Roses are red, violets are blue, have we got the perfect Valentine's Day content for you!

Questionable rhymes aside (okay, very questionable), love is in the air as long-standing couples and newly formed relationships celebrate the day of romance on Sunday.

The world of football is certainly no stranger to the language of love, so before you crack open a bottle of red and exchange cheap knock-off gifts with your significant other why not get some inspiration for love with our Valentine's Day facts with some help from Cupid!

(Well not Cupid, Opta – but the team at Opta are full of love!)

MATT LE KISS-IER LOVES TO SCORE ON VALENTINE'S DAY

Valentine's Day is of course a day for love (and overpaying for those last-minute flowers and cards you forgot to buy…).

Two players have been particularly good at spreading the joy on February 14th with Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier and ex-Liverpool striker Michael Owen each scoring three times in the Premier League on this date – the most of all players.

Here's something even more interesting about that stat, though – each man's tally is a result of scoring a Valentine's Day hat-trick.

Le Tissier registered three against the Reds back in 1994, while Owen took home the match ball with a treble versus Sheffield Wednesday four years later.

Owen's three goals are part of 12 Liverpool have tallied on the day of love – comfortably the most by a team. Arsenal follow on seven, with Aston Villa and Southampton on four.

A ROSE FOR THE LADY?

Flowers are synonymous with Valentine's Day but none more so than the rose.

Two players named Rose have plied their trade in the Premier League – Danny (194 appearances) and Matthew (five appearances). The former, of course, is an England international who with his marauding runs from full-back has often been a, ahem, thorn in the side of opponents…

There are other love-themed names to have featured in the top flight. Valentino Lazaro played 13 times in the Premier League for Newcastle United on loan last term, while Valentin Roberge made 10 appearances for north east rivals Sunderland.

The Black Cats also had Donald Love on their books, the defender having previously represented Manchester United once in the top flight.

FOXES RACK UP THE CARDS

Whether from a partner or a secret admirer, it's always nice to receive a card or two on Valentine's Day.

Unless of course you're playing in the Premier League, in which case you want to see the referee keep their cards in their pockets.

In this regard, Leicester City have not been overly successful – the seven yellow cards representing the most received by a team on Valentine's Day. Arsenal follow closely behind with six, with Manchester City on four.

The Foxes also fare badly when it comes to red cards, having picked up two on February 14th – Danny Simpson and Hamza Choudhury account for those dismissals. The only other player to have been sent off on Valentine's Day is Everton hero Duncan Ferguson ... no, we weren't shocked either.

THE BEST BROMANCES

It goes without saying that we don't need to confine our love sharing to one manufactured day of the year…

No, we should be spreading the joy in our hearts all year round and these strike partnerships certainly succeed in that category.

Going back to the start of the 2015-16 season, no two players have combined for more goals than Spurs duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min (33).

In fact, Kane features three times in the top-five – also ranking third with Christian Eriksen (19), and sharing 18 with Dele Alli.

Manchester City pairing Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne are second with 20, while Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez (18), who fired Leicester to shock title glory in 2015-16, also feature.

Manchester City and Manchester United have been handed away draws against fellow Premier League sides in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

City, who won their sixth FA Cup in 2018-19 but were knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual victors Arsenal last season, will play Everton at Goodison Park.

While City claimed a serene 3-1 win over Swansea City in the fifth round on Wednesday, Carlo Ancelotti's team overcame Tottenham 5-4 after extra-time in an instant FA Cup classic.

The teams will have a dress rehearsal for the last-eight clash on February 17, when they face off at Goodison in a Premier League match which was due to be played in December but had to be rescheduled due to a coronavirus outbreak at City.

Like their local rivals, United also fell short of reaching last season's final, going down to Chelsea in the last four.

United beat West Ham 1-0 after extra time on Tuesday and now face a trip to face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. Brendan Rodgers' Leicester side are flying high in the Premier League along with United and leaders City, who are five points clear of their neighbours at the top.

Last season's runners-up Chelsea went into Thursday night's match at Barnsley knowing the winners would be rewarded with a home tie against Sheffield United, who beat Bristol City at the last-16 stage.

The other quarter-final tie throws up a south-coast clash, with Southampton travelling to Bournemouth.

Games are due to be played across the weekend of March 20 and 21.

FA Cup quarter-final draw in full:

Everton v Manchester City
Bournemouth v Southampton
Leicester City v Manchester United
Barnsley or Chelsea v Sheffield United

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel insists Timo Werner is getting "stronger and stronger" despite the Germany international's goalless run in the Premier League now stretching to 14 games. 

Werner arrived at Stamford Bridge with a reputation as a prolific goalscorer following his move from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig ahead of the 2020-21 campaign. 

But the 24-year-old has scored just four times in 22 Premier League appearances, with his blank in Sunday's 2-1 win at Sheffield United stretching his barren run even further. 

While he did not get on the scoresheet, he was in the thick of the action as Chelsea made it three wins on the bounce under new boss Tuchel. 

His low cross was clinically dispatched by Mason Mount to put the Blues ahead shortly before the interval, bringing up his sixth assist in all competitions this season – the most of any Chelsea player. 

