Jesse Marsch and other American coaches have been "cursed" by the popularity of television series Ted Lasso.

That is the opinion of Jim Curtin, who led the Philadelphia Union to the MLS Cup final last year.

Curtin has spent his entire coaching career so far with the Union, but other Americans have sought to make strides in the European game – with limited success.

Marsch is perhaps the most high-profile example, leaving the New York Red Bulls for Salzburg and then RB Leipzig before landing a Premier League job with Leeds United.

He lasted less than a year at Elland Road, however, and Curtin feels he was hurt by the emergence of Ted Lasso.

Jason Sudeikis portrays the title character in the Apple TV show in which he is appointed as coach of a Premier League club despite having little knowledge of the sport.

"I have to say I like [Ted Lasso], because if I say I hate it, I'm some elitist coach," Curtin told The Athletic.

"I love the humanness of it. I watched the whole first season.

"I give them credit for being at least close to capturing the feeling in the locker room. They get that there are people from different cultures, a**holes, nice guys, there are wives who are annoying, who are problems.

"That's all real. He comes off as loveable.

"Do I think it's set back the American coach 20 years? Yes, I do. We worked so hard to get to Europe, and then Jesse breaks in and it's like what a curse to have that show break out at the same time he's there.

"You can feel it with [Marsch]. He seems so angry at it, but if you show that, they'll chew you up and spit you out."

Leeds United have turned to former Watford head coach Javi Gracia in their bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League, appointing the Spaniard on a "flexible contract".

Leeds have faced several setbacks in their bid to replace Jesse Marsch since sacking the American earlier this month, seeing an approach for Rayo Vallecano's Andoni Iraola blocked.

Feyenoord's Arne Slot also ruled himself out of contention, leaving interim coach Michael Skubala to oversee their last three games – a defeat at Everton following a return of one point from a double-header against Manchester United.

Defeat at Goodison Park last time out left Leeds two points adrift of safety in 19th place, and Gracia will need to make an instant impact against bottom club Southampton on Saturday.

His appointment – and involvement ahead of that match – is subject to obtaining a work permit, a Leeds statement said on Tuesday.

The vague terms around the length of Gracia's contract suggest Leeds might move again for one of their top targets in the near future.

Gracia oversaw an 11th-placed Premier League finish and an FA Cup final defeat to Manchester City in his only full season at Watford, having kept the Hornets up after his January 2018 arrival. 

The 52-year-old then led Valencia to a 13th-placed finish in LaLiga in the 2020-21 campaign, before winning the Qatar Stars League in his last job with Al Sadd. 

Since beating Chelsea 3-0 in August, Leeds have collected just 12 points from 20 Premier League games – the worst return in the English top flight during that span.

The Elland Road outfit are without a Premier League victory since beating Bournemouth 4-3 in early November, losing six of their last 10 games in the competition.

Real Madrid are eager to bolster their forward options, with a quality striker wanted to deputise for Karim Benzema.

Benzema, who is now 35-years-old, has battled injuries this season and played in 12 of their 20 LaLiga games.

Los Blancos have been regularly linked with Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, while there have been reports of a big-money bid for Eintracht Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani in recent days.

Instead of signing another French forward though, there is a report that Madrid are eyeing up a Brazilian.


Real Madrid want to sign Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino on a free transfer at the end of this season, claims Gazzetta dello Sport.

Liverpool are bullish on re-signing Firmino but no extension has yet been agreed, with his contract due to expire in June.

According to the report, Atletico Madrid and Inter are also interested in the 31-year-old, who has been battling a calf injury in recent months.



- Barcelona president Joan Laporta is determined to sign Julian Alvarez from Manchester City, reports Fichajes. The report claims "Laporta will do everything in his power" to land the Argentinean World Cup winner.

- Manchester City are monitoring Southampton full-back Tino Livramento, claims the Evening Standard. The English 20-year-old is viewed as a long-term successor to Joao Cancelo, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich.

- Tuttomercatoweb reports that Bayer Leverkusen will compete with Juventus to sign Alex Grimaldo from Benfica. The Bianconeri want the left-back as a replacement for the departing Alex Sandro.

- Chelsea have joined the contenders to sign Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, writes Football.London. Raya's contract expires in 2024, with interest also from Tottenham and Manchester United too.

