-21.

Aston Villa 3-1 Fulham: History made at Villa Park before Cottagers collapse

Sunday's clash between Aston Villa and Fulham was the first game in Premier League history in which every player in the starting XI for both sides was born after the first ever Premier League game on August 15, 1992.

Despite Dean Smith saying he would be available, Jack Grealish was not in Villa's squad, and Fulham hit the front through Aleksandar Mitrovic, who – after 159 days and 23 games without a goal for club and country – has now scored six times in the past 12 days, five times for Serbia and once for the Cottagers.

Yet only Southampton (18) and Brighton (20) have dropped more points from winning positions in the Premier League this season than Fulham (16) after Scott Parker's third-bottom side suffered a collapse.

Trezeguet scored a rapid double – his two goals coming just 160 seconds apart. The Egypt international had previously attempted more shots without scoring than any other player in this season's Premier League (29).

Ollie Watkins helped himself to his first league goal in eight games, ending a run of 18 shots without a goal in the competition since netting versus Arsenal in February.

Manchester United 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Matchwinner Greenwood in elite company

Only Wayne Rooney (15) and Marcus Rashford (13) have scored more Premier League goals as teenagers for United than Mason Greenwood (12), who struck late on to complete the turnaround at Old Trafford.

Former Red Devil Danny Welbeck opened the scoring in Sunday's final game – he became the first player to net as many as three Premier League goals against United after having appeared for the club in the competition.

The 2020-21 season is only the second to see two players who have previously appeared for Manchester United in the Premier League score against them (Wilfried Zaha and Welbeck), along with the 1997-98 campaign, when Dion Dublin and Mark Hughes did so.

But United have now won 25 points from losing positions this term, nine more than any other side, while Brighton remain winless at Old Trafford in 13 attempts in all competitions (D2 L11).

Rashford – who has only scored more league goals (five) against Leicester City than he has against the Seagulls – equalised after being teed up by Bruno Fernandes, who has been directly involved in five goals in three Premier League appearances against Brighton.

Tottenham bounced back from a dreadful week to keep their hopes of a top-four Premier League finish alive. 

A north London derby defeat to Arsenal was followed by a shocking Europa League exit at the hands of Dinamo Zagreb, but Jose Mourinho's men comfortably swatted aside Aston Villa 2-0 to move to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea.

The Gunners, meanwhile, produced a stirring comeback to seal a 3-3 draw against West Ham, David Moyes' side giving them more than a little assistance. 

There were also wins for Brighton and Hove Albion and Leeds United over Newcastle United and Fulham respectively. 

Using Opta data, we look at some of the more quirky facts from the weekend's top-flight action.

 

Spurs bounce back from European nightmare

Jose Mourinho demanded a positive response from his side after their dismal Europa League exit to Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday and they duly delivered. 

Goals in either half from Carlos Vinicius and Harry Kane sealed a fourth win in five Premier League games for Spurs, while they became the third side to win six consecutive top-flight away games against Villa, after Manchester United (2003-2007) and Liverpool (2011-2019). 

Vinicius has now scored nine goals in his nine starts for the club across all competitions, the Brazilian needing just 12 shots to do so.

That kind of accuracy is familiar to Kane, who has been directly involved in 30 goals in the Premier League this season (17 goals, 13 assists). The England captain is the first player to reach that total in the 2020-21 competition, while it is the first time he has achieved this since 2017-18 (30 goals, two assists).

Villa might point to the absence of the talismanic Jack Grealish as a contributing factor to their poor display. The Villains have a 17 per cent win ratio in the Premier League games without the England international, which rises to 50 per cent when he is in the side.

Hammers give Arsenal a helping hand

West Ham players scored five goals in their clash against Arsenal at the London Stadium, yet David Moyes' side had to make do with a 3-3 draw. 

The Hammers took a 3-0 lead against Mikel Arteta's men, but ended up with just a point after Tomas Soucek and Craig Dawson put into their own nets before Alexandre Lacazette's late leveller. 

It meant Moyes' outfit became the first team to score two own goals in a Premier League game since Swansea (also against Arsenal) in January 2017, while Soucek became the first player to score at both ends of the pitch in the same home top-flight game for West Ham since Frank Lampard against Leicester City in November 1998.