He then drew a foul from Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, providing Jorginho with the opportunity to restore the visitors' advantage from the penalty spot following Antonio Rudiger's calamitous own goal. 

Despite another scoreless outing, Tuchel has no doubts Werner is on the right track to becoming a success at Chelsea. 

"It was a brilliant run for the first goal and it was great decision making for the second goal to go around the goalkeeper," said the former Paris Saint-Germain head coach.

"It was good defending from their defenders but he worked incredibly hard and disciplined against the ball. It gave him a boost. I feel he is getting stronger and stronger every day. Today he was more free and I could really feel him on the pitch.

"He was absolutely in the game mentally and physically and he was decisive. This is the most important thing because if he can continue like this the goals will come, for sure."

Tuchel has overseen three wins and one draw in his opening four games as Chelsea boss, with their one goal conceded the fewest through a manager's first four league games in charge since Guus Hiddink in 2009.

Their latest win moved them up to fifth, just one point behind fourth-place Liverpool, but Tuchel insists his side will not get ahead of themselves and are firmly focused on their FA Cup fifth-round clash with Barnsley on Thursday.

"What would it help to talk about it [finishing in he top four]?" he added. "It is clear that we are responsible now for a situation where we are close to where we want to be. We want to try everything to reach the top four and we said this very clearly when we started.

"So, now the guys put themselves in the situation where we are the hunters for the teams in front of us and we are close. It changes nothing because the next game in the league will be a home game and like everybody else we will be under the pressure to continue our run and build on the momentum. 

"Today is the best example. What will it help you if you see that Sheffield United are very, very low, but if you analyse the team you see their result against Manchester United.

"They are bottom of the league, but you have to come here, accept the challenge, play humble. This is what you do and from there on it is now the next challenge to improve, play in the FA Cup and the next game and keep on going. The future will take care of itself."

Thomas Tuchel maintained his unbeaten start to life at Chelsea as goals from Mason Mount and Jorginho sealed a 2-1 Premier League win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday. 

The German's first game in charge after replacing Frank Lampard was an underwhelming 0-0 draw with Wolves, but he has now masterminded three wins on the spin to move the Blues up to fifth, one point behind fourth-place Liverpool. 

They did not have it all their own way against Chris Wilder's side, however, the Yorkshire side cancelling out Mount's first-half opener after the interval courtesy of a slapstick own goal from Antonio Rudiger. 

Chelsea secured all three points soon after, though, when Jorginho followed up his decisive penalty against Tottenham in midweek with another successful spot-kick. 

Oliver Burke squandered a glorious opportunity to give the hosts a first-minute lead, the Scotland international lashing into the side netting after being played through by Oliver McBurnie. 

Timo Werner was then denied at the other end as Chris Basham tracked back superbly to clear his flicked effort over the outrushing Aaron Ramsdale. 

Basham thought he had earned a penalty for his side after 12 minutes when he was brought down inside the area by Ben Chilwell, but a VAR review showed that the defender had strayed into an offside position. 

The Blues went ahead two minutes before the interval, Mount superbly sweeping into Ramsdale's bottom-left corner from 15 yards after being picked out by Werner. 

The hosts were gifted an equaliser in the 54th minute when Rudiger's attempted backpass to Edouard Mendy rolled past the Senegal international and into the bottom corner. 

The Germany defender's blushes were spared four minutes later when Jorginho slotted home from the spot after Ramsdale had brought Werner down in the box, the decision given after referee Kevin Friend was advised to view the pitchside monitor.

United rarely looked like salvaging a point after that, with Chelsea comfortably holding on for an 18th win in their last 24 top-flight matches against teams from Yorkshire.

Manchester United matched their own record for the biggest home win in Premier League history as Southampton suffered the unprecedented ignominy of 9-0 defeats in consecutive seasons.

Ralph Hasenhuttl's men saw their outing at Old Trafford unravel from the moment Alexandre Jankewitz was shown a second-minute red card for an ugly lunge on Scott McTominay.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka began the rout and efforts from Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani either side of a Jan Bednarek own goal made it 4-0 at half-time.

Anthony Martial and McTominay made it 6-0 inside the final 20 minutes before a Bruno Fernandes penalty, Martial's second and a closing goal from Daniel James left Southampton – who also saw Bednarek sent off – in an unsightly heap.

From nine goals to nine men, Arsenal had David Luiz and Bernd Leno dismissed as they lost 2-1 at Wolves.

That scoreline was repeated in victories for Sheffield United and Crystal Palace that could have repercussions at the bottom of the table.

Manchester United 9-0 Southampton: Record-equalling joy and despair at Old Trafford

James' goal deep into stoppage time meant United won 9-0 for the first time since thrashing Ipswich Town in March 1995. It is only the third instance of this scoreline in the Premier League, following Southampton's thrashing on home turf against Leicester City in October 2019.

This fixture is not always anything like as kind to United. In fact, they have won home and away against Saints for the first time since 2012-13 – the last time they lifted the title.

Southampton's fourth consecutive Premier League defeat is also their biggest ever away loss in any competition.

