Bernardo Silva insisted it is better to be in Manchester City's position rather than Liverpool's after the Premier League leaders were held at Crystal Palace.

Liverpool cut the gap on Pep Guardiola's side to three points with a 2-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, and City could only respond with a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park on Monday.

City were twice thwarted by the frame of the goal, with Kevin De Bruyne and Joao Cancelo denied either side of the interval, but Palace battled valiantly to share the spoils.

Silva also squandered a pair of glorious chances in either half, with his touch letting him down from close range in the first before nudging wide from Jack Grealish's low cross after the break.

Liverpool play their game in hand against Arsenal on Wednesday and could be top by the time the two sides meet at the Etihad Stadium on April 10, but Silva claimed he would rather be in his side's position.

"It was a tough game, we actually played well, we controlled the game apart from one or two times," Silva told Sky Sports after the match.

"We couldn't score, and we should've scored. Nine games to go, but it's still better to be in our position than in Liverpool's, and they have to play in our stadium, so it's going to be exciting.

"It's never easy to play at any team away in the Premier League. It's always better to win than draw, and we wanted to have an advantage of six points over Liverpool."

The goalless draw ended a run of 18 consecutive Premier League games in which City had scored, since a 2-0 defeat to Palace in October 2021.

Guardiola's side also mustered 18 shots in total without scoring against Palace, their biggest tally without a goal in the competition since their 18 efforts against Tottenham in August 2021.

City will be hoping to make amends in their next league outing at Burnley on April 2, after the international break and an FA Cup quarter-final trip to Southampton on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola insisted he had "no regrets" with his Manchester City side, despite them failing to restore their six-point lead at the Premier League summit on Monday.

Reigning top-flight champions City headed to Crystal Palace knowing victory would see them regain their advantage over Liverpool, who defeated Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 on Saturday.

However, Guardiola's team had to settle for just a point at Selhurst Park as they were twice denied by the woodwork through Joao Cancelo and Kevin De Bruyne either side of the break.

That leaves Liverpool, who are four points behind and play their game in hand against Arsenal on Wednesday, with the chance to top the table by the time the two teams meet on April 10 at the Etihad Stadium should City fail to beat Burnley in their next game.

But Guardiola, who did not introduce Gabriel Jesus or Raheem Sterling off the bench in search of a winner, refused to criticise his side after they again failed to breach Patrick Vieira's astute defence, Palace having recorded a 2-0 victory in the reverse fixture this season.

"I think they [Palace] played good," he told Sky Sports after the game.

"There are still many games to play, we have to win a lot of games but the way we played, there are no regrets about the team. We would have preferred to win of course but the game was well played.

"We played to win the game; we created more. The way we played was amazing in a difficult stadium with the grass not perfect."

He added to BBC Sport: "We played a really good game. In 90 minutes, we conceded mistakes a little bit, but the way we played was really good.

"Luck doesn't exist in football. We have to score goals and we didn't do it. We played to score goals and concede few. We struggled a little bit.

"The guys who were playing were playing good, that's why I didn't make changes. We didn't score, that was the mistake.

"The team that was there today was there before and will be there in the next game. I am very pleased with the performance and the way we played."

Manchester City failed to restore their six-point lead at the Premier League summit as they were held to a goalless draw at Crystal Palace on Monday.

Palace had been looking to complete a first league double over City since 1987-88 but settled simply for frustrating Pep Guardiola's side, who went the closest to opening the scoring in the first half when Joao Cancelo rattled the woodwork.

Kevin De Bruyne was also denied by the frame of the goal after the interval, with no late winner forthcoming at Selhurst Park.

The stalemate meant City moved just four points clear of second-placed Liverpool, who have a game in hand and are yet to play the champions at the Etihad Stadium.

Michael Olise poked narrowly wide in the opening stages, while Bernardo Silva spurned a glorious chance after Vicente Guaita had spilled a De Bruyne strike at the other end.

De Bruyne then tested Guaita's reactions with an audacious volley, before Cancelo cannoned against the left post with a thunderous long-range effort, with Aymeric Laporte squandering the inviting rebound inside the area.

Riyad Mahrez almost found the top-left corner with a left-footed curler, then De Bruyne struck the right post after the break with his low drive. Guaita tipped over from Mahrez on the follow-up, but a belated offside flag meant a breakthrough goal would not have stood.

Silva wasted another gilt-edged chance to nudge City ahead when he touched wide from Jack Grealish's cross, while Laporte failed to make clean contact with a close-range header late on.