The collapse meant West Ham failed to win after being three goals ahead in a Premier League game for the first time since September 1998 when they lost 4-3 to Wimbledon. 

Following their 3-3 draw with Tottenham earlier in the season, the result meant the Hammers have been involved in two of the Premier League's three three-goal comebacks this season – the most instances in a single campaign since 2010-11 (also three). 

There is nothing boring about them these days. 

Leeds return to Yorkshire with capital gains

Leeds' trips to London have largely been fruitless affairs in recent years, but they returned to winning ways in the capital with a slender triumph over Fulham. 

Patrick Bamford and Raphinha were on target as Marcelo Bielsa's side sealed a first win there in 17 games across all competitions, with their previous success coming in the shape of a 3-1 win against QPR in 2017. 

Bamford brushed off his disappointment at not being included in Gareth Southgate's England squad to become the first Leeds player to score in four straight league appearances against a single club since Luciano Becchio against Middlesbrough between 2010 and 2012. 

Joachim Andersen had given the Cottagers hope of securing at least a point when he joined Bjarne Goldbaek and Claus Jensen as the only Danish players to score for the club in the Premier League. 

Raphinha brought home the bacon for Leeds, though, scoring his sixth goal since his first top-flight start in November – only Bamford has scored more (seven) in that period.

Magpies' rotten run against Brighton continues

Brighton could scarcely have handpicked more accommodating opponents than Steve Bruce's sorry Newcastle.

The Seagulls' comfortable victory was their second at the Amex Stadium in 2021 – double what they achieved at home in 2020. 

Leandro Trossard, Danny Welbeck and Neal Maupay were on target for the hosts, with the former pair's strikes both coming from outside the penalty area – the first time Brighton have scored two such goals since a clash with QPR in April 2017.

They have now played more Premier League games against Newcastle (eight) without losing than against any other side in the competition, Graham Potter's side winning four and drawing four. 

The Magpies have scored just one goal in those games, with only Sheffield United having faced a side more often while netting just once in the competition, the Blades hitting the back of the net on a solitary occasion in 10 games against Manchester City.

John Stones hopes rediscovering his best form for Manchester City will lead to an England recall after the defender scored in Saturday's 3-0 win over Fulham.

Pep Guardiola's side extended their lead at the Premier League summit to 17 points, with all three goals coming in the second half at Craven Cottage.

It was Stones who got the ball rolling early in the second half, before Gabriel Jesus scored and Sergio Aguero ended his goal drought from the penalty spot.

Stones has now scored five goals in all competitions this season and has strung together a series of fine displays to put himself firmly back on Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate's radar, and the 26-year-old revealed earning the right to add to his 39 caps was a motivation for him.

Asked if an England recall was on his mind, he said: "Definitely. It's a massive honour for me and being out of the [recent] squads has been difficult for me.

"It's been a motivation for me and I've worked hard to get back into the team here and the England call-up – if it comes – is progress from what I've done for City."

Fulham, fresh from a 1-0 win over champions Liverpool, provided a stern test in a cagey opening 45 minutes before City pulled away.

It was a much-changed visiting side, with Guardiola's men competing for silverware on four fronts, and Stones was pleased with how the incoming players performed in a testing encounter in London.

"Everyone that came in deserves every bit of credit for the way we played," he said. "We fought and stayed so patient, which is difficult in moments like this.

"I'm glad to get on the scoresheet again. We knew that they keep such a high line from set-pieces. I tried to time my run as best as I could. The ball was great from Joao [Cancelo]. We told him to go over earlier to have an in-swinging ball and it paid off.

"We know that the squad is rotated because of the schedule of whatever it may be that the manager decides. We all know our roles and responsibilities.

"Give a lot of credit to Fulham. The way they play their football doesn't really reflect where they are in the table.

"They're a strong opposition and they made it hard for us in the first half. It was hard to find space in the pockets and in behind.

"We corrected a few things and it was great to get three points again and another clean sheet."

Sergio Aguero scored his first Premier League goal since January 2020 as Manchester City cruised to a straightforward 3-0 win at Fulham and extended their lead at the top of the table.

Scott Parker's Cottagers had given their survival hopes a massive boost with a 1-0 win at Liverpool last weekend, but runaway leaders City brought them back down to Earth with a clinical second-half display.