United's efforts to share the goals around, with only Martial hitting a brace, means they are the second side to have seven different scorers in a Premier League match following Chelsea against Aston Villa in December 2012.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has seen his side utterly transform their home performances. They won only one of six at Old Trafford at the start of this league season, scoring three times. A run of four wins out of five, with one defeat, has yielded 19 goals.

The late flurry was aided by Bednarek adding a red card to his own goal, while it could have been so different were it not for Jankewitz's rash tackle. The teenager is the first player to be sent off on his first Premier League start since Serge Aurier for Tottenham in September 2017 and the fourth man to be dismissed inside two minutes in a Premier League game.

Wolves 2-1 Arsenal: David Luiz and Leno leave Arteta's men short

Arsenal took a deserved lead at Molineux through Nicolas Pepe, who now has three goals in his past four league starts – as many as he managed on his previous 16 starts.

Mikel Arteta says he will appeal David Luiz's punishment but the Brazilian defender's foul on Willian Jose means he has been sent off three times and conceded six penalties since his Arsenal debut in August 2019, more than any other player in the division during that time.

Ruben Neves converted from the spot before fellow Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho hammered in a fabulous 30-yard effort. Very much a collectors' item, it was the first home goal of his Wolves career at the 61st attempt.

When Leno charged from his area to handball in a wretched misjudgement, Wolves' first league double over Arsenal since 1978-79 was virtually assured and the Germany international became the second Gunners keeper to be sent off in the Premier League – and the first since David Seaman against West Ham back in 1993.

Whether largely down to indiscipline or misfortune, Arsenal have been shown nine red cards since Arteta took charge on Boxing Day 2019 – six more than any other side.

Sheffield United 2-1 West Brom: Blades sharpen survival chances

Bottom club Sheffield United are now just a point behind West Brom in 19th, even though they fell behind to Matt Phillips' close-range finish before half-time.

Phillips has now found the net in each of the past 13 seasons in English league football, a run that goes back to 2008-09.

Jayden Bogle brought the hosts level before captain Billy Sharp stepped up to net another crucial goal.

Since Chris Wilder's first game in charge of United in August 2016, Sharp has scored 76 goals in all competitions – 44 more than any other Blades player during that period.

Sam Allardyce's much-vaunted reputation for making his teams hard to beat is not doing West Brom much good at the moment. The Baggies have conceded 26 goals in nine Premier League games under the ex-England boss, as many as they let in during 13 matches under Slaven Bilic this term.

Newcastle United 1-2 Crystal Palace: Eagles soar clear of trouble

Newcastle remain eight points above the drop zone but are now seven shy of Palace, despite enjoying a dream start.

Jonjo Shelvey's long-ranger after 71 seconds was the quickest goal the Eagles have conceded in a Premier League match since Ian Taylor scored for Aston Villa inside a minute in March 1998.

Roy Hodgson's side had not won away from home after conceding first since overcoming West Ham in October 2019, drawing two and losing 12 of such games since.

But Jairo Riedewald's venomous hit saw them level in style as he ended a run of 13 games without a goal in the Premier League.

Gary Cahill then became Crystal Palace's oldest ever goalscorer in the Premier League at 35 years and 45 days. He is also the oldest Englishman to score in the Premier League at St James' Park since Alan Shearer last did so.

Manchester City extended their lead at the Premier League summit with a 1-0 win over struggling Sheffield United on Saturday. 

Pep Guardiola's side started the day one point ahead of rivals Manchester United, but finished it three ahead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's outfit after they were held to a disappointing, if record breaking, 0-0 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. 

Newcastle United turned around their woeful recent form with a 2-0 win at Everton, while Aston Villa won away at Southampton. 

Crystal Palace edged past Wolves 1-0 at Selhurst Park, while strugglers West Brom and Fulham played out an entertaining 2-2 draw. 

Here is the pick of the Opta facts from the day's action in the Premier League.

Manchester City 1-0 Sheffield United: Guardiola's men keep on winning

An early goal from Gabriel Jesus helped City set a new club record of 12 consecutive wins in all competitions.

It is also the longest winning run by a Premier League team since Arsenal racked up 12 in a row between August and October 2007. 

The slender win was also their ninth triumph in January, the most they have ever won in a single month in their history. Indeed, it is the most wins by a team in the top four tiers of English football in a single month since the formation of the Football League in 1888.

The result also means City have kept 20 clean sheets in all competitions this season, which is at least five more than any other side in the top-five European leagues. 

After their shock midweek win at Manchester United, this was a case of normal service resumed for the rock-bottom Blades. 

They have now lost 20 of their last 24 Premier League matches - seven more than any other side in the same period - and have been on the end of eight 1-0 defeats this season. That is the joint-most ever by a side at this stage (21 games) of a top-flight season, along with Ipswich Town in 1985-86.

Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United: Record-breaking stalemate for United

They did not come away from London with all three points, but United can at least toast an 18th consecutive away match in the Premier League without defeat – their longest run without a loss in their illustrious top-flight history.

While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side created the best opportunities, they failed to find the back of the net for a third consecutive league match against Arsenal. The last time they went that long without scoring against the Gunners was between September 1981 and May 1983 when they went four games without a goal.