Conor Gallagher could even have stolen victory as his shot from a tight angle rose over Ederson's goal in stoppage time.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hailed 21-goal winger Riyad Mahrez, whom he says "reads the game perfectly".

The Algerian has been a key part of City's Premier League title push, netting eight goals in their past 10 league games, for a season total of 10.

Mahrez has been influential in Europe as well with six Champions League goals for City, who are into the quarter-finals. Across all competitions this season, he already has 21 goals to his name.

The 31-year-old contributed 14, 13 and 12 goals over the previous three seasons, with his increase in production prompting praise from Guardiola – 21 is already a personal best.

"He's an exceptional player,” Guardiola said at the news conference prior to Monday's league game with Crystal Palace. "He's a player that many teams would like to have.

"He's scored a lot of goals, penalties, assists and everything and part of that is the quality. He reads the game perfectly when he has to attack or give an extra pass."

The Spaniard added: "I try to push him a lot. We struggle together because I know the quality he has and he's a player I admire for the fact he handles the pressure.

"He likes to play on the biggest stages. It's difficult to find that and players like him. Not just me, the whole club has an incredibly high opinion of him and his quality, no doubt about that."

Despite never before scoring as many goals as in 2021-22, Guardiola refused to label it a career-best season.

"I will not say it’s his best season or not because he’s played in the Premier League for many seasons at a high level. Last season, for example, he was exceptional," Guardiola said.

"The final quarter of the season until the end he was so important and playing really well."

Mahrez's 10 Premier League goals mean he is the club's joint-top scorer in the top flight this term along with Raheem Sterling. Kevin De Bruyne is just behind them on nine.

Kylian Mbappe looks set to end one of the biggest transfer sagas of recent seasons by penning his deal with Real Madrid next week.

The Paris Saint-Germain striker will reportedly move to Santiago Bernabeu on a free transfer at the end of the season.

It will mark the end of a lengthy pursuit by Los Blancos, despite the Ligue 1 club's efforts to keep their star man.

 

TOP STORY - MADRID CLOSING IN ON MBAPPE

Mbappe will confirm his future in a matter of days by putting pen to paper on a contract with Real Madrid, claims Marca.

The France international was pursued by Los Blancos last year, but instead remained with Paris Saint-Germain to see out the rest of his contract.

That expires at the end of this campaign, and despite PSG's resistance, the forward will confirm his future at Santiago Bernabeu with a free move before the month is up.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester City have locked a deal in place for the capture of Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, according to the Daily Mail. City look to have beaten off several European rivals for the Leeds-born Norway international, and are now set to discuss personal terms.

- Scotland international Kieran Tierney is set to be the subject of a move from Madrid, claims 90min. The Arsenal star has helped form the bedrock of a Gunners revival this term and his performances have not gone under-the-radar when it comes to Los Blancos and their interest.

- Antonio Conte is willing to consider an extension at Tottenham, providing the club can show that they have "vision", says the Guardian. The Italian has endured a topsy-turvy tenure so far in north London, but remains one of the most respected coaches in the game.

- Crystal Palace star Conor Gallagher is unsure where his future lies following his success on loan at Selhurst Park this season, according to ESPN. The Chelsea man is with the Eagles on a year-long deal, and has picked up England honours during his tenure.

- Atletico Madrid are thinking about a move for Barcelona's Sergi Roberto. According to Fichajes, the midfielder is frustrated at his lack of consistent game-time and LaLiga's champions could swoop for him.

Manchester United's search for a new permanent manager continues.

The Red Devils parted ways with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last year after an underwhelming campaign despite the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ralf Rangnick has taken over on an interim basis, buying United time to get the right man for the job.

TOP STORY - MAN UTD 'SOUND OUT' TEN HAG

Manchester United have "sounded out" Ajax boss Erik Ten Hag through intermediaries with no formal approach yet, claims Sky Sports.

Ten Hag along with current Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino are believed to be the two lead candidates for the top job at Old Trafford.

The report claims the Dutchman would be keen to speak to United if they make a formal approach.

 

ROUND-UP

- Italian champions Inter are ready to allow Alexis Sanchez to exit the club in mid-year reports Calciomercato. The 33-year-old's contract at San Siro runs until 2023 but Inter are keen to get his hefty wages off their books.

- England international Joe Gomez will seek a move away from Liverpool at the end of this season, claims 90min, as he seeks more regular game-time, having been a bit-part player this term. Leicester City, Tottenham, Newcastle United and West Ham are all interested.

- Brighton and Hove Albion are leading the race to sign Chile international Ben Brereton Diaz from promotion hopefuls Blackburn Rovers, claims TEAMtalk. Crystal Palace, Everton, Leeds United and West Ham are also interested.