Neither side looked particularly impressive in the first half, with City's few opportunities not giving Alphonse Areola a great deal to worry about.

But Pep Guardiola's men took their chances in the second period as Fulham gifted them a couple of goals, with John Stones, Gabriel Jesus and Aguero netting, the latter's penalty his first league strike since January 21 last year after being plagued by injuries.

Fulham were initially the brighter of the two teams as Ademola Lookman's pace and trickery caused issues, but he was guilty of overplaying early on and allowed Ruben Dias to block a shot.

Bernardo Silva and Aguero both drew routine saves from Areola at the other end, but the goalkeeper was helpless to keep City out at the start of the second half.

Just 76 seconds after the restart, Stones latched on to Joao Cancelo's free-kick delivery and guided the ball in from close range.

It was 3-0 by the hour mark – first, Jesus rounded Areola and smashed home after Joachim Andersen's clearance struck Ivan Cavaleiro and fell kindly for the Brazilian.

Then former City youngster Tosin Adarabioyo was tackled on the edge of his own area by Ferran Torres and he subsequently hauled the Spaniard down, with Aguero converting the penalty.

City comfortably saw the game out to extend their lead at the summit to 17 points, though second-placed Manchester United do have two games in hand.

What does it mean? City make Fulham pay for errors as hosts get a reality check

Having lost just one of their previous seven Premier League games, Fulham have hoisted themselves back to within touching distance of safety and have received a lot of praise for their performances.

But there were hints of them believing the hype as they played one pass too many in decisive areas, meaning City were able to keep them out at the back and punish those errors at the other end.

City were by no means excellent in the first half, with many of their regulars held back for the week ahead, yet you still got the impression they knew what they were doing.

Cancelo catches the eye

It was not a match full of standout individual performances, but Cancelo – as he often does – did make his mark.

The Portuguese full-back has developed into a key man for City and he was a joy to watch here, his forays forward adding an extra dimension to his team.

While he only played one key pass in open play, he also got the assist for Stones' opener with a gorgeous delivery and was solid defensively, making five tackles – tied with Rodri for the most by a City player.

Adarabioyo's day to forget

Playing against his former team, Adarabioyo will have been desperate to impress, and perhaps that was partly to blame for his decision-making in the lead-up to the City penalty.

His attempt to dribble past Torres was unnecessary and he conceded the foul. That aside it is difficult to say he impressed much defensively, failing to make any tackles or clearances.

What's next?

City now turn their attentions towards the Champions League as they face Borussia Monchengladbach in the second leg of their last-16 tie on Tuesday. As for Fulham, they host Leeds United on Friday.

Pep Guardiola is concerned he could lose players to injury because of the state of Manchester City's pitch.

The City manager feels his club are far from top of the league when it comes to their playing surface, casting an envious eye towards rivals Manchester United and Liverpool.

As he takes his team to Fulham on Saturday, Guardiola is expecting a far-from-perfect pitch at Craven Cottage, but it is issues at home that Guardiola wishes he could control.

City are streaking away in the Premier League, looking set for a third title in four years, and they could yet achieve an unprecedented quadruple.

But for Guardiola, City are achieving their success while being hampered by an Etihad Stadium problem: when autumn and winter comes, their pitch deteriorates.

"We have tried from day one, we have tried every season to find a solution, knowing that the weather's going to change so the sun will not come," Guardiola said.

"We have to try to find a way that for as much time as possible, and the time from October, November until March, the grass can be better as much as possible.

"We need it for, of course, avoiding injuries. So our football can be better for many, many reasons.

"And I'm sure the club will try to do, as it always has done and always does, the best to find a solution."

City's next Etihad Stadium assignment is due to be the April 10 clash with Leeds United, given next Tuesday's Champions League second leg against Borussia Monchengladbach has been switched to Budapest. That will be played at the Puskas Arena, which has a pitch Guardiola has described as like "a red carpet".

Guardiola, who borrowed the golf terminology of 'greenkeeper' to describe the City groundsmen, joked his team might have caused the damage to the pitch with a shabby style of football.

The reality is that City are perhaps the easiest team on the eye in the Premier League.

"I'm not a greenkeeper so I cannot give you a solution, the reason why, but the reality is not good," Guardiola said of City's pitch problem. "Maybe it's because our quality of football isn't good enough and we destroyed the grass, but I don't know.

