Pep Guardiola felt the manner of Manchester City's 1-0 win over Arsenal will help to rebuild confidence and reserved praise for his defensive unit.

Raheem Sterling scored the only goal after 23 minutes at the Etihad Stadium, converting on the rebound after Bernd Leno blocked Phil Foden's shot.

But City also broke the deadlock in their previous Premier League games against Leicester City and Leeds United, matches that ended in a 5-2 defeat and 1-1 draw respectively.

On Saturday, despite the absence of influential centre-back Aymeric Laporte, Guardiola's side dug in to earn their victory.

Ederson completed a brilliant trio of first-half saves before Arsenal could only manage a solitary shot on target during the second half, when a back three of Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake grew in stature.

"It was a tight game as we expected. It was for our heads, so important this victory, for the problems that we have," Guardiola told Sky Sports.

"In the game against Leeds, Ederson made outstanding saves and again today.

"What we have done today, without the ball, defending together. I think Nathan and Ruben were incredible, and Kyle as a central defender.

"We could not train one session on the build-up [with this back three]. We need more time to grow as a team, but it's okay

"I think this game is going to help us to make a step forward."

The result was Guardiola's 500th victory of his coaching career, including his stint in charge of Barcelona B.

Raheem Sterling's fourth goal in his past three games got Manchester City back to winning ways in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Arsenal.

Sterling sat out England's games against Wales, Belgium and Denmark with a hamstring niggle but was back in action to score decisively midway through the first half at the Etihad Stadium.

Arsenal, led by Pep Guardiola's former assistant Mikel Arteta, beat City in last season's FA Cup semi-final and again asked plenty of questions of their hosts, for whom goalkeeper Ederson excelled.

But Guardiola's side held on for a timely triumph after taking a solitary point from encounters with Leicester City and Leeds United before the international break.

Riyad Mahrez, stationed on the right of a fluid City attack, was prominently involved in the opening exchanges - firing wide inside the opening minute before digging out a cross for the returning Sergio Aguero to head over.

The former Leicester City favourite's astute in-field pass released Aguero to run at the Arsenal defence in the 23rd minute, with Phil Foden's resulting shot saved by Bernd Leno and tucked home on the rebound by Sterling.

Bukayo Saka danced through the City backline to force a stop from Ederson as Arsenal sought a swift response, although Leno had to be alert to thwart Mahrez at his near post before the half hour and denied Foden after his defence played into trouble.

It was a game to busy both goalkeepers, with Ederson springing into action when Saka and then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang burst into the City box.

Guardiola sent on Ilkay Gundogan, returning after a positive coronavirus test, in place of Aguero in an attempt to shore up midfield with Arsenal in the ascendancy after the break.

Nevertheless, free-kicks from David Luiz and Nicolas Pepe that did not trouble Ederson were the closest they came.

On an increasingly rare foray forward, City wing-back Joao Cancelo almost forced David Luiz to prod into his own net. In the end, Sterling's solitary strike would prove enough.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has started 2020-21 in outstanding form for Everton, leading to the possibility of an England debut in the coming days. 

Having managed nine goals in six appearances across all competitions this season, Calvert-Lewin is the leading scorer in Europe's top five leagues. 

He leads a list which also includes Tottenham pair Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland, Bayern Munich great Robert Lewandowski and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah. 

Calvert-Lewin's reward is a first call up to the England senior squad ahead of the friendly with Wales, which is followed by Nations League clashes with Belgium and Denmark. 

But just how does Calvert-Lewin compare to his England team-mates, and what are the numbers behind his brilliant run under Carlo Ancelotti? 

THE FERGUSON FACTOR AND CARLO'S MAGIC TOUCH

A wiry and energetic youngster, Calvert-Lewin's versatility and work ethic may have set him back in his early years at Everton, with Ronald Koeman, David Unsworth and Sam Allardyce all utilising the forward in a variety of positions. Indeed, new Barcelona boss Koeman even deployed Calvert-Lewin as a wing-back in Everton's opening league match of 2017-18.