- Mundo Deportivo reports that West Ham are interested in signing former Barcelona, Milan and Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu from Udinese.

- Fichajes claims Wolves are in talks with Shakhtar Donetsk's Pedrinho about a move to England, with players from Ukrainian clubs able to seek free transfers.

Pep Guardiola dismissed the possibility of Manchester City winning a treble this season as "fairy tales" as he hailed Scott Carson as an inspiration to his young stars.

Veteran former England goalkeeper Carson made just his second appearance in almost three years for City as he came off the bench against Sporting CP in the Champions League on Wednesday.

City's goalless draw completed a 5-0 aggregate win over the Portuguese giants after the thumping win in Lisbon three weeks earlier, and that has only served to ramp up talk of a possible sweep of the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League titles.

Leading the English top flight and through to quarter-finals in the two knockout competitions, it is a rosy picture for City with three shots at silverware remaining.

Asked about that prospect in a news conference on Thursday, Guardiola said: "It doesn't motivate me, absolutely zero, lower than zero. It is fairy tales.

"The reality is tougher than you suggest with this kind of things. You should understand sport at a high level is so competitive, so difficult.

"What I'm happy with is we are in the quarter-finals, the best eight teams in Europe. It will be so tough, the opponent we are going to face, and I guess for the opponent it will be tough to face us.

"Step-by-step, we now recover and increase and improve our level and at the end, we will see."

Guardiola handed Champions League debuts to teenagers CJ Egan-Riley, James McAtee and Luke Mbete, while Fernandinho made his 100th appearance in the competition, the fourth Brazilian to reach that mark, following in the footsteps of Roberto Carlos (120), Dani Alves (111) and Marcelo (101).

The youngsters that City hope to keep bringing through from their academy, in the manner that Guardiola's former club Barcelona have cultivated youth talent down the years, have plenty of international stars to admire.

Guardiola made a point that 36-year-old Carson should be the player they watch, to learn how he values every moment of his City career.

"One of the best advice I could give to young players is stay around Scott Carson as much as possible in the locker room and on the pitch," Guardiola said.

"It's the best advice they can get, the best learnings they can get. You have to be there to know him. He's experienced enough, he lived many, many things."

Carson's surprise and popular cameo against Sporting gave him just a second appearance in the Champions League, a full 16 years and 338 days after he played for Liverpool against Juventus as a 19-year-old. That made it the largest gap between appearances for any player in the competition's history, and Carson pulled off a fine stop to stave off a possible home defeat.

"He's at the end of his career, so every second he's training and every minute he gets on the pitch and off the field in the locker room, he values it," Guardiola said.

"It's like young actors need to be with old actors on the set. They are wiser, and they have the values in the football profession."

Manchester United's search for a new manager continues after axing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November.

The Red Devils are taking their time with the appointment, with Ralf Rangnick in an interim role until the end of the season.

United hope the next man in can turn their fortunes around, having struggled to be Premier League contenders since Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013.

TOP STORY – UNITED SHORTLIST HASENHUTTL

Manchester United have added Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl to their shortlist, according to The Mirror.

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax’s Erik ten Hag remain the front-runners, but United face a battle to persuade either to head to Old Trafford.

Current United interim manager Ralf Rangnick worked with Hasenhuttl at RB Leipzig and the club are admirers of the Austrian.

ROUND-UP

- Atletico Madrid are considering making a move for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, reports Mundo Deportivo. Wijnaldum is weighing up his future at PSG despite moving to France only last year.

- Fabrizio Romano claims Chelsea's Andreas Christensen has turned down offers from other Premier League clubs and is on the verge of agreeing to a deal with Barcelona.

Lazio could make a loan move for Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, with manager Maurizio Sarri keen to be reunited with the Spain international, reports Corriere dello Sport.

- The Sun claims West Ham are plotting a move for Lille's 20-year-old midfielder Amadou Onana, who is valued at £20m by the French club.

Crystal Palace have joined the pursuit for Marseille's out-of-contract midfielder Boubacar Kamara, alongside Newcastle United and West Ham, according to the Sun.

Liverpool closed the gap on leaders Manchester City with victory over West Ham, while Chelsea tightened their grip on third place in Saturday's Premier League action.

The Blues saw off Burnley 4-0 at Turf Moor, a scoreline that was matched by Aston Villa in their statement victory against Southampton.

Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and Brentford also picked up wins, but it was a bad start to life under new management for Leeds in their early kick-off against Leicester City.