- West Ham United are circling for Brazil international striker Pedro, who plays for Flamengo, according to Fichajes.

- Former Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch is being considered for the vacant Southampton job following Nathan Jones' dismissal, claims The Athletic. Football Insider reports Southampton and Leeds both want Marcelo Gallardo, while the Mail adds that Saints are also interested in Torino boss Ivan Juric.

Reported Leeds United target Carlos Corberan has signed a contract extension as West Brom head coach after links to the Premier League club.

Spaniard Corberan was part of Leeds fan favourite Marcelo Bielsa's backroom staff amid the Argentine's spell at Elland Road.

Corberan subsequently took a head coach role at rivals Huddersfield Town, guiding them to the Championship play-off final in 2022 before resigning amid reported disagreements with the club's board.

Jesse Marsch's dismissal by Leeds on Monday created speculation the Whites would move to bring in Corberan, who has taken West Brom from second-bottom in the Championship to the play-off positions since his appointment in October.

Leeds majority owner Andrea Radrizzani told supporters on Tuesday a decision would soon arrive, posting on Twitter: "We are on it ….hopefully white smoke by tonight or [tomorrow] morning"

But West Brom swiftly dispelled talk of Corberan leaving, posting a teasing clip from British television series Happy Valley that said: "Why's everyone saying you are going to Leeds when you're not?"

"I have enjoyed my time at Albion, and I am pleased to have secured a contract extension," Corberan told the club's official website upon confirmation of his new deal until June 2027.

"I believe that success can only be achieved when everyone works together and the way I have been made to feel welcome at this great club has made me confident that this is the right place for me.

"It is important to me that we do not let this moment distract us from our target, which is to ensure we improve every day, making the team more and more competitive for the challenges ahead.

"My focus is always on earning a positive result in our next game and we are working hard to achieve that at Birmingham City on Friday night."

Feyenoord manager Arne Slot and Rayo Vallecano Andoni Iraola are among the reported favourites for the Leeds head coach vacancy.

Erik ten Hag feels bringing back the fear factor for teams coming to Old Trafford is key to restoring Manchester United to their former glories.

Ten Hag's men have rattled off 13 straight victories in home matches, helping United to third in the Premier League while also securing their place in the EFL Cup final and the fifth round of the FA Cup.

United will look to make it 14 consecutive victories at Old Trafford when they host rivals Leeds United on Wednesday, looking to capitalise on Arsenal and Manchester City both losing over the weekend.

Ten Hag was asked about the importance of getting teams to dread facing United in their own backyard, to which he replied: "It was one of our aims this season to get that back.

"It's part of the process to restore Manchester United. It's great to have the connection with Old Trafford."

Despite United's impressive home form, Ten Hag wants his team to play with the same confidence and freedom on the road, having won just five of their 11 league games away from Old Trafford this season.

"I think home form is good," he added. "The next step is to have that same personality away as we do at home.

"When we play away we have a lot of fans following us and we can do the same away. Pitches are the same size and it is still 11 against 11. 

"We can grow, we still have steps to make but happy with that as well."

The Red Devils will fancy their chances of picking up another three points against Leeds, who sacked head coach Jesse Marsch on Tuesday with the team winless in seven league games and only outside the relegation zone on goal difference.

Ten Hag acknowledged how important the rivalry was for the two sets of supporters, while also expressing his sympathy for Marsch following the American's dismissal.

"It's the match of the roses," Ten Hag said. "It's definitely a big game in this part of England and a big game for us.

"We have City, we have Liverpool, but as well for our fans this game means so much. Our players are aware of that and will know what to do.

"It's always sad if a manager gets sacked. In general, I don't believe it that you sack a manager and get better results.

"Most of the time it doesn't work. But the pressure is high with decision-makers at football and they turn, but if you see the facts, most of the time it doesn't work out well."

Ten Hag will be without a number of key players for Wednesday, with Scott McTominay, Antony and Anthony Martial all absent with injury while Casemiro will serve the first game of his three-match suspension for grabbing the throat of Will Hughes in the 2-1 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday.

But Ten Hag is expecting victory and says he will not accept any excuses should they not achieve that, adding: "I always have to play with the players who are available and we have a squad.

"We have many good players in our squad who are not playing in the starting XI. 

"After a game, I can't say, 'Casemiro is not there, Anthony Martial is not there'. We have to win. United are capable and we have to win the games no matter who is on the pitch."