"They give me the reasons and they give the reasons to the club and we follow and say, 'okay, this is what it is', and we accept it because I cannot argue with them because I'm not a greenkeeper."

Pep Guardiola has admitted Manchester City have a worrying pitch problem as they attempt to land an unprecedented quadruple this season.

The City manager has been impressed by playing surfaces at stadiums his team have visited recently, pointing to Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United as clubs who have pristine grass.

However, the boss of the Premier League leaders says his team are playing on a pitch that is ill-suited to players of their prowess, and he wants a solution to be found.

Guardiola revealed his turf torment when assessing that the pitch at Fulham's Craven Cottage, where City play on Saturday, is also not one of the best around.

"I know the stadium is always difficult, the grass is not in good condition, quite similar to our grass that is not good," Guardiola said.

When asked how much of a problem it was to City that their Etihad Stadium conditions were not ideal, Guardiola replied: "A lot. They're working a lot trying to find a solution, but the grass is not good.

"All the players know how good the grass is and sometimes is not. I know the weather conditions here are tough, but there are stadiums where the grass is good. We were in London against Arsenal, we were in Anfield and Old Trafford and the grass was better.

"We were in Budapest in the Champions League and the grass was a red carpet, it was amazing, but the grass here is not good."

Such an inconvenience did not prevent City recently running up a 28-game unbeaten streak, which ended on home soil against United last weekend.

Guardiola's star-studded team thumped Southampton 5-2 at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, restoring a 14-point lead over second-placed United.

With the end of City's unbeaten run coming so recently, Fulham may fancy causing a shock on Saturday evening, despite losing their past six games against City across all competitions by an 18-0 aggregate.

City have lost just one of their 13 Premier League away games against Fulham (W7 D5), going down 2-1 in November 2005 under Stuart Pearce.

Guardiola spoke passionately about Fulham's qualities, and he ranks Cottagers boss Scott Parker highly in the group of forward-thinking young managers who are emerging across Europe.

On the style front, Guardiola admits he will struggle to compete against the sharply dressed Parker, saying: "He's younger, he has hair, he's better than me, definitely. I accept a draw against him."

On the pitch, however that pitch may look under his close scrutiny, Guardiola will not want to settle for a point in west London.

He namechecked Brighton's Graham Potter - "Mr Potter" - as another bright young coach, and said he admired young managers who compelled their teams to play football with bravado, even if results are slow in coming.

"They are the ones I admire the most," Guardiola said. "They're doing this in the beginning and it's not going well, they continue to do it and in the end the results come.

"Both teams want to attack, both teams want to create, not just speculate, not just wait for one mistake or wait for one action to do it. I have a feeling the new generation of managers, all of them, have this quality.

"Just take a look in Spain, Germany, Italy. All the new managers, they play like they are managers of Bayern Munich. So go forward and try to do it. Sometimes they can do it."

All good things must come to an end, and that proved the case for Manchester City on Sunday.

Their remarkable winning run of 21 games in all competitions came to an end with a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the derby.

City hold an 11-point lead over their neighbours at the top of the Premier League, however, and the real battle seems set to be for Champions League places.

Tottenham boosted their hopes with a 4-1 thrashing of Crystal Palace, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min combining for a record-setting goal, while Liverpool's dismal form continued as they suffered a sixth successive home defeat. Fortress Anfield is well and truly a thing of the past.

At the bottom, West Brom and Newcastle United played out a goalless draw. We take a look at the best Opta facts from Sunday's games.

 

Manchester City 0-2 Manchester United: Winning streak grinds to a halt

If there was one team City did not want their incredible run of wins to come to an end against, it would have been United.

It was the first time City have lost since November, when they went down 2-0 at home to Spurs, ending a run of 28 games without a defeat across all competitions. Pep Guardiola's team had won their last 21 in total, including 15 in the league, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to have the better of his counterpart.

United have won three consecutive away games in all competitions at City for the first time since a run of four between November 1993 and November 2000, and among the managers Guardiola has faced more than three times across all competitions as a top-flight boss, Solskjaer is the only one to have beaten the Spaniard (four) more often than he has lost to him.

Solskjaer is also the first manager in United's history to win each of his first three away meetings in all competitions with City. Since the start of the 2019-20 season, three of City's five home defeats in all competitions have come against United.