The result means Solskjaer has now failed to win any of his five Premier League games against Arsenal, with the Norwegian the only Red Devils manager to face the north London side more than once in the top flight without winning a game.

Arsenal, meanwhile, have now kept four consecutive home clean sheets in all competitions for the first time since April 2019.

The draw means Mikel Arteta's side are unbeaten in their past six league games against United – their longest run against the Red Devils in league competition since between October 1980 and May 1983 (also six).

Everton 0-2 Newcastle United: Toffees downed by a familiar foe

Steve Bruce relieved some of the intense pressure he had been under as Newcastle ended an 11-game winless run in all competitions with victory at Goodison Park.

It was no surprise that Callum Wilson was the inspiration behind the win, the England international's brace means he has now been involved in 67 per cent of the Magpies' 21 Premier League goals this season (10 goals, four assists).

His first goal was his 50th in the Premier League, while he has only scored more against West Ham (eight) in the competition than he has versus Everton (six).

The Toffees, meanwhile, have now been defeated in four home league games this season. That is the most Carlo Ancelotti has lost in a single campaign since the 2007-08 campaign with Milan, when he was also beaten four times.

Everton midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson made his 300th Premier League appearance in the defeat to become the second Icelandic player to reach the milestone after Hermann Hreidarsson (332).

Southampton 0-1 Aston Villa: Grealish and Barkley combine to overcome Saints

Villa secured a first win over Southampton in the Premier League since December 2013 thanks to Ross Barkley's first-half goal, laid on by the superb Jack Grealish.

Grealish has now been involved in 15 league goals (six goals, nine assists) in a single season for the first time, eclipsing his tally of last term when he scored eight goals and created six for his team-mates.

Only Harry Kane (11) and Kevin De Bruyne (10) have more assists than Grealish this season, while the last Villa player to register more in a single season in the competition was Ashley Young with 10 in 2010-11.

Dean Smith's side were also indebted to another clean sheet from goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, whose 10th shutout of the campaign is only bettered by City's Ederson (12).

Defeat for Southampton means they have lost three consecutive top-flight matches for the first time since November 2019, while they have also failed to score in five of their past seven Premier League games - they had only drawn a blank in five of their previous 41 in the competition before this.

Pep Guardiola described his players as "animals" after they extended their advantage at the top of the Premier League with victory over Sheffield United.

City claimed a fifth 1-0 league victory of the season as Gabriel Jesus' early goal and another impressive defensive performance clinched the points.

Afterwards, Guardiola revealed he expected nothing less than a difficult match against Chris Wilder's disciplined Blades.

He was delighted with the way his players stuck to the task of keeping their opponents at arm's length throughout.

He told Sky Sports: "So difficult [to] win, like we knew it [would be], an incredibly huge victory for us.

"It's amazing after this run of victories in a row, 12 in all competitions, still the players run and fight like animals.

"We concede one [chance] at the end, it was dangerous, but it's so difficult an opponent. We knew it.

"Every time we play against them, we struggle a lot but we concede few [chances] and this is important."

City moved four points clear of second-placed neighbours Manchester United in the Premier League with their win over Sheffield United on Saturday.

That a game against the team currently propping up the division was so tricky speaks volumes about how big an achievement it is to hit the summit, Guardiola believes.

He added: "With these weather conditions when we woke up, we said, 'Today, forget about it, it will be one of the toughest games of the season.' And it was.

"The team who is now top of the league [played against] the team who is bottom of the league and we didn't know what is going to happen.

"The team was incredibly committed, didn't make mistakes, they were so focused in the second balls and long balls.

"We won a lot of duels and we lacked a little bit to create chances but it's so difficult because they defend [with] 10 players, defending all the space inside, they allow you to go outside so it's not easy.

"And after that, with the ball, they know exactly what they have to do. Chris and his team they are a long time together, they know exactly what to do.

"That is the real proof that the Premier League is incredibly tough: the team at the bottom of the league is this team. This team showed that everything has to be won, there's nothing given."

Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points as they beat Sheffield United 1-0 to make it a club-record 12 wins in a row in all competitions.

Pep Guardiola's side continued a renaissance that has restored them to the summit of the English top flight and marked them out as clear favourites to clinch the title.

Gabriel Jesus' ninth-minute strike decided the game but, while City failed to add to their advantage as a result of a blunt performance in the final third, they never looked like conceding an equaliser.

Sheffield United arrived at the Etihad Stadium with a renewed sense of hope following their shock midweek victory away to Manchester United.

But City quickly set about extinguishing any optimism, Ferran Torres capitalising on a defensive mix-up before showing great feet to beat his man on the byline and teeing up Jesus for a tap-in.

Although the nature of the opener will have disappointed Blades boss Chris Wilder, he will have been pleased with his players' response to such an early setback.

They restricted the hosts to just one more shot on target before the break thanks to more of the sort of solidity that had earned them three points across Manchester on Wednesday evening.

Unsurprisingly, City looked to up the tempo following the restart, and went close through a Ruben Dias header from Ilkay Gundogan's cross within two minutes.