Whether as a foil for Romelu Lukaku, Wayne Rooney or Cenk Tosun in those first two campaigns, Calvert-Lewin often played second fiddle to another striker and his goal figures reflected as much. He managed four in 28 appearances under Koeman, three in 19 under Allardyce and two in eight with Unsworth in temporary charge. 

Marco Silva's tenure brought about Calvert-Lewin's first real chance to grasp his place as Everton's starting striker. He played 54 games and scored 13 times – averaging a goal every 209 minutes under the former Hull City boss, though consistency still alluded him, with his main task being to stretch opposing defences to benefit team-mates Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson. 

Yet Silva's departure after a dismal derby defeat to Liverpool last December signalled a change in fortunes for Calvert-Lewin, as Everton legend Duncan Ferguson called on the club's number nine to deliver. 

"To have someone who's been there and done it to bounce ideas off him has been invaluable, I couldn't thank him enough," Calvert-Lewin said of Ferguson in an interview with Everton's website. "He knows me well enough now to know when I need an arm around me, or need a pointer here or there." 

He has hardly looked back since and, after scoring a double in Ferguson's first game in charge, Calvert-Lewin swiftly became a key figure for Ancelotti. 

Since Ancelotti took over on December 22, 2019, only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (18) has scored more Premier League goals than the 23-year-old, who has 17 – level with Kane.

A FRESH START 

While Everton's form pre-lockdown ticked up under Ancelotti, the Toffees managed just three wins from their nine matches after the restart, with Calvert-Lewin failing to add to his 13 goals. 

Tame displays against Tottenham, Wolves and Bournemouth on the final day forced the club's hand, with Ancelotti overseeing a rebuild of the engine room in the transfer window – Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure bringing athleticism and nous, with James Rodriguez providing a much-needed sprinkling of stardust. 

With a revamped midfield behind him, Calvert-Lewin has scored in every appearance he has made bar one, against Fleetwood Town in the EFL Cup. 

Since the restart in June, Calvert-Lewin has made 15 appearances and netted nine goals in all competitions, scoring on average a goal every 132 minutes. That is a better rate than Vardy (139) and Salah (144), though some way behind his fellow England forwards Kane (15 goals, averaging out at one every 92 minutes) and Raheem Sterling (14 and 97). 

His Ferguson-esque header against Brighton and Hove Albion moved him to seven headed league goals since the start of last season, more than any other player, while he scored two hat-tricks in successive Goodison Park appearances prior to Everton's 4-2 win over the Seagulls.

MOVING ON UP

It was no surprise to see Calvert-Lewin included in the England squad, but he must now prove himself on the international stage. 

Since Ancelotti arrived at Everton, Ollie Watkins is the only Englishman currently playing in the Premier League to have scored more than Calvert-Lewin, though 13 of Watkins' goals in that period came in the Championship for Brentford. 

Kane, with 17 goals from 21 appearances, has matched the Everton player’s output, while Manchester City star Sterling has 16 in 31. 

Danny Ings has been a real success story over the past year but the Southampton forward has managed two fewer goals than Calvert-Lewin, while 2019-20 Golden Boot winner Jamie Vardy sits on 11, equal with Manchester United youngster Mason Greenwood and West Ham's Michail Antonio. 

Across Europe, Calvert-Lewin is the frontrunner as it stands, with his nine goals in 475 minutes played in 2020-21 leading the way across the continent's top five leagues. 

Kane and Hoffenheim's Andrej Kramaric are hot on his heels with eight each, while Son has seven to his name – though the Spurs duo have both played more minutes, 569 and 478 respectively. 

Bundesliga stars Haaland and Lewandowski have five apiece, with Salah – who goes head-to-head with Calvert-Lewin in the Merseyside derby on October 17 – also managing five from six games so far this term.