The Norwegian is now the only manager to have won three away games against sides managed by Guardiola.

Bruno Fernandes scored the opener from the penalty spot inside two minutes. Since his Premier League debut in February 2020, he has scored 12 of the 13 penalties he has taken in the competition. 

After just 101 seconds, Fernandes' penalty was the earliest goal that City have ever conceded in a Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, and the first they have conceded within two minutes at home in the competition since Steed Malbranque's strike for Fulham at Maine Road in January 2003.

Liverpool 0-1 Fulham: Reds' Merseyside misery rolls on

It is hard to believe that before their defeat to Burnley on January 21, Liverpool had not lost a league match at Anfield since April 2017. 

Liverpool have now lost six home games in a row, their longest ever such streak, while they are the first side to lose six in a row on home soil in the Premier League since Huddersfield Town in February 2019 (seven).

The Reds' six league defeats at Anfield this season is their most in a single campaign since 1953-54 (also six), when the Reds finished bottom of the top-flight, with Fulham the first promoted team to win away at Liverpool in the top flight since Blackpool Town in October 2010.

Jurgen Klopp's side are winless in their last eight league home matches, only embarking on a longer winless top-flight run at Anfield once before – 10 games between October 1951 and March 1952. They have won just one of their last seven matches in the competition.

Fulham, on the other hand, are unbeaten in their last eight Premier League away games (W2 D6) – their longest run without defeat on the road in their top-flight history – and are now level on 26 points with 17th-placed Brighton and Hove Albion.

Excluding penalties and own goals, Liverpool have failed to score with each of their last 115 shots at Anfield in the Premier League (including 16 against Fulham). This is the longest such scoreless run of shots on home soil by any side.

Tottenham 4-1 Crystal Palace: Bale and Kane rampant as Spurs boost top-four hopes

Only leaders City (35) have earned more points at home in this season's Premier League than Tottenham (24), and Jose Mourinho's men were in fine form against Palace.

Gareth Bale scored either side of Christian Benteke's equaliser – since the 2012-13 season, only Olivier Giroud (32) has more headed goals in the competition than the Belgian – with both of the Welshman's goals teed up by the brilliant Kane.

Bale has scored in each of his last three home appearances in all competitions, the first time he has done so since September 2018 for Real Madrid (four in a row), and first time for Spurs since May 2013.

Kane then curled in a sensational third goal, before he headed home a fourth from Son Heung-min's cushioned cutback.

Son and Kane have now assisted one another for 14 Premier League goals this season, breaking Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton's all-time competition record of 13 set in 1994-95 for Blackburn.

Kane's second goal was also Spurs' 100th strike in all competitions this season, seeing them become the second club in Europe's "top five" leagues to reach that tally in 2020-21, after Bayern Munich (106).

Spurs talisman Kane is the first Tottenham player since Jurgen Klinsmann in May 1998 to score twice and provide two assists in a Premier League match, while he has been directly involved in 40 goals in 36 games in all competitions this season (24 goals and 16 assists), the most of any player for a top-flight club.

West Brom 0-0 Newcastle United: Bore draw does little for survival hopes

There was not so much in the way of entertainment in the day's early kick-off, as strugglers West Brom and Newcastle shared the spoils.

West Brom are unbeaten in three home league games against Newcastle (W1 D2) for the first time since January 2005, while only Southampton (seven) have gained fewer Premier League points in 2021 than the Baggies (10) and Newcastle (nine).

Newcastle have won just one of their last nine Premier League away games (D1 L7), failing to score in six of those matches.

West Brom had 13 shots at goal in the match, their joint-most attempts without scoring in a Premier League game this season (also 13 v Burnley in October).

Jurgen Klopp has dismissed Harrison Reed's claim that desire was the difference between Liverpool and Fulham as the Cottagers won 1-0 at Anfield.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the Cottagers gave their survival chances a huge boost on Sunday afternoon, midfielder Reed summed up his side's performance by declaring: "We wanted it more."

The visitors were certainly good value for their three points, which came as a result of a performance that saw them create the best openings and rarely troubled at the back.

But Klopp disagreed with the suggestions that his players, whose hopes of European football next term are fading fast, did not want to win just as desperately.

He said: "Believe me, these boys want [it] but it doesn't work in the moment and there are some reasons for it: we don't score goals and we concede at least one, which in the moment looks like it is enough against us. 