At the end of February 2022, Leeds United bosses had seen enough.

"This has been the toughest decision I have had to make," said chairman Andrea Radrizzani at the time.

Leeds had taken just one point from six games, leaving them only two points above the relegation zone. A 4-0 home defeat by Tottenham was the final straw for Marcelo Bielsa, who was dismissed on February 27. 

At the beginning of February 2023, Leeds United bosses had again seen enough as they parted company with Bielsa's successor Jesse Marsch.

Leeds have taken just three points from their past seven games, leaving them level on points with Everton in the final relegation spot, albeit having played a game fewer than the three teams below them.

Unlike Bielsa, who ended the club's long wait to get back into the Premier League and then guided them to a ninth-placed finish in their first season back, Marsch never truly won over the fanbase.

Whereas Bielsa had murals dedicated to him all over west Yorkshire throughout his time in change, with his exit doing little to impact the esteem he's held in around Leeds, Marsch's year in charge will likely soon be a distant memory.

Indeed, the 95-word statement put out by the club on Monday confirming his departure – with no comment from Radrizzani or his peers – was as brutal as it was damning.

And so Leeds are now on the lookout for a new man to keep them in the division, with Carlos Corberan – who has impressed in his four months at West Brom – the early frontrunner to take charge.

Bielsa is also reportedly among the contenders to succeed the man who succeeded him, while Mauricio Pochettino, Ange Postecoglou and Ralph Hasenhuttl have been touted as other options.

New manager bounce?

Pulling the plug on Marsch's tenure was a big call by Leeds chiefs, coming in the same week they face Manchester United in back-to-back Premier League games.

It will be only the second time in the competition's history that the same two teams have met in successive games, following Arsenal's 2-0 and 4-2 wins over Bolton Wanderers in January 2010.

Leeds are in a race against time to bring a new man in before the first of those games at Old Trafford on Wednesday, although they then have a further four days ahead of welcoming their fierce rivals back to Elland Road.

As it stands, Marsch's assistant Chris Armas, who previously worked as Ralf Rangnick's right-hand man at Old Trafford last season, is expected to oversee the midweek match in Manchester.

A new manager bounce would come in handy for at least one of those games. In the view of many Leeds fans, simply having anyone other than Marsch in the dugout will boost their chances of getting a result.

Whether it be a caretaker or a permanent head coach, though, history suggests bringing in someone new ahead of playing United very rarely pays off.

Of the 16 previous occasions a manager or caretaker has taken charge of his first Premier League match against United, the Red Devils have won 12 times, drawn once and lost only three times.

However, the most recent such instance was just three months ago when Unai Emery inspired Aston Villa to a 3-1 home win against Erik ten Hag's side, ending United's nine-match winning run in such encounters.

Emery joins an elite list that also includes Alan Curbishley and a certain Jose Mourinho, who masterminded wins over United in their first Premier League games in charge of West Ham and Chelsea respectively.

Little joy for Leeds

Perhaps a more telling statistic, though, is the one that highlights just how badly Leeds have performed in this fixture down the years, regardless of who has been at the helm.

Leeds have won only one of their past 17 Premier League games against the team from across the Pennines, with that a 1-0 victory in September 2002.

That winless run goes back even further when only accounting for top-flight matches played at Old Trafford, where they were last victorious in February 1981. 

Returning to the elite after 16 years away has done little to change the one-sided nature of this fixture, with Leeds losing three of their four meetings over the past two campaigns and drawing the other.

The 15 goals they have conceded against United in 6-2 5-1 and 4-2 defeats are second only to the 16 shipped against Manchester City over that same period.

Furthermore, since the start of last season, Leeds have taken just one point from their eight games against sides starting the day in the top three.

Marsch or not, this was always going to be a match in which the odds were stacked massively against Leeds, particularly with their opponents on a 13-game winning streak at Old Trafford in all competitions.

That is the Red Devils' best run since a record 20 wins in a row between December 2010 and September 2011.

Plenty to play for

Ending that barren run will go a long way to boosting Leeds' survival hopes, although ultimately whoever comes in will have 16 matches after this week's unique double-header to steer the Whites to safety.

Without a win in seven Premier League games, with that the longest ongoing run of any side, it hardly came as a big surprise to see Marsch given his marching orders on the back of 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest.