Now, Gareth Southgate needs to work out a way to get the best out of Calvert-Lewin with England, just as Ancelotti has at club level.

Jadon Sancho, Ben Chilwell and Tammy Abraham are being investigated by the Football Association for allegedly breaking coronavirus protocols by attending a party, while Raheem Sterling has been ruled out of England's upcoming matches due to injury.

Borussia Dortmund star Sancho and the two Chelsea team-mates are understood to have attended a surprise birthday party thrown for Abraham at the striker's London flat on Saturday.

Coronavirus regulations in the United Kingdom currently prohibit meetings of more than six people in social situations, but British tabloid The Sun claims approximately 20 people were at the party.

As a precaution, England confirmed the three players have been instructed to delay arriving for international duty while the FA investigates.

Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden were both dropped from the squad in the previous international period due to flouting coronavirus preventions measures in Iceland, when they were caught socialising with two Icelandic girls.

They were subsequently left out of the selection this time around as a consequence of their actions, suggesting similar measures could be taken if Chilwell, Sancho and Abraham are found to be in breach of regulations.

An apologetic Abraham is quoted by The Sun as saying: "I arrived home to find a small surprise gathering.

"Though I was totally unaware this was planned, I would like to wholeheartedly apologise for the naivety shown for the organisation and attending of this gathering.

"All I can do now is learn from it, apologise to everyone and ensure it never happens again."

Adding to England's woes, Manchester City star Sterling has withdrawn from the upcoming triple-header that sees the Three Lions face Wales in a Friendly on Thursday, before Nations League clashes with Belgium and Denmark on October 11 and 14.

England have not specified the injury Sterling has sustained, but reports suggest it is a minor hamstring issue.

His place in the squad has been taken by versatile Chelsea defender Reece James, who is called up for the first time.

There is a team from Merseyside leading the way in the Premier League, but it is not the reigning champions.

Everton have started the 2020-21 season in outstanding form, making it four wins from four as they saw off Brighton and Hove Albion to move clear of neighbours Liverpool and Leicester City at the summit.

Manchester City are a little off the pace in the early stages after they were held by Leeds United, while Chelsea and Newcastle United were victorious on home turf in Saturday's action.

Now the dust has settled, relive the action with the help of some notable facts from Opta.

 

Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace: Chilwell impresses before Jorginho hits the spot

Talk about a game of contrasting halves. Chelsea struggled in the first 45 minutes, but everything changed when Ben Chilwell opened the scoring on his 100th Premier League appearance - his first for the Blues since arriving from Leicester.

The left-back also delivered the ball that allowed Kurt Zouma to double the advantage, making Chilwell just the third player to score and assist in a Premier League debut for Chelsea, a feat previously achieved by Deco and Alvaro Morata.

Jorginho converted twice from the spot to give the final score a lopsided look, meaning the midfielder has scored 10 of his 11 penalties in the Premier League (his solitary miss came against Liverpool last month, in case you happen to have forgotten).

Still, perhaps the outcome should have been expected. Chelsea have now won six straight in the league against Palace, who have been beaten in nine of their past 12 top-flight outings.

Everton 4-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: Inspirational James helps Toffees stay perfect

The good times continue at Goodison Park as Everton continue to impress. The previous time they won four in a row at the start of the season was back in 1969, when Carlo Ancelotti was 10 years old.

James Rodriguez is certainly rolling back the years since his arrival in England, scoring twice in this game to help down the Seagulls. He was one of three Colombians to appear in this fixture too, joined by team-mate Yerry Mina and Brighton's Steven Alzate.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued his scoring streak with the opener, becoming the first player to find the net in each of Everton's first four Premier League games of a season in the process.

Another error by Jordan Pickford is a concern - the England international has now made 11 that led to goals since his Everton debut in August 2107, more than any other goalkeeper in that time - but should not spoil the feel-good atmosphere on the blue half of Merseyside.