Following another eventful day of Premier League action, Stats Perform delves into the key Opta facts from each of the games.

Leeds United 0-1 Leicester City: New manager, same Leeds

Jesse Marsch's first game as Leeds boss ended in defeat to Leicester as United fell to a fifth successive league loss for the first time since April 2015, when they were in the Championship.

Leeds have failed to score in three straight league matches for the first time in a year, this despite registering 19 shots in their latest blank against Leicester.

United's expected goals (xG) return of 1.95 is their highest without scoring in a league game since June 2020, and the familiar failings were also on show at the other end.

Harvey Barnes' second-half winner means Leeds have gone 13 league games without a clean sheet, their longest-such run since 14 without a shutout ending in August 2016.

This was the fifth straight league game Barnes has scored against Leeds – four of those while playing for Leicester and one for West Brom, making them his favourite opponent.

 

Aston Villa 4-0 Southampton: Coutinho's home comforts

Villa are firmly back on track after registering back-to-back victories under Steven Gerrard for the first time since his opening two games in charge in November.

The Villans put four unanswered goals past Southampton at Villa Park for their biggest Premier League win since thrashing Liverpool 7-2 in October 2020.

Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho once again played a big part in the victory by scoring one and assisting another for Douglas Luiz.

Coutinho has now been directly involved in six goals in his first four home league games for Villa, scoring three of his own and setting up as many.

Ollie Watkins had earlier opened the scoring with his 21st Premier League strike since the start of the 2020-21 season, while Danny Ings added to his two assists with Villa's fourth goal.

 

Newcastle United 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Fraser helps end Magpies' duck against Seagulls

For a while things looked incredibly bleak for Newcastle, even after their big-money takeover, but they now find themselves seven points above the relegation zone.

The Magpies held off Brighton to make it eight Premier League games without defeat – no team is on a better such run – with five of those matches ending in victory.

Ryan Fraser opened the scoring to make it two goals in five Premier League outings, matching his tally from his previous 70 appearances, before setting up Fabian Schar.

That was the earliest United have scored twice in a Premier League home game since January 2007 and, despite Lewis Dunk's header, Eddie Howe's side saw out the win.

It marks the first time Newcastle have defeated Brighton in the Premier League in their 10th such encounter, having previously failed to so much as score against them at home.

 

Norwich City 1-3 Brentford: Bees buzzing thanks to Toney treble

After a run of eight Premier League games without a win, Brentford bolstered their survival ambitions with a well-earned victory away at bottom side Norwich.

Ivan Toney was the hero for the Bees with three goals, two of those from the penalty spot, making Brentford the 40th different team to boast a hat-trick scorer.

The Brentford striker now has nine Premier League goals for the season, each of those coming via his right foot.

Teemu Pukki scored a consolation but it was another miserable day for Norwich, whose goal difference of -42 is the worst at this stage since Derby County in 2007-08 (-44).

Not that it will matter a great deal in the grand scheme of things, but Brentford are the first team Pukki has scored home and away against in a single Premier League season.

 

Wolves 0-2 Crystal Palace: Shaky Wanderers lose again

Wolves' European hopes suffered another blow as they fell to a third successive Premier League defeat, as many as they lost in their previous 13.

Bruno Lage's out-of-form side have now conceded six goals in their last four league games, after shipping just five in 12 before that.

Jean-Philippe Mateta came up with the breakthrough from close range for his fourth goal in eight Premier League starts, and Wilfried Zaha doubled Palace's lead from the penalty spot.

Ivory Coast international Zaha has now been directly involved in 83 goals in the competition, the joint-ninth best total for an African player, level with Nwankwo Kanu.

With this latest loss, it is the first time Wolves have lost three games in a row against Palace in their entire league history.

 

Burnley 0-4 Chelsea: Blues cruise at Turf Moor

It was business as usual for Chelsea as they won for a third Premier League game running without conceding in what proved to be a straightforward victory at lowly Burnley.

The Blues scored all four of their goals in the second half as they enjoyed their biggest away league win since October 2018 when also beating Burnley by the same scoreline.

This was the biggest margin of victory for an away side in a game that was goalless at half-time since Tottenham beat Aston Villa 4-0 in December 2012.

Reece James started the scoring and in the process became the first defender from Europe's top five leagues to both score and assist five goals this term in all competitions.

Kai Havertz also netted twice before Christian Pulisic added some gloss to the scoreline – his fourth goal at Turf Moor, matching a record for an away player set by Tottenham's Harry Kane.