The American departs with a Premier League win percentage of 25 across his 32 matches, which is the second-lowest of any Leeds boss in the division after Eddie Gray (24 per cent).

Another new era now beckons at Elland Road, and whoever it is that replaces Marsch will have their work cut out in the short term keeping Leeds above the dotted line.

Whether that can be achieved remains to be seen. But if we have learned anything about Leeds throughout the Premier League era, it is that it will certainly make for entertaining viewing either way.

Leeds United have sacked head coach Jesse Marsch after less than a year in charge.

The American was hired at the end of February 2022 following the dismissal of Marcelo Bielsa but suffered the same fate less than a year later.

Marsch steered Leeds to Premier League survival last season, after Bielsa was shown the door with the Whites only two points above the bottom three.

It was hardly an emphatic end to the season, however, with Leeds' 2-1 win over Brentford on the last day of the campaign ensuring their safety in 17th place.

Leeds lost key players Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips in pre-season, but those departures contributed to Marsch being able to invest heavily in the squad.

Including the January additions of Maximilian Wober, Georginio Rutter and Weston McKennie, who arrived on loan last week, the West Yorkshire club are reported to have spent £129million this season.

Many of those to arrive were known to Marsch, who had previously worked with three Red Bull franchises: RB Leipzig, Salzburg and New York Red Bulls.

Four of their signings this term came from those teams, highlighting how Marsch was entrusted to build a squad in his image.

But he leaves the club having not overseen a Premier League win since before the World Cup, with the 4-3 defeat of Bournemouth on November 5 their last victory.

Since then they have failed to win seven successive matches, though even that is not their worst winless run of the campaign – after beating Chelsea 3-0, they managed just two points from eight games.

The final straw came in Sunday's 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest, when a section of Leeds fans could be heard chanting for Marsch to leave.

The loss left them only out of the relegation zone on goal difference, though Everton – level with them on 18 points – have a game in hand.

Marsch's coaching staff have also been dismissed, with the process of appointing a new head coach already under way.

The Leeds hierarchy took action ahead of a Premier League double-header with bitter rivals Manchester United.

Leeds United have signed Max Wober for an undisclosed fee, the third player the Premier League club have acquired from Salzburg in the last two transfer windows.

Head coach Jesse Marsch, who was in charge of Salzburg between 2019 and 2021, brought in Brenden Aaronson and Rasmus Kristensen at the end of last season, and has gone back to the Austrian club for his first signing of the January transfer window.

Wober spent three and a half years at Salzburg, making 125 appearances and scoring nine goals as he picked up three league and cup doubles.

The 24-year-old has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at Elland Road and could make his debut in Sunday's FA Cup third-round clash with Cardiff City.

Wober, who can play at left-back or centre-back, has 13 caps for Austria and had spells with Rapid Vienna, Ajax and Sevilla before Marsch signed him for Salzburg in 2019.

Leeds host West Ham in the Premier League on Wednesday.

Wober told Salzburg's website: "It was not an easy decision, but I have decided to leave Salzburg.

"The last three and a half years in this city and at this club really influenced me as a player and a person. The numerous highlights, which I have gained both on and off the pitch, will be remembered by me for as long as I live.

"If I think back to our first season in the Champions League, our very first match in the competition against Genk or our comeback against Liverpool, then it still gives me goosebumps. Thank you for all these moments we have enjoyed together. I have grown to love Salzburg and see it as a second home."

Jesse Marsch lamented the way the absence of a Premier League salary cap limits Leeds United's ambitions ahead of their trip to top-four contenders Newcastle United.

Leeds sit just two points clear of the relegation zone after Wednesday's 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, while their next opponents are third after enjoying an 11-match unbeaten run (W8 D3).

Newcastle have been rejuvenated since a 2021 takeover led by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, staving off the threat of relegation last season following the January arrivals of Bruno Guimaraes, Kieran Tripper and others.

The Magpies then broke their transfer record with a £60million (€71.1m) move for Alexander Isak in August, while Leeds turned a profit in the last transfer window after selling Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips.

Marsch – who spent his entire playing career with Major League Soccer teams, who adhere to a strict salary cap – discussed Leeds' financial disadvantage ahead of Saturday's game. 

"We all know in this world of football it's something that's different from American sports," Marsch said at Friday's pre-match press conference.