Leeds United 1-1 Manchester City: Pep makes his point as Rodrigo ends wait

The clash between stylists Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola did not disappoint, even with heavy rainfall throughout at Elland Road. Pep remains unbeaten against his fellow coach in four meetings, though he had to settle for a point as his depleted City side were pegged back.

Raheem Sterling broke the deadlock; he has scored more goals than any other Premier League player in all competitions since the start of last season (34), albeit this one was not enough to secure victory.

Rodrigo levelled, in the process becoming the first Spaniard to score for Leeds in the Premier League. It was not his first in the competition, though, as that came for Bolton nine years and 272 days earlier. Only Andy Johnson (nine years and 276 days) has had a longer gap between goals in the Premier League era.

Speaking of gaps, City have four points from three games so sit eight points behind Everton. Plenty of time left yet, of course, but the international break may come at a nice time for Guardiola and his squad, provided no players get injured while representing their countries.

Newcastle United 3-1 Burnley: Maximin effect helps give Bruce home comforts

Allan Saint-Maximin stole the show as Steve Bruce's side collected their first home league win in six attempts, while they are unbeaten in seven against Burnley at St James' Park.

Callum Wilson converted a late penalty to finish with a brace, making the striker the first Newcastle player to have four goals in his opening four Premier League games since Les Ferdinand in the 1995-96 campaign.

While Newcastle head into the break on a high, Burnley remain without a point to their name. The last time they lost three straight to start a top-flight campaign was back in 1927-28.

There was a reason to celebrate for Ashley Westwood, grabbing Burnley's goal as he became the eighth player to hit the 100-game mark in the Premier League for the club.

This, however, is a game that will be remembered for the excellence of Saint-Maximin, who both scored and assisted in a Premier League fixture for the first time.

Raheem Sterling has been impressed at how Manchester City have coped without key players despite having to settle for a 1-1 draw against Leeds United. 

Sterling scored an impressive opener on Saturday, but City were ultimately denied victory in a thrilling Premier League encounter at Elland Road, Rodrigo equalising in the second half after a mistake by goalkeeper Ederson. 

The latest strike for England international Sterling meant he has scored 34 goals in all competitions since the start of last season, more than anyone else in the Premier League. 

He also has eight opening goals over that period, a record only bettered by Danny Ings (12) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (nine). 

As well as his impressive individual form, Sterling believes Pep Guardiola's squad have managed well without the likes of Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan.

That positive assessment comes despite them dropping points against Leeds a week after a humbling 5-2 home defeat to Leicester City, though those league games were either side of a 3-0 EFL Cup win at Burnley in which Sterling netted twice. 

"There were a few setbacks that we have had like injuries," Sterling said to BBC Sport after City racked up 23 shots but managed to get just two of those on target. 

"I think we have done well with a short squad that we have had. 

"We have done fantastic, and after the international break we should have a fit squad and be ready to go." 

Sterling enjoyed an end-to-end battle with Leeds, who hit the woodwork twice, while City did the same through Kevin De Bruyne. 

"It was a difficult game," added the City forward. "The energy levels start to finish we impressive. 

"They were right in our faces. I prefer playing against teams like that instead of 11 men behind the ball."

Rodrigo capitalised on a bad mistake from Ederson to score his first goal for Leeds United and secure a 1-1 Premier League draw against Manchester City at Elland Road.

City, hammered 5-2 at home by Leicester City last weekend, made a blistering start in driving rain at Elland Road and Raheem Sterling deservedly put them in front.

Leeds grew into a pulsating contest, though, and record signing Rodrigo opened his account for the promoted side soon after coming on when goalkeeper Ederson made a mess of trying to deal with a corner.

Rodrigo also hit the crossbar twice as the Whites continued their impressive start to life in the top tier, although City felt they should have had a late penalty for a challenge on Sterling.

It meant Pep Guardiola and Marcelo Bielsa having to settle for a point apiece in a clash that was billed as the master against the apprentice.