 

Liverpool 1-0 West Ham: Reds roll on thanks to Mane

Sadio Mane's first-half goal made it seven wins in a row for Liverpool in the Premier League, their best such streak since a run of 18 when they claimed the title two years ago.

That close-range finish was Mane's 12th of the season in the league, nine of those coming at Anfield – no player has scored more home goals in the division this season.

Trent Alexander-Arnold played the ball into the box for Mane's goal for his 16th assist in all competitions this term, more than he has ever registered in a single campaign.

Liverpool were not at their best and that was particularly true of Mohamed Salah, who failed to score from six shots – only against Stoke in April 2018 (seven) has he fared worse.

Incredibly, Virgil van Dijk has never been on the losing side for Liverpool in 60 Premier League home games at Anfield, setting a new record in that regard.

 

Paul Pogba's future at Manchester United has been the subject of widespread speculation.

The 28-year-old midfielder will be out of contract at the end of this season.

Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are among the sides linked with the World Cup winner.

TOP STORY – JUVE TO PRIORITISE POGBA DEAL

Juventus have made signing Manchester United midfielder Pogba their top priority, reports Calciomercato.

Pogba has regularly been linked with a move away from Old Trafford as he stalls on a new deal with the Red Devils.

The Frenchman spent four years with the Bianconeri from 2012 to 2016 and they are dreaming of his return.

 

ROUND-UP

- Mundo Deportivo reports that Roma are leading the way to sign Mexico international Hector Herrera, who is expected to leave Atletico Madrid at the end of this season.

- Milan have swooped in on Newcastle United target Sven Botman and are set to beat them to the Lille defender's signature, claims Calciomercato.

- Milan midfielder Franck Kessie's next destination is becoming more likely, with Barcelona moving closer to sealing a deal for the Ivorian on a free transfer, reports SPORT.

- Fichajes reports that Crystal Palace have enquired with Real Madrid about their asking price for midfielder Dani Ceballos .

- Robert Lewandowski is out of contract in 2023 and wants a new deal with Bayern Munich but no talks have yet taken place, claims Fabrizio Romano.

Sure, relying on Mohamed Salah every week is a decent fantasy football strategy, it's certainly good enough for most, but what happens when the Egyptian magician isn't in Premier League action?

With Liverpool in EFL Cup final duty against Chelsea, the Reds' fearsome front-line and creative full-backs are suddenly off limits to fantasy football managers across the land, while Arsenal and Chelsea are also out of league action.

However, courtesy of Opta-powered data, Stats Perform has managed to pick out some of gameweek 27's potential stars, featuring the England captain, an in-form Burnley new boy, and one of the Premier League's most lethal defenders.

HARRY KANE (Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur)

Despite Antonio Conte's team lurching to a fourth loss in five Premier League games at Turf Moor in midweek, the England captain remains the perfect pick for managers who need a big-hitter in Salah's absence.

Kane has been involved in seven goals in his last 10 Premier League appearances, registering six goals and an assist in that time. Meanwhile, five of those contributions, including four goals, have come on the road.

If that isn't enough to make managers' minds up, Kane will be facing a Leeds team which has already shipped 56 league goals this term, and has scored 10 goals in his eight Premier League appearances in Yorkshire. 

DAVID DE GEA (Manchester United v Watford)

For those looking for an adequate replacement for the likes of Allison or Edouard Mendy between the sticks, Red Devils stopper De Gea looks to be the perfect choice, ahead of a kind home fixture with Watford.

When looking at Opta's Expected Goals on Target data, no Premier League goalkeeper has prevented more goals than the Spaniard this season, with De Gea conceding 32 Premier League goals from 39.09 xG on target faced.

Although De Gea did ship four times when Watford ended Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Red Devils reign earlier this season, United have never lost a home league game against Watford, recording 11 wins and two draws against the Hornets at Old Trafford. They have not faced any other side in more home games during their league history without losing (also 13 unbeaten vs Hull City).

CRAIG DAWSON (West Ham United v Wolves)

The best fantasy football managers are those that find themselves looking for marginal gains, and what better way to do that than to pick one of the division's most lethal defenders?

Since the 2014-15 season, no Premier League defender can match Dawson's tally of 14 headed goals, and the big centre-back has now netted in successive games, against Leicester City and Newcastle United.

West Ham's next Premier League clash sees them take on Wolves at the London Stadium. For all their good form, the visitors are averaging under a goal per game this season, so Dawson could also be in with a chance of a clean sheet.

WOUT WEGHORST (Crystal Palace v Burnley, Burnley v Leicester City)

Finally, Burnley's towering Dutch striker Wout Weghorst stands out as an appealing under-the-radar selection, ahead of the Clarets facing two games in four days.