But they continued to struggle to carve out clear opportunities, their next big chance again coming from a corner as Aymeric Laporte's header forced Aaron Ramsdale into a save.

Sheffield United enjoyed their best spell of the match in the final five minutes, with a John Fleck long-distance effort whistling just past the post in that period.

However, they had left it too late to put sustained pressure on the hosts, who saw out the remaining minutes to claim yet another victory in a remarkable run of form.

What does it mean? City juggernaut rolls on

City's previous title successes under Guardiola have been built on a simply unstoppable attack occasionally covering for a less-than-convincing defence, but that certainly isn't the case with this team.

The Blues have conceded the fewest goals (13) and kept the most clean sheets (12) of any side in the Premier League this season, and that is driving a renewed charge to regain the title.

Laporte proves worth

Ruben Dias' role in City's recent defensive improvement means only the spot next to him is up for grabs when it comes to Guardiola picking a team.

Laporte strengthened his case to start more regularly, winning a team-high eight aerial duels out of the nine he contested against physical opposition.

The defender also took more touches than any player on the pitch (137) and completed the most passes (119).

Brewster struggles continue

Brought into a team that pulled off a huge shock at Old Trafford, Rhian Brewster failed to stake a claim to more regular starts.

The Englishman managed just one speculative shot from distance and fewer touches than any other starter (20).

What's next?

Manchester City will look to extend their winning run against Burnley at Turf Moor on Wednesday, while Sheffield United must try to get back to winning ways at home to West Brom 24 hours earlier.

Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points as they beat Sheffield United 1-0.

Pep Guardiola's side claimed a 12th successive win in all competitions to continue a renaissance that has restored them to the summit of the English top flight and marked them out as clear favourites to clinch the title.

Gabriel Jesus' ninth-minute strike decided the game but, while City failed to add to their advantage as a result of a blunt performance in the final third, they never looked like conceding an equaliser.

Sheffield United arrived at the Etihad Stadium with a renewed sense of hope following their shock midweek victory away to Manchester United.

But City quickly set about extinguishing any optimism, Ferran Torres capitalising on a defensive mix-up before showing great feet to beat his man on the byline and teeing up Jesus for a tap-in.

Although the nature of the opener will have disappointed Blades boss Chris Wilder, he will have been pleased with his players' response to such an early setback.

They restricted the hosts to just one more shot on target before the break thanks to more of the sort of solidity that had earned them three points across Manchester on Wednesday evening.

Unsurprisingly, City looked to up the tempo following the restart, and went close through a Ruben Dias header from Ilkay Gundogan's cross within two minutes.

But they continued to struggle to carve out clear opportunities, their next big chance again coming from a corner as Aymeric Laporte's header forced Aaron Ramsdale into a save.

Sheffield United enjoyed their best spell of the match in the final five minutes, with a John Fleck long-distance effort whistling just past the post in that period.

However, they had left it too late to put sustained pressure on the hosts, who saw out the remaining minutes to claim yet another victory in a remarkable run of form.

What does it mean? City juggernaut rolls on

City's previous title successes under Guardiola have been built on a simply unstoppable attack occasionally covering for a less-than-convincing defence, but that certainly isn't the case with this team.

The Blues have conceded the fewest goals (13) and kept the most clean sheets (12) of any side in the Premier League this season, and that is driving a renewed charge to regain the title.

What's next?

Manchester City will look to extend their winning run against Burnley at Turf Moor on Wednesday, while Sheffield United must try to get back to winning ways at home to West Brom 24 hours earlier.

Pep Guardiola has criticised candidates in the Barcelona presidential race for talking too much about Manchester City defender Eric Garcia.

Spain international Garcia has long been linked with a return to his boyhood club since failing to agree an extension to his contract at the Etihad Stadium last year.

The 20-year-old centre-back's terms expire at the end of this season, when signing him on a free transfer might be the most prudent course of action for a financially embattled Barca.

One of the candidates, Toni Freixa, said this is the likely conclusion to the saga, although Victor Font this week claimed Garcia would go unpaid for the rest of the season in order to force through a move.

Acting Barca president Carles Tusquets does not have the authority to sign players during this window after the presidential election was delayed until March 7, adding another layer of complication.

Guardiola has already stated he is "pretty sure" Garcia will leave City when the 2020-21 campaign concludes, although there was a weariness when he addressed the matter once more as the Premier League leaders prepare to host Sheffield United.

"I don't want to talk anything about this case because the people talk much," he said, in comments apparently directed towards Freixa and Font, who are standing against his old boss at Camp Nou, Joan Laporta.

"He's our player, the transfer window finishes in a few days.

"We are fully committed with him while he is here because is an exceptional player and guy and that's all."

Saturday's top-versus-bottom clash at the Etihad Stadium threatens to be more competitive than billed if events this midweek on the other side of Manchester are anything to go by.

Chris Wilder's Sheffield United claimed only their second top-flight win of the season, stunning Manchester United 2-1 in a result that means City are in first place at the end of a round of fixtures for the first time this term.

"Of what I saw before the United game, Sheffield United is a team that is alive. [You can tell] from their body language," said Guardiola.