"We [in the United States] have salary caps and everyone has a chance when the season starts. I'm sorry, but the way European football works, that's just not the case.

"I would love to say we want to win every match and we are in a position to do that. But we know in the reality of who we are right now, that is not realistic.

"I know we are tasked in this league to compete with teams such as Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, but our true competitors are the mid-table, bottom-of-the-table teams.

"That's the reality and there's a bunch of us in this same category. It's not just about money, but certainly it's a factor."

While Marsch was keen to credit the fine work done by Eddie Howe at St James' Park, he acknowledged Leeds are forced to conduct their business in a different way.

"I don't want to slight Newcastle at all, financially," Marsch said. "They have done a great job regardless, and it [money] can make things easier, but that's not the only job.

"Take Chelsea 25 years ago, take Newcastle now, take Man City 15 years ago. It's a difference-maker for every phase of what you are doing as a club; manager, players, everything.

"But we like us. We like who we are, we like our identity, we like the mentality that we have created. We are going to keep building in our own way."

Jesse Marsch credited his former Salzburg striker Erling Haaland's "infectious" hunger for goals after the Manchester City talisman tormented Leeds United at Elland Road.

Haaland made his first Premier League trip to his city of birth a memorable one by claiming a second-half brace after Rodri struck first for the champions, who moved within five points of leaders Arsenal with a 3-1 win.

The 22-year-old has now hit 20 Premier League goals in just 14 appearances – seven fewer than the player who was previously quickest to that mark, former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips.

Having coached Haaland for half a season in Austria, Marsch is acutely aware of the Norwegian's talents and has never seen a player with a greater desire to score goals.

"Haaland has an uncanny ability to know where to be to score goals, and a hunger to score goals like I have never seen before," Marsch told Amazon Prime Video.

"When you have him in your team, it's infectious. You obviously see his quality, but it is a desire that spreads through the team."

Asked whether that hunger made Pep Guardiola's men title favourites, Marsch said: "I don't know, but it makes Haaland one of my favourite players to watch."

Haaland passed up two excellent opportunities to open the scoring before finally punishing Leeds, drawing two one-on-one saves from Illan Meslier before the break.

The striker told Amazon Prime Video he was disappointed not to have scored five times, quotes which were put to Guardiola after the game.

"I'm so upset, I'm so upset," Guardiola joked. "We are delighted with how humble and how grounded he is.

"He's an exceptional guy with his work ethic and professionalism. It's a great treat to our opponents, having him there.

"Wasted opportunities are part of the game. In this stadium, against a team who have been able to play really well against top teams like Arsenal and Liverpool, it's a big compliment for the guys in their first Premier League game after the World Cup."

Haaland has now scored 26 goals in just 20 competitive appearances for City, making him the fastest player to reach 25 goals while playing under Guardiola during the coach's top-flight career.

World Cup winner Lionel Messi was the previous holder of that record, taking eight games more to reach that tally while playing in Guardiola's all-conquering Barcelona team.

Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch believes Kalvin Phillips is missing being at Elland Road after making a slow start to his Manchester City career.

Phillips has made just four substitute appearances for City, totalling 54 minutes on the field, since joining from boyhood club Leeds in a reported £42million deal in July.

The 27-year-old has had a number of injury issues, though he recovered from shoulder surgery in time to be part of England's squad for the World Cup in Qatar.

However, just when he appeared ready to make his mark at City, boss Pep Guardiola overlooked Phillips for selection against Liverpool last week for being "overweight".

As Phillips' new team prepare to travel to his old one in the Premier League on Wednesday, Marsch acknowledged both Leeds and Phillips are still adapting five months on.

"We still miss Kalvin," Marsch told reporters. "He came to one of our matches, Fulham, and you could see he felt the pain of losing that match with us after the match.

"He missed being here. Of course he misses being here – he misses the guys, he's got a lot of great friends here, this club is in his heart. 

"Kalvin was such a good player, but for me he was a really likeable, heart-warming person to have around the team.

"He got along with everybody here, with the older players, as well was the younger players, with me as well as the academy coaches.

"The hardest part of replacing Kalvin was making sure that we still had the feeling of what Leeds United is, what it means to be from Leeds, what the history of the club means."

Phillips joined Leeds at the age of 14 and progressed through the academy, before going on to make 234 appearances for the first team, along with his first 23 England caps.