Since Weghorst made his move from Wolfsburg to Turf Moor, he has weighed in with a goal and two assists, meaning only Salah (three goals and one assist) has registered more goal involvements amongst Premier League players since his arrival.

Although Burnley's weekend opponents Crystal Palace have been buoyed by a 4-1 win over Watford, they then host a Leicester team which has conceded 40.61 expected goals this season, a tally worse than all but three Premier League teams, so another Weghorst contribution could be on the cards.

Thomas Tuchel freely admitted he is unsure about how to get more from Romelu Lukaku after the striker endured a particularly quiet 90 minutes against Crystal Palace at the weekend.

A last-gasp goal from Hakim Ziyech clinched Chelsea a 1-0 win at Selhurst Park, but much of the post-game focus was on Lukaku's impact – or lack of.

The Belgium international had just seven touches across the entire match, the fewest ever recorded in a single Premier League match for a player to feature for at least 90 minutes since Opta started collecting the data (2003-04).

Remarkably, just two of those were in the first half and one was from kick-off, and Tuchel suggested after the game that it did not say much about Chelsea "in general".

Chelsea now turn their attention to the Champions League and hosting Lille on Tuesday, but Lukaku's performance and general struggles at the club were once again at the fore.

Asked how he can get Lukaku more involved, Tuchel said: "What can I do? I don't know.

"We have to deal with it. The data is out there and the data speaks a certain language. He was not involved in our game, it's sometimes like this.

"It's, of course, not what we want or Romelu wants, but it's not the time to laugh about him and makes jokes about him."

It was put to Tuchel that the disruption caused by long-term injuries to wing-backs Ben Chilwell and Reece James, who were key during the early months of the season, could have played a part in Lukaku's lack of cohesion with the rest of the team after a promising start.

"Every style changes with long-term injuries of key players," he continued. "We played many games with a back three and wing-backs and two of the key wing-backs are Reece and Chilly [Chilwell], who got injured at their peak level. They had a huge impact on our game offensively and defensively.

"So of course, this changes but we are not the only team where these players have the huge impact and in our system the wing-backs are a crucial position.

"Still, we can also play and win games without any player, this is our job and what we want to do. This is what we try when we have injuries or COVID cases. It's on us and me to adapt and find solutions.

"There is a history of strikers struggling at Chelsea, so it may not be the easiest place in the world for strikers.

"In my opinion, Chelsea are a team considered a strong defensive team, a physical team, that has a certain attitude when in competitive football.

"We demand a lot of our strikers in terms of defending. We want to be physical, hard-working group that wants to play a physical game as well as a skilful game.

"We are on the subject and are well aware, but like always in football it's not just one reason to sort. It's a complex sport and we will continue to play with faith, with a team effort, and it's what we do."

Thomas Tuchel has moved to manage expectations of Chelsea ahead of a crucial week that will see them return to Champions League action and contest the EFL Cup final.

Chelsea played their first Premier League game in nearly a month on Saturday, beating Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park thanks to a late Hakim Ziyech goal.

In the intervening month, Chelsea progressed in the FA Cup and won the Club World Cup for the first time, defeating Palmeiras in extra-time.

Tuchel complained about Chelsea's packed schedule after beating Palace, acknowledging his team looked "a bit drained and exhausted".

But they have little time for rest with Lille visiting Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday and then a showdown with Liverpool at Wembley on Sunday, as Chelsea look to claim a second trophy of the season.

Looking forward to an important week, Tuchel tried to ease the pressure.

"I think it is very important for us in this moment to be realistic and not over-expect from us," he told reporters.

"Also accept games against teams in mid-table or the lower end of the table can become difficult games. Once we accept that, it is the first step to feel a certain freedom and to become better, that we don't over-expect.

"We should not expect too much about how big others see us and if we are the favourites against Lille, just accept it is a phase where things feel a bit tight and a bit more difficult than in other times.

"We will accept it and this is the situation for the match on Tuesday. First of all we play at Stamford Bridge and we are confident to have a good performance because we deliver on a high level in knockout matches, cup matches, Champions League matches."

Despite his previous comments about fixture congestion, Tuchel is not especially worried about the tight turnaround being an issue before facing French champions Lille.

"I think that Saturday to Tuesday evening for us as a home game and playing in London should not be a problem," he added.

"Sometimes it can cause a big advantage if there is a tight schedule, but we will be ready to fight with Lille on an okay level so that should not be decisive."