"It is not easy with the results they have got this season and that speaks incredibly well about Chris, his staff and the players.

"The result against United speaks for itself. Everybody knows how difficult it is to win at Old Trafford."

The Blades remain bottom, three points behind a West Brom side City thumped 5-0 last time out and 10 points from safety.

Nevertheless, Guardiola believes they have a chance of survival and is wary of a team his men edged past 1-0 in their previous two meetings, both of which were at Bramall Lane.

"I think the reason why they are still a team and they are alive is because they are together for a long time with the same manager and they believe each other a lot," he said.

"That is why they were able to do what they did a few days ago. But it is an opportunity to try to play good again and win the game."

Guardiola added: "To play Sheffield, it is always uncomfortable to us, that system, the 5-3-2, it is difficult to attack, that is why I’m a little bit concerned about the game."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Martin Odegaard can cause problems for any team in world football ahead of his possible debut against Manchester United.

Arsenal have signed Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid until the end of the season.

He is building up his fitness and it is yet to be confirmed if he will be able to make his debut when Arsenal host United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Solskjaer, whose team are reeling from their stunning 2-1 home defeat to bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United on Wednesday, is clear about his fellow Norwegian's ability.

But he hopes Odegaard will not make his mark on the Premier League right away.

"Martin is a very talented young player," he told reporters as he looks to avoid Arsenal beating United for a third straight top-flight game for what would be the first time since 1998.

"We know from the national team that he can cause anyone problems. 

"Just hope he isn't finding his form on Saturday! We wish him all the best.

"Arsenal have been impressive lately, turned it around. Since the Chelsea game they have got really good results.

"Always great games against Arsenal. Some classics between the two sides."

United are winless in all four Premier League games against Arsenal under Solskjaer, having lost three of those.

He is the only United manager to face Arsenal more than once in the top flight without winning a game.

Solskjaer, though, is optimistic his team will bounce back from the Sheffield United defeat and feels the media reaction to that loss showed a lack of respect to the Blades.

"You never want to lose a game to learn from it and we have been terrific," he said. "But it is that kind of season. We didn't expect to finish it unbeaten, but we wanted to.

"We have always bounced back after defeats. Other than when we played Arsenal and then Istanbul Basaksehir.

"Of course, you analyse the games as you ordinarily do. A lot has been made of it because it was top against bottom but that is the Premier League.

"And I think people show a lack of respect for Sheffield United as well, because they've been unlucky this season and they got what they have deserved so many times earlier. 

"They've got players who can hurt you, they've got an organisation that works with Chris [Wilder].

"We are disappointed, it was a setback. But when you don't hit your level in the Premier League against any opposition you get a tough game and unfortunately we couldn't work it out in the 90 minutes."

Anthony Martial (shoulder) and Eric Bailly (knock) are both expected to travel to London.

While United have struggled in recent meetings with the Gunners, they are unbeaten in 17 Premier League away games.

Opta data shows it is their joint-longest run without defeat on the road in their top-flight history, tied with the run that started in the treble season of 1998-99. 

Solskjaer's side have won 26 points away from home so far this season, more than any other Premier League side.

Harry Maguire believes it is time for Manchester United to "stand up and be counted" after the team were left "devastated" by Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to rock-bottom Sheffield United. 

The Red Devils were aiming to go back top of the Premier League table but succumbed to a shock loss at Old Trafford, Oli Burke's fortuitous winner sealing the points after Maguire's goal against his former club had initially cancelled out Kean Bryan's first-half opener. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men had gone unbeaten in their previous 13 matches but were well off the pace against the Blades. 

Captain Maguire urged the squad to rebound quickly for Saturday's trip to Arsenal, who coincidentally were the last side before Chris Wilder's team to defeat them in the league. 

"When you do get a defeat, there's nothing worse than waiting to get back out on the pitch to play and put things right," Maguire told United's club media. 

"The boys are devastated, if I'm honest. It's a really quiet dressing room. The boys are so disappointed; we didn't expect it, we came into the game confident. 

"We've got to pick ourselves up. We are disappointed and it hurts, but Saturday is a big game and we've got to bounce back. 

"It's all good and easy when you're winning football matches and you're playing well, but now it's time to stand up and be counted. 

"When you get kicked down it's how quickly you bounce back and Saturday's a big one and we've got to get three points."

Maguire rued the defensive lapses that he felt proved so costly. 

"Not good enough," he added. "We didn't perform to a level we've been playing at. We didn't play at an intensity that we've played at. We haven't created enough to win the game. 

"We didn't see it coming; we prepared well and were fully confident. We fell behind to a soft goal, but we felt that we could come back, like we've done numerous times this year, and come back and win the game. 

"We got ourselves back into the game and we felt like the next goal would be crucial, and we managed to get that, and we just didn't kick on; we didn't find that spark. Then from that position, we can't lose the game. You've thrown away a point. 

"It's probably the first time they've been in our box in the second half and they managed to score, so we've got to look at it and got to improve. For sure, he [Burke] can't be taking a touch and controlling it and having a shot in our box with no-one around him. It's not good enough." 