Manchester City bounced back from their Premier League humbling by Leicester City with a 3-0 EFL Cup victory over Burnley, with Raheem Sterling scoring twice and Ferran Torres netting his first goal for the club.

A 5-2 home reverse on Sunday left Pep Guardiola's men in need of a result and a performance to steady their burgeoning season.

Sterling thrived on the industry of Kevin De Bruyne, Torres and teenage debutant Cole Palmer throughout a one-sided match and scored with neat finishes in either half at Turf Moor.

Guardiola, who is aiming to win the competition for a fourth successive time, saw his £20.9m (€22.1m) signing from Valencia make it 3-0 with a cool finish in the 65th minute as City reached the quarter-finals.

Burnley found themselves under pressure from the outset and Sterling volleyed a Torres cross narrowly wide from six yards out.

The Clarets had goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell to thank for keeping them in the game, the Northern Ireland international twice getting down quickly to save low shots from Sterling.

There was no stopping the England winger when Benjamin Mendy's low pass from the left found him 12 yards from goal and he slammed the ball into the corner of the net with no hesitation.

Sterling doubled City's lead three minutes into the second half, neatly turning Torres' cross into the bottom corner of the net from close range after De Bruyne's surging run carved Burnley open.

Less than 10 minutes later Riyad Mahrez's pass was touched on by Sterling into the path of Torres, who carried the ball into the box before rattling it low into the far corner of the net from 18 yards.

Manchester City could be without star striker Sergio Aguero for the first two months of their Premier League campaign.

Aguero missed the conclusion of last season, including City's dispiriting 3-1 Champions League quarter-final defeat to Lyon, after suffering meniscus damage during June's 5-0 win over Burnley.

The 32-year-old Argentina international had to undergo surgery and was operated on in Barcelona by Dr Ramon Cugat, City manager Pep Guardiola's preferred surgeon.

Initially there had been hope Aguero could play a part in the latter stages of the 2019-20 Champions League and the player posted footage of himself dribbling a ball at City's Etihad Campus training base to social media this week.

But Guardiola looks set to be without the club's all-time leading scorer for a considerable time beyond Monday's trip to face a Wolves side who beat City twice last season.

"We knew that the injury was difficult," Guardiola said. "He is doing the [recovery], in maybe one month or two months he will be ready.

"Two months, because he has to come back on the pitch and regain the physical condition.

"Sergio was out for a long time and Sergio is not a guy who regains the physical condition quick, so I think in one month or two months he will be ready."

The time-frame outlined by Guardiola could mean Aguero misses City's first three Champions League group games of the season, along with Liverpool's visit to the Etihad Stadium on November 7.

Opta focus - Sterling and Jesus must find clinical edge in Aguero's absence

Earlier in the transfer window, it appeared possible Guardiola would have Aguero's international team-mate Lionel Messi to call upon.

As it is, a considerable weight of the attacking burden at City will now fall upon Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling.

Sterling and Jesus enjoyed their most prolific seasons individually in 2019-20, scoring 31 and 23 goals respectively across all competitions.

However, both missed glorious chances during the second half of that sapping defeat to Lyon, with Sterling's particularly glaring as he blazed over a gaping goal from five yards.

A look at how the Brazil and England forwards compare to Aguero in terms of their Premier League numbers does suggest City might be found wanting when it comes to having a clinical edge.

Although Sterling outscored Aguero in the English top flight for the first time in his career last term - scoring 20 to his team-mate's 16 - the former Atletico Madrid striker's goals came at a rate of one every 91 minutes, compared to Sterling's average of one every 133 minutes. Jesus' 14 Premier League goals came in at one every 144.8 minutes.

Aguero's conversion rate of 21.05 per cent also stood above his team-mates, although Sterling ran him close on 20.2 per cent. Jesus netted from 13.86 per cent of his 101 shots, which amounted to more attempts than Sterling (99) and Aguero (76).