Saturday was quite a day in the Premier League, with shock results impacting both ends of the table, and the middle.

Liverpool appear to live challengers again in the title race after their 3-1 victory against Norwich City was followed by Tottenham's dramatic 3-2 win away to leaders Manchester City.

Mohamed Salah scored his 150th goal for Liverpool and Luis Diaz bagged his first in English football, while former City target Harry Kane insisted on shoving narrative into everyone's faces with a sensational performance for Spurs at the Etihad Stadium.

Elsewhere, a late Hakim Ziyech goal secured Chelsea a win at Crystal Palace, Arsenal's youngsters earned them a 2-1 win against Brentford, while West Ham were held to a 1-1 draw by Newcastle in the early game.

Burnley produced a surprising performance to win 3-0 at Brighton, with Wout Weghorst getting off the mark for his new club, while Watford also threw a spanner in the works of the relegation fight with a 1-0 win at Aston Villa.

The other game of a busy day in England's top flight saw Southampton beat Frank Lampard's Everton 2-0 at St Mary's thanks to goals from Stuart Armstrong and Shane Long.

Manchester City 2-3 Tottenham: City Kane-d by ruthless Spurs

Pep Guardiola's City team had looked imperious since losing at home to Crystal Palace in October, until today.

City were dominant but wasteful against Spurs, finding the target with only four of their 21 shots, while the visitors made Ederson work with five of their six efforts, beating him three times to take the points.

Kane’s winner, timed at 94:25, was the latest winning goal scored against City in the Premier League since Michael Owen for Manchester United in September 2009 (95:27).

Tottenham duo Kane and Son Heung-min have now assisted one another for 36 Premier League goals, the joint-most of any pairing in the competition's history, moving level with Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard.

Son has been directly involved in 10 goals in 15 appearances against City (seven goals, three assists); only against Southampton (15) and West Ham (11) has he had a hand in more goals for Spurs.

Meanwhile, Guardiola has lost twice to Tottenham this season, and has only lost more games to Chelsea (eight) than Spurs (six) in his entire managerial career.

Liverpool 3-1 Norwich: Reds come back thanks to usual suspects, and a new one

Early in the second half at Anfield, it did not look like Liverpool would be cutting Manchester City's lead on Saturday, finding themselves 1-0 down to the Canaries after Milot Rashica's first Premier League goal.

However, a marvellous overhead kick from Sadio Mane was soon followed by a historic moment for Salah, who scored his 150th goal for Liverpool in just his 233rd appearance. Only Roger Hunt (226) has reached that total faster in the club's history.

Luis Díaz became the 16th different Colombian player to score a Premier League goal, producing a nice finish after a Jordan Henderson throughball. He was also Liverpool’s 16th different goalscorer in the competition this season (excluding own goals), the joint-most of any side in 2021-22 (Chelsea and City both also 16).

Henderson was a standout performer on the day as well, drastically improving from his showing at Burnley last weekend.

He completed just 50 per cent of passes (18 out of 36) in the 1-0 win at Turf Moor, but on Saturday produced his second-best pass success rate in the Premier League for Liverpool in a game where he made at least 100 passes, with 97.2 per cent (104 of 107), only bettering that against Hull City in 2016-17 (97.3 per cent, 108 of 111).

Crystal Palace 0-1 Chelsea: Late Ziyech strike saves Blues

Chelsea returned to Premier League action after winning the FIFA Club World Cup last week to eventually secure three points against Palace thanks to an 89th-minute Ziyech strike. The Moroccan has scored in three consecutive league matches for the first time since September 2019 in the Eredivisie with Ajax.

The Blues have now won back-to-back league games for the first time since October, when they won four in a row, and could also be looking up the table after City's wobble.

It was another clean sheet for Chelsea, who have kept 37 in 70 matches in all competitions under Thomas Tuchel, more than any other Premier League side since the German’s first match in charge in January last year.

It was not all good from Tuchel's men though, with struggling striker Romelu Lukaku managing just seven touches, one of which was at the kick-off, the fewest in a single top-flight game for a player to feature for at least 90 minutes since Opta started collecting the data in 2003-04.

Arsenal 2-1 Brentford: Young guns fire Arteta's side to victory

Goals from Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka earned Arsenal a hard-fought win against Brentford, despite Christian Norgaard's late strike for the Bees.

Smith Rowe bagged his ninth league goal this season; the only player to score more in a single campaign for Arsenal when aged 21 or younger was Nicolas Anelka in 1998-99 (17).