Should the midfielder feature at Elland Road on Wednesday, Marsch expects him to handle the occasion well and potentially use it as a turning point in his City career.

"It felt like he belonged here, that this was his home," Marsch said. "I'm sure that even when he made the decision to leave that was a big part of the difficulty. 

"Coming back, I think he will revisit those emotions and I think it will bring the best out of him. That's the kind of person he is."

Jesse Marsch revealed a joke with his former Salzburg striker Erling Haaland ahead of Manchester City's visit to Leeds United on Wednesday.

Haaland – who spent half a season under Marsch before joining Borussia Dortmund in 2020 – has scored 18 Premier League goals this season, six more than his closest rival Harry Kane.

The Norway international was born in Leeds, where his father Alfie Haaland spent three years as a player before himself joining City in 2000.

Haaland was perhaps the most high-profile player not to feature at the recent World Cup in Qatar, and Marsch is concerned about what that could mean for Leeds when they resume their Premier League campaign against the champions.

Asked if he had been in contact with Haaland ahead of the game, Leeds boss Marsch said: "He texted me as soon as the schedule came out. 

"He said he's most excited for this, and I gave him permission to have a small hamstring injury for that match!

"He was born in Leeds, his father has history here, and he has the club in his heart because of that. 

"We have talked about it. When I got the job, he and his father were supportive. We'll expect him to be fully ready, and that causes issues for us."

Leeds lost their two Premier League meetings with City by an aggregate score of 11-0 last season, and they have not won any of their last seven home games against reigning top-flight champions.

While City boss Pep Guardiola is waiting for several players to return, Marsch would have preferred to see more of their key men remain involved in the World Cup until the latter stages.

Kevin De Bruyne's Belgium and Ilkay Gundogan's Germany did not make it out of the group stage, while Spain exited in the last 16 and England, Portugal and Brazil in the quarter-finals. Argentina forward Julian Alvarez was the only City star involved from the semi-finals onwards.

"Right now, it is Man City we are focused on. I would have hoped their players would have gone deeper in the World Cup, but it is so competitive," Marsch said.

"They have a great squad and the best manager in the world. We are not afraid of the biggest opponents. 

"We've proven we can compete and get points, but we need a good plan and execution to do that, and we know that."

Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch said he felt "like someone has ripped my heart out" after watching his side implode in Saturday's 4-3 loss at Tottenham.

The visitors took the lead three times in north London and were ahead with nine minutes of normal time remaining, only for Rodrigo Bentancur to score a late double.

Leeds have shipped 26 goals in 14 Premier League games this season at a rate of 1.86 per 90 minutes – only Nottingham Forest (2) and Bournemouth (2.13) have fared worse.

Marsch, who had seen the pressure on him ease following back-to-back league wins prior to the Spurs loss, admits it has been a familiar theme for his side this campaign.

"I'm gutted, I feel like someone has ripped my heart out," he told BBC Sport. "I thought we had control of the match but then we let it slip.

"There's obviously positives in there because in our good moments we look like we have quality, but in our bad, we still look vulnerable and naive.

"We get leads and then we give it away immediately because we don't stick to our principles. If we can then we can be a good team.

"Mentally, the guys have invested so much, there's been ups and downs. We need to gather ourselves, have a break and then come back and keep pushing.

"A little bit of everything needs strengthening, we need to learn to manage the game as a group at all moments."

Crysencio Summerville and Rodrigo both scored for a fourth straight game for Leeds, with the latter netting twice following Harry Kane and Ben Davies equalisers.

But Argentina midfielder Bentancur scored in the 81st and 83rd minutes – his first brace in Europe's top five leagues on his 164th such outing – as Spurs returned to winning ways.

Tottenham have trailed in 14 of their 22 games in all competitions this term, including the past eight in a row, but Antonio Conte was delighted with his side's fighting spirit.

"I think this game made many people very happy," he said at his post-match news conference. "If you're in the stadium you've seen a 4-3 score, with attractive football. 

"In a lot of games we were losing and then we came back. I think we showed great character, desire and great will not to give up, to believe in the win.

"I try every day to transfer this concept. We need to fight and never give up. Never give up is our mantra. This is the positive side.

"The negative side is that we conceded three goals, which is never good. A team that wants to be competitive, to concede three goals is never positive."