"You can discuss whatever you want, obviously, I cannot just answer and say, 'Yeah, we don't have mentality.' We have mentality, it's just not the mentality we are used to probably, but the boys want to win games. 

"They wanted to win this game today. I saw that. We made mistakes still, that's the problem, but that's not about you don't want it - the boys don't want to make mistakes, we just made them. 

"We have to make sure the mistakes we make are not accountable anymore, so like you can concede a goal – we conceded goals in our best phases, the best periods of our lives, but the only thing is then you are not bothered about it. 

"That's where we have to come. We have really tight results in the moment, pretty much always against us, and we have to make sure we win football games again. 

"If it's a 1-0, it's fine, fight for it with all you have and then you can gain confidence and momentum maybe again. In the moment we don't have that."

Klopp did, though, acknowledge that his team's performance was not worthy of taking even a share of the points.

He added: "It was not good enough. Conceded a goal, didn't score, lost the game. It was not good enough. 

"I had a few interviews and tried to explain it. We had to make some changes and wanted to make some more, and it is then clear that it takes a little bit of time to adapt - especially when you know that Fulham is in a really good moment and is anyway a good football-playing side. So that was clear. 

"We started OK with our direction, especially when we sent Mo in behind. We had moments, didn't use them, they had their moments when they played behind our last line, of course, but we didn't concede a goal [then]. 

"We conceded a goal in the moment when obviously we didn't expect it and it was only a few minutes before half-time. But we got then more and more used to each other and played some good stuff, created chances, had chances, didn't score. 

"Then the longer the game goes, obviously in our situation it's not that you get stronger and stronger and stronger. It gets a little bit lesser again and that's why we lost."

Against Fulham, Liverpool named their 20th central defensive partnership of a season that has been defined by injuries not only limited to that position.

Asked if his team's fortunes will remain the same until the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are back, Klopp replied: "For winning one football game, no. For being the successful team again, for being the team we can be in the best possible way, of course we have to be complete. 

"More complete than we are in the moment, that's all clear, but that's not what we are thinking about in the moment. 

"We really think from game to game and when you are winning then people think, 'Why do you say that all the time?' but that's the only way. 

"You have to think and to concentrate and focus on the next game and to go again. The next game is in a different competition where we didn't too bad so far, but it will be a tough one, obviously, so we have to make sure we are ready for that. 

"If we can go through, which is not guaranteed, then that could give confidence. Then we have Wolves, which is a tough one and then we have a couple of weeks off because of the Chelsea game and the international break and all these kind of things. 

"We have to use that time, we have to hope all the boys who go to their national teams come back healthy, like always. Then I think there are another nine or 10 games to go, sounds like 27 or 30 points, so a lot to go for and we will try."

Fulham boosted their survival hopes as they inflicted a sixth consecutive Premier League home defeat on Liverpool, winning 1-0 at Anfield.

Mario Lemina's strike close to the half-time break earned the visitors a deserved three points that means only goal difference separates them from safety.

It also extended a dreadful run of form for the Premier League champions, whose hopes of qualifying for any form of European football next term now look under huge threat.

No doubt encouraged by their hosts' woeful recent form, Fulham made the brighter start.

They twice went close when Josh Maja flicked an unorthodox effort just past the post before Ademola Lookman drove wide after cutting into the box too easily.

And, though Liverpool looked to respond through Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian was unable to hit the target after getting in behind on two occasions.

Fulham kept the pressure on, with only a brave Alisson stop and an excellent Neco Williams block denying Maja and Lookman respectively.

And the Reds could not deny them before half-time, with Lemina picking Salah's pocket at the edge of the box before arrowing a brilliant low effort into the far corner.

Liverpool showed improvement following the break, Diogo Jota stinging the palms of Alphonse Areola with a well-struck left-footed volley just inside the box.

But their desperation to get back into the game led to gaps opening up, which Ivan Cavaleiro almost exploited in shooting wide after pinching the ball in midfield and breaking at pace.

Shortly after that chance, Jurgen Klopp looked to his bench for inspiration, introducing Sadio Mane in place of Georginio Wijnaldum.

And the Senegalese nearly levelled just minutes into his cameo, sending a looping header onto the post from Naby Keita's cross.