Saka registered his 11th goal involvement in the Premier League this season (seven goals, four assists), the most of any under-21 player and a haul bettered only by Jarrod Bowen (16), Mason Mount (13) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (12) among English players.

The Gunners netted their 600th (and 601st) Premier League goals at the Emirates Stadium, reaching the milestone in their 297th game there, with only United at Old Trafford (283) and City at the Etihad (290) doing so at a single stadium in fewer games in the competition.

Brentford are winless in their last seven league games, last having a longer run between September and October 2018 (eight games). Thomas Frank's side have also lost their last five away league games, their longest such run since February 2011 (also five).

West Ham 1-1 Newcastle: Magpies continue to rise under Howe

Eddie Howe's 500th league game as a manager (410 with Bournemouth, 77 with Burnley and 13 with Newcastle) ended with a well-earned point from the London Stadium in the day's early kick-off.

Craig Dawson gave West Ham the lead before Joe Willock's equaliser came just before half-time.

Newcastle have now taken 12 points from their last six Premier League games, two more than they managed in their previous 18 this season (10 points).

Dawson's goal was the 11th scored from a set-piece by the Hammers in the league this season (not including penalties), a figure only Liverpool (14) and City (12) can better.

Brighton and Hove Albion 0-3 Burnley: Weghorst gets off the mark in big Clarets win

A quite remarkable performance from Sean Dyche's side in his 250th Premier League game in charge of Burnley saw them ease to a 3-0 win at the Amex Stadium, with Weghorst, Josh Brownhill and Aaron Lennon all finding the net.

Brighton suffered the heaviest defeat by a team hosting the English top flight's bottom side since Crystal Palace lost 4-0 at home to Sunderland in February 2017.

This was Burnley's first away win in the league since May 2021 (v Fulham), ending a run of 12 games without a win on the road. They also scored more goals in this game than they had in their previous five Premier League away games combined (two).

Weghorst scored his first goal for Burnley, becoming the first Dutchman to score for the Clarets in the competition. This ended a run of seven league games without scoring for Weghorst, with his previous goal coming in December for previous club Wolfsburg against Cologne.

Aston Villa 0-1 Watford: Dennis a menace to Villa

Another relegation-threatened side stepped up to secure an impressive away win as Roy Hodgson earned his first victory in charge of Watford thanks to a goal from Emmanuel Dennis.

This was the Hornets' first Premier League away win since October (5-2 v Everton), and their first away win in the competition while also keeping a clean sheet since January 2020 (3-0 v Bournemouth).

After winning two of their first three home games under Steven Gerrard (L1), Villa are now winless in their last four games at Villa Park (D2 L2). This was the first Premier League home game they have failed to score in since May 2021 (v Everton), ending a run of 12 in a row in which they had found the net.

Watford have now kept as many clean sheets in four Premier League games under Hodgson (two) as they had in their previous 36 games in the competition.

Southampton 2-0 Everton: Another free-kick continues Toon revival

The revival of Everton under Lampard was nowhere to be seen at St Mary's as Ralph Hasenhuttl's side continued their good run of form.

Southampton have now won four of their last eight Premier League games (D3 L1), as many victories as they managed in their previous 20 games in the competition (D8 L8).

Everton's total of 22 points from their first 23 games in the league this season is their worst at this stage of a top-flight campaign since 1950-51 (three points for a win), when they also had 22 and were relegated at the end of the season.

Long's goal was his first in the league since February 2020 (v Aston Villa), ending a run of 799 minutes without the Irishman scoring in the league.

Thomas Tuchel admitted Chelsea must improve after looking "drained and exhausted" in their 1-0 win at Crystal Palace, but praised his team's defensive solidity following Hakim Ziyech's late winner.

Ziyech's 89th-minute strike meant the Moroccan has scored in three successive league games for the first time since doing so in the Eredivisie with Ajax in September 2019, and kept the London club within seven points of second-placed Liverpool in the Premier League table.

Chelsea were far from their best throughout the contest, however, managing just nine attempts on goal in the match, while striker Romelu Lukaku had seven touches of the ball, the lowest figure since Opta's Premier League records began in 2003-04.

Speaking after the match, Tuchel conceded that Chelsea were not at their best at Selhurst Park, before hitting out at their congested fixture list.

"Every team will have games like this, especially between December, January and February, where the conditions can create adversity", said the former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain boss. 

"If we had another draw, maybe we'd talk about this game longer, but when you win it you have the chance to move on and forget it.

"We won't wake up tomorrow wondering what we could do better.

"We look a bit drained and exhausted. Everyone is giving their very best, but we are struggling a little bit, so it's important to win and keep going."

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