However, the spectre of the Lyon game looms - as it does over much surrounding Guardiola and his squad for their forthcoming season - when considering Opta's 'big chances' metric.

Despite his well-earned reputation, Aguero was not infallible in such situations, converting 52 per cent of his big chances with 13 scored and 12 missed.

Sterling's big chance conversion rate was 42.2 per cent, with 19 missed and 14 scored, while Jesus scored from only 29.4 per cent of his most gilt-edged opportunities.

The 23-year-old Jesus missed 24 big chances, netting only 10. Those are numbers that will have to improve considerably in Aguero's absence if Guardiola's City are to once again locate the relentless rhythm that brought them back-to-back Premier League titles and make a case for dethroning Liverpool.

Gareth Southgate hailed match-winner Raheem Sterling for standing tall amid a "mixed bag" of an England performance in Iceland.

With Harry Kane off the field, Sterling won and converted a 91st-minute penalty to secure a 1-0 Nations League victory in Reykjavik but there was a further twist in the tale.

Joe Gomez fouled substitute Holmbert Fridjonsson under a long ball in the England box, giving Iceland a chance to level deeper into stoppage time, only for Birkir Bjarnason to blaze wildly off target.

Both sides were down to 10 men by that point, with Kyle Walker and Sverrir Ingason having seen red.

While Ingason's second booking came when he handled Sterling's goal-bound shot in the decisive moment of the match, Walker departed 20 minutes from time for a rash tackle on Arnor Ingvi Traustason when he was already on a yellow card.

"The sending off is a key moment because I felt we were in even more control in the second half," Southgate told Sky Sports when giving an honest assessment of England's ultimately successful bid for a measure of revenge against the nation who humiliatingly knocked them out of Euro 2016.

"It's very difficult to win games of football at any level if you're down to 10 men. That's a lesson we have to learn, it was an unnecessary red card.

"Then the response was great, we managed to stay in good possession of the ball, looked a threat.

"We get the penalty and I thought Raheem's desire through that period and drive was outstanding. It was great that he took that penalty under pressure.

"And then another lesson we have to learn because to invite the ball as we did and defend it the way that we did was really poor play. In the end we get away with it.

"It kind of sums the week up. We've had so many challenges, it's been so difficult to piece everything together."

Walker did not feature for England last season and, in a frank interview with Sky after the game, he conceded he had done his long-term international future no favours following an incident for which he took full responsibility.

"He said the same in the dressing room," Southgate said. "He realises, as an experienced player, those sort of challenges invite the opportunity for the referee to make a decision and it was the right decision.

"I've no complaints in terms of the officials on the penalties or the red cards.

"We've talked a lot over the years about discipline. In tournaments especially, if you go down to 10 men, then the number of times we've gone out of tournaments because of that has proved critical.

"It's not something we want to see again."

Walker will be suspended when England continue their Nations League Group A3 campaign in Denmark on Tuesday.

Raheem Sterling praised England for finding "something deep within" as his penalty snatched a late 1-0 Nations League win over Iceland.

Gareth Southgate's side laboured for long periods against the nation who famously humiliated the Three Lions at Euro 2016.

Kyle Walker's 70th-minute red card further complicated matters but Sverrir Ingason joined the Manchester City full-back in receiving his marching orders when he handled Sterling's shot in the final minute.

With Harry Kane having been replaced by debutant Mason Greenwood, the responsibility fell to Sterling, who stroked his spot-kick down the centre of the goal.

"As soon as I got the ball I said 'straight down the middle'," he told Sky Sports. "It's the 90th minute, I knew the keeper wouldn't stand straight in the middle, so I was quite confident."

England then almost instantly threw away their hard-earned gains, with Joe Gomez clumsily impeding substitute Holmbert Fridjonsson in the box.

Birkir Bjarnason stepped up but blazed woefully off target, providing a somewhat fitting conclusion to what was often a slightly disorientating contest.