There was contention in the first half, with United claiming Billy Sharp had fouled David De Gea in the process of the Blades taking the lead, while referee Peter Bankes ruled out a goal for the home team with Maguire judged to have impeded visiting keeper Aaron Ramsdale when Anthony Martial swept home. 

"It's incredible. There's no doubt that Billy Sharp's is more of a foul than what I did at the other end," Maguire said of the two incidents. 

"Maybe people will say both aren't fouls, but definitely not David's is and that one isn't. I jumped for the ball. I don't think I actually touched the keeper.  

"I think he just touches me in the back; my arms are nowhere near him. I think the referee will look back and know he's made a mistake."

Manchester United were stunned by bottom club Sheffield United in a seismic result for both ends of the Premier League table.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were expected to regain top spot and end Manchester City's stay at the summit after 24 hours, although Chris Wilder's basement boys had other ideas.

Former City youth product Kean Bryan gave the visitors the lead at Old Trafford but normal service looked to have been resumed when former Blade Harry Maguire headed home.

But Oliver Burke had the final word in the 74th minute, giving Sheffield United a 2-1 triumph – only their second win of the Premier League season.

Brighton and Hove Albion and Fulham could not add to their pair of wins after a goalless draw at the Amex Stadium and sit 10 and five points better off than Wilder's men respectively.

It was the same scoreline at Stamford Bridge as Thomas Tuchel's reign got off to an underwhelming start against Wolves, while Everton against Leicester City also ended all square and there was a thrilling win for Burnley over Aston Villa.

Here are the pick of the Opta facts from some results that might look crucial in the final reckoning.

Manchester United 1-2 Sheffield United: Bryan and Burke land title-race body blow

It was a case of familiar frailties returning to haunt United's title bid as Bryan headed home John Fleck's corner.

Since the start of last season, no team has shipped more goals from corners than the 14 let in by Manchester United, Brighton and Chelsea.

Maguire also made the most of slack set-piece marking to net his sixth league goal for the club and his first at home.

But the hosts' defending from open play left a similar amount to be desired as Burke settled matters via a deflection off Axel Tuanzebe.

Bryan and Burke are the first players to net their maiden Premier League goals in the same match against United since Esteban Cambiasso and Jamie Vardy did likewise for Leicester in 2014.

Four defeats in 10 home matches means the Red Devils have amassed their highest number of league losses at Old Trafford since going down in seven in 2013-14.

Sheffield United became the first team from Yorkshire to win a Premier League game at Manchester United and only the third side in the Premier League era, following Leeds United in January 2010 (FA Cup) and York City in September 1996 (League Cup).

Chelsea 0-0 Wolves: Possession without penetration for Tuchel's Blues

A day after being installed as Frank Lampard's successor, Tuchel saw his swiftly remodelled Chelsea dominate but fail to find the net against Wolves.

Struggles against Nuno Espirito Santo's side are nothing new, no matter who is in charge. This is the second time in three seasons that Wolves have gone unbeaten versus Chelsea, having also won at Molineux and drawn at Stamford Bridge in 2018-19.

The visitors certainly had to work to keep their opponents at bay as the Blues hogged 78.9 per cent of possession and racked up 820 passes. Since Opta began collecting this data in 2003-04, both are the highest totals by a team in their coach's first match in charge.

Tuchel is on a run of four consecutive league clean sheets after Paris Saint-Germain completed shutouts in his final three Ligue 1 matches.

Before this season, Thiago Silva was a key part of his backline in the French capital. Reunited in London, the Brazil veteran is now unbeaten in 25 home league appearances under Tuchel (W22 D3).

Wolves have not been so assured defensively of late and this was their first league clean sheet since a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on October 30, ending a run of 12 straight games without one.

Burnley 3-2 Aston Villa: Wood heads for the heights to lift Clarets

Chris Wood netted a 79th-minute winner as Burnley twice came from behind at Turf Moor to beat Aston Villa and move nine points clear of the relegation zone.

Wood rose to nod home a cross from winger Dwight McNeil for something of a trademark goal. Since his top-flight debut for Burnley in August 2017, no player has scored more headed goals than the New Zealand striker, who is level with Harry Kane on 15.

McNeil pulled Sean Dyche's side level after Jack Grealish netted his sixth league goal of the campaign. Combined with his eight assists, the England star has 14 goal involvements in 18 Premier League matches – the same number he managed last season (eight goals, six assists).

Ollie Watkins matched Grealish's goals mark from 2019-20 when he opened the scoring, making it eight Premier League goals in 18 outings.

Ashley Westwood got the assist for Ben Mee's initial equaliser, meaning he has 16 assists for Burnley in the competition. Only Johann Gudmundsson (17) has more.

Everton 1-1 Leicester City: Long-range lone ranger James shines again

James Rodriguez continued his fine form for Everton with a spectacular strike to put Carlo Ancelotti's men in front.

The Colombia international has scored 19 goals from outside the box in Europe's top five leagues – three for Monaco, 11 for Real Madrid, three for Bayern Munich and now two for Everton.

This was his first with his right foot and added to an impressive personal haul of four goals and three assists. Only Dominic Calvert-Lewin (11) has been directly involved in more Premier League goals for Everton this season.