But that was as close as Liverpool came across a final 25 minutes that featured surprisingly few uncomfortable moments for Fulham, who were good value for their win.

What does it mean? Fulham give themselves a chance

Having looked dead and buried earlier in the season, Fulham are now only in the Premier League's bottom three by virtue of goal difference.

As the form team in that part of the division, Scott Parker's side will now fancy their chances of reeling in Brighton and Hove Albion or Newcastle United before the campaign comes to a close.

What's next?

Liverpool must shake off another Anfield defeat quickly as they head to Budapest for the 'home' leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against RB Leipzig on Wednesday.

Fulham, meanwhile, have six days to prepare for hosting Premier League champions in waiting Manchester City at Craven Cottage.

Diogo Jota gets a first Premier League start in 2021 as one of seven changes made by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp for the home game against Fulham on Sunday. 

Having suffered a knee injury in December, Jota made a return to first-team action on Thursday, though his appearance off the bench could not help the Reds avoid going down 1-0 to top-four rivals Chelsea at Anfield. 

The Portuguese forward is named in the starting XI to take on relegation-threatened Fulham, with Roberto Firmino ruled out due to what Liverpool announced to be a "minor knock". 

Klopp named Fabinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago Alcantara and Sadio Mane on a strong bench, with the second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie against RB Leipzig to come on Wednesday. 

The decision to leave Fabinho out means Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams start together at the heart of the defence. Neco Williams, meanwhile, takes over from Alexander-Arnold at right-back. 

James Milner and Naby Keita come into the Liverpool midfield, while Mohamed Salah – who did not hide his disappointment at being substituted against Chelsea in midweek – starts too, along with Xherdan Shaqiri. 

Jurgen Klopp insists he has no doubts over the loyalty of his players, but said if a member of his Liverpool squad wants to leave, then they will be shown the door.

Liverpool's dismal form continued on Thursday, as they went down 1-0 at home to Chelsea – a fifth successive defeat at Anfield, a club record.

The Reds have not won a home game in the Premier League since December 16, while they sit four points off the Champions League places with 12 games remaining.

Sunday's home game against Fulham does at least offer Liverpool a good chance – on paper – to get back on track, though they could only manage a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage earlier in the campaign.

Liverpool have never lost a home Premier League match against a promoted side under Klopp (P15 W14 D1), while Fulham have won just two of their 26 away league games against reigning top-flight champions (D3 L21), beating Ipswich Town 1-0 in March 1963 and Manchester United 3-1 in October 2003.

With the title well out of reach, Klopp has already acknowledged the only goal is to achieve a top-four finish, though the competition is stiff, with West Ham, Everton, Chelsea, Leicester City and Manchester United all ahead of Liverpool, while Tottenham, Aston Villa and Arsenal could also fancy their chances of catching the Reds.

Asked if he was concerned missing out on the Champions League could result in his star players asking to leave, a bullish Klopp told a news conference: "That's nothing we have to worry about.

"I know that we have loyalty. I know them well enough. If a player wants to leave because we don't play in the Champions League, I don't want him. It's nothing I worry about.

"We all expect more. We are realistic about the things we do. I don't feel like the team leaves me alone in the fire, it's just how it is.

"Nobody else speaks in the club, nobody above me speaks. In Germany, it's typical that the CEO faces the questions. The situation here is different. The owners want me to sort the situation."

Should the worst-case scenario come to pass, however, Klopp is confident it would only be a temporary blip.

"This club will not be a regular out of the Champions League," he added. "The potential and the power. The team, the squad – if they are not all injured. We are ready to battle.

"This club is in a really good position in difficult times, better than others I would say. Nobody has to worry about the future, it's in good hands. That is the best basis for a good future."

Klopp also stressed that the injuries to key players – mainly in his defence, with stand-ins Jordan Henderson and Fabinho then suffering problems – were the primary cause of Liverpool's loss of form.

"I cannot really tell people what they should think. If you want to doubt me, I think that is possible because of the team," Klopp said when asked if he understood any doubts over his ability to turn the situation around.

"If you judge the situation right, it's a difficult year where unity can be shown in a more special way. The boys did not change, the situation changed.

"The reason is the injuries, but last night we had a really good team but faced a really good team. You can always lose this game. If somebody wants to doubt us, I cannot change that."

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