"We knew it would be difficult and we had to challenge ourselves, find something deep within," Sterling said. "We said if there's any setbacks in the game – we didn't expect the red card – we kept playing our football.

"We kept trying to probe, we kept trying to create chances, we kept compact. We got the penalty in the end.

"We shouldn't have conceded that sloppy penalty, but we got lucky at the end."

Sterling's club team-mate Phil Foden made his international debut in the starting XI and he feels the playmaker's breakthrough, along with that of Greenwood, points towards a bright future.

"Phil, Mason – he's a player I've been excited by and I'm glad to be playing with," the 25-year-old added.

"Phil is a player who gets on the ball, one or two touches, and he's sharp. It's a bright future ahead. We just need to keep growing as a team and each camp we can see that's happening."

Southgate's men return to action against Denmark in Group A2 on Tuesday.

Raheem Sterling was England's hero as a turgid Nations League encounter with Iceland exploded into penalty drama in the final minutes, with Gareth Southgate's men emerging as 1-0 victors.

Harry Kane had an early goal incorrectly ruled out but it soon became a tale of frustration for England against the side who famously humiliated them against the odds at Euro 2016.

Kyle Walker's red card teed up the prospect of another ignominious outcome, but Sterling won a spot kick in the final minute when Sverrir Ingason – who, like Walker received a second booking – handled his shot following a right-wing corner.

The Manchester City forward rolled his effort home before a further stoppage-time sting in the tail.

Joe Gomez clumsily fouled substitute Holmbert Fridjonsson in the box, although Birkir Bjarnason opted for a contrasting approach to Sterling's and blazed woefully high and wide.

Virgil van Dijk faces competition from three Liverpool team-mates and two rivals from Manchester City to retain his PFA Players' Player of the Year award.

Netherlands centre-back Van Dijk was the first defender to win the honour since John Terry in 2005 when he got the nod last year.

And this time around he is up against some familiar faces, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane also included after Liverpool's dominant Premier League campaign.

City, who finished a distant second as the Reds ended their 30-year title drought, have two representatives in the shape of Kevin De Bruyne and former Anfield star Raheem Sterling.

Alexander-Arnold is also in the Young Player of the Year Category, a list which contains Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, Chelsea pair Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount, and Arsenal's Bukayo Saka.

In the women's game it is Chelsea who dominate the Player of the Year nominees, with Beth England, Sophie Ingle, Guro Reiten and Ji So-yun nominated along with Kim Little and holder Vivianne Miedema, both of Arsenal.

And for the women's Young Player of the Year there is a distinctly more northern feel to the shortlist, which consists of Man City quartet Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly, Georgia Stanway and Ellie Roebuck, United's Lauren James and Chelsea's Erin Cuthbert.

Athletics legend Usain Bolt should be held responsible for his behaviour after he tested positive for COVID-19, days after he was spotted with patrons sans social distancing and masks, for his surprise birthday party.

Gareth Southgate decided to include Harry Maguire in his England squad after hearing the Manchester United captain's version of the events that led to him standing trial in Greece.

Maguire was a subject of court proceedings on the Greek island of Syros on Tuesday, following his alleged part in an altercation with police while on holiday in Mykonos.

The 27-year-old spent last Thursday and Friday night in custody and denies all charges. He had the chance to speak to Southgate before being selected for next month's Nations League encounters with Iceland and Denmark.

The England manager hailed his first-choice central defender as "an outstanding character" within the national team set-up, and said he had no reason to doubt Maguire's account of last week's incident.

"It's clearly a decision that is not straightforward and a decision that, in the end, I can only take on the information I have," Southgate told a news conference.

"I've spoken with Harry, I have insight to the story which is very different to what's been reported.

"In these instances, you can only make decisions based on facts that you're aware of. Now, clearly, if facts or information change further down the line, I have to review that decision.

"I have a fantastic relationship with the boy. Harry has been an outstanding character for us.

"I have no reason to doubt what he is telling me. It's important he knows that he's got my support at this moment."

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