However, another specialist made sure the points were shared. All five of Youri Tielemans' goals for Leicester in the league this season have come away from home.

The Belgium international has netted the most away goals of any player yet to score at home this term.

Everton might well have a further say in the title battle to come. They are unbeaten in the three league games they have played against opponents starting the day above them in the table this season – a 1-0 win over Chelsea and 2-0 defeat of Leicester last December.

Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 Fulham: All square in tense basement battle

High stakes did nothing for the entertainment value in this relegation six-pointer, completing a pair of 0-0 draws between Brighton and Fulham this season.

Perhaps it was not for the want of trying – with 26 shots combined (16 for Brighton and 10 for Fulham), only Aston Villa v Burnley (33) last month and Leeds United v Arsenal (34) in November have produced more shots without a goal being scored in 2020-21.

It was the first time Fulham have played out two goalless draws against the same opponent in a single season since a pair of 2001-02 stalemates with Leicester.

Brighton have become bore-draw specialists, playing out 14 0-0s since their promotion to the top-flight in 2017-18, which is more than any other side in that period.

As their positions in 17th and 18th illustrate, both teams are finding victories hard to come by.

Fulham are winless in nine, with six draws and three losses, since beating Leicester 2-1 in November, while Brighton's 2-1 triumph against Arsenal in June is their only win in the past 19 matches at the Amex Stadium. Since then they have lost and drawn seven apiece on home turf.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed Anthony Martial to find form after Manchester United were stunned by Sheffield United in the Premier League.

Martial has scored just twice in 16 league appearances this season and was unable to have an impact as his side suffered a shock 2-1 loss at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Solskjaer is confident the forward will recapture his best form, but understood questions over the 25-year-old and his team as a whole.

"The whole team will probably get criticism and myself as well. I don't think Anthony's exempt from that," the United manager told a news conference.

"I think we all should be criticised because we didn't perform. I know Anto, he's working really hard in training, working on his finishing, working on his movement. I've got no qualms about that.

"He'll come good."

Martial thought he had cancelled out Kean Bryan's shock opener, but the effort was ruled out for a foul by Harry Maguire on Sheffield goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Maguire headed in an equaliser in the second half, but Oliver Burke found a winner for the visitors, condemning Solskjaer's men to a fourth home defeat in 10 league games this season, their most in a single campaign since 2013-14 (seven).

After his side were left in the second in the table, Solskjaer was disappointed, but also felt decisions went against his team, including for Bryan's opener.

"Of course, we're disappointed, but any result in the Premier League this season shouldn't surprise anyone, but then again, very disappointed that we couldn't put a better performance on," he said.

"It's down to us to put the performance up and we just couldn't find an opening behind or around or between a very compact and good Sheffield United defence.

"The big moments went against us. If you look at it, Billy Sharp's been around the place and knows how to put a goalkeeper off. That's a definite foul on him, so David [de Gea] can't get up. For me, the referee makes a mistake by blowing the whistle on our goal for that corner. That's disappointing but that happens."

Solskjaer's side will aim to bounce back when they visit Arsenal on Saturday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted there would be no need for a "big inquest" after Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Sheffield United on Wednesday.

Kean Bryan and Oliver Burke scored either side of a Harry Maguire header to stun the Red Devils at Old Trafford and end their 13-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.

It was the first time Man United lost at home to a team starting the day bottom of the table since suffering a 1-0 defeat to West Brom in April 2018, a result that handed Manchester City the title.

This setback was similarly a boost for City, whose 5-0 thrashing of the Baggies on Tuesday means they can now open up a four-point gap at the top over their local rivals if they win their game in hand.

Solskjaer's men produced a miserable display in wet conditions, managing only four shots on target from 76 per cent of the possession, as starting forwards Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood failed to create a single goalscoring chance between them.

But the Man United manager felt it was simply a bad day for his side at the end of a strong run of results.

"We had all the possession. When you concede two bad goals, it's always going to be difficult," he told BT Sport.

"We didn't create enough. We put pressure on them, we couldn't penetrate enough in behind them, create big enough chances to score enough goals.

"That magic was missing, that little bit extra. There was not a lot of space to run into, they defended well, and fair play to them, take nothing away from their performance, but we didn't have the right ideas or solutions. They weren't there.

"It wasn't to be. The second goal we conceded is so poor. We lose the ball easily, get back into position and then just stop getting out to the ball. Three or four decisions there that were completely out of character. That's maybe down to the season it is.

"No big inquest. Of course, we're disappointed, but we've seen so many results this season be out of character.

"Surprised, yep, but with the world as it is, we've been very consistent, the most consistent team the last few months and it just hit us today.

"Dust off the sad feeling and go again."

United had complaints about the first goal, with Billy Sharp having barged into David de Gea before Bryan's header, and Martial had a goal disallowed when Maguire was deemed to have fouled Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

"Foul. Billy Sharp runs into him from behind him, so he can't get up," was Solskjaer's view.

He said of the Martial disallowed goal: "No foul. It's that kind of season, inconsistent season anyway, it's going to be unpredictable, but that's two mistakes by the referee."

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