Saturday's thrilling victory was Tottenham's 13th game since the beginning of October and their last until Boxing Day, with domestic top-flight football now pausing for the World Cup.

"If you want to reach a good result, you want to show stability," Conte added. "The last period was really tough for everybody, all the clubs, to play 13 games in 43 days is tough.

"It was impossible to work on the pitch on the tactical aspect. For sure, when you don't work on that you are going to lose something defensively."

Spurs have now scored 31 goals in 15 games in the Premier League this term – they have only bettered that tally at this stage of a season on one occasion, with 35 in 2009-10.

England international Kane has been responsible for 12 of those, making this his joint-best start to a campaign at this stage since the 2017-18 season.

"Harry has played a really important role in this period," Conte said. "If we finished this period in the top four and qualified for the top four, I think we have to praise Harry a lot.

"I think Harry honestly deserves great praise because he is always an important player, but in this period there was a lot of weight on his shoulders and he played in a great way. 

"He's arriving at the World Cup with lots of enthusiasm, in a great physical condition and mentally stronger. He's ready. I can see in his eyes he's ready to be the protagonist." 

Liverpool fans will say their team is like a box of chocolates at the moment in that you never know what you're going to get, and also they can be hazardous to your health.

A wobbly start to the campaign looked to have got back on track after wins against Manchester City and West Ham, only for an insipid defeat at Nottingham Forest last week to send Jurgen Klopp's men back into crisis.

A 3-0 win at Ajax on Wednesday to secure their place in the last 16 of the Champions League should boost confidence again, but it is still anyone's guess as to which version of the Reds will turn up when they host Leeds United on Saturday.

Jesse Marsch heads to Anfield under serious pressure himself, with Leeds having not won in eight Premier League games (D2, L6) since beating Chelsea 3-0 at Elland Road in August.

Stats Perform has taken a look behind the numbers heading into this clash to try and get to the bottom of what can be expected.

Home comforts can calm Reds nerves

They may have not had the best start to the campaign domestically, having not won any of their five Premier League away games (D2 L3), but Liverpool remain a force to be reckoned with at Anfield.

Klopp's side are unbeaten 29 league home games (W22 D7), scoring 73 goals and conceding just 16 in that run.

It has not all been plain sailing, having fallen behind in five of their previous six at Anfield prior to back-to-back 1-0 wins against City and West Ham, but more often than not they get the job done.

Virgil van Dijk is still yet to suffer a Premier League defeat in his home stadium since his move from Southampton in January 2018 (70 games – W59 D11).

You've lost that winning feeling

When Leeds were celebrating a well-earned victory against Chelsea on August 21, few would have thought they would not have experienced another by late October.

As mentioned, the Whites are winless in their last eight league games, which is the longest current run of any team in the Premier League.

Leeds have also lost each of their past four away games, last losing five in a row on the road in the top flight between January and March 2003 – the fifth game of which was at Liverpool, where they were beaten 3-1.

They will also be missing several players through injury, with Rodrigo Moreno's likely absence a blow as the Spaniard has scored five goals in 10 Premier League games this season, just one fewer than he netted in 31 appearances last season, and just two less than he managed in his best scoring season in the competition in 2020-21 (seven in 26 games).

Mo Salah, fewer problems

Mohamed Salah has been the subject of much debate this season, seemingly not hitting his usual heights.

Last season's joint-top scorer in the Premier League seemingly enjoys facing Leeds, though, having been involved in six goals in two home appearances against them (five goals, one assist).

Salah has 10 goals in 17 games in all competitions, and is coming off another fine finish to open the scoring in Liverpool's victory in Amsterdam on Wednesday.

The Egypt forward has also created more chances from open play than any other player in the Premier League this season (28). He is creating 2.6 chances per 90 minutes on average this season, his best rate in a single campaign in the competition.

No more bottom feeding

While they have dropped some sloppy points this season, Liverpool could at least take some comfort in the fact their only Premier League defeats had been against fellow big fish Manchester United and Arsenal.

That was until last week when they handed three points to bottom club Forest, and they will be looking to avoid a similar story this time around.

Liverpool have not lost consecutive Premier League games against sides in the relegation zone since March 2012, when a defeat at QPR was followed by a home loss to Wigan Athletic.

They have already lost more league games this season (three) than they did in the whole of 2021-22 (two), while their 16 points from 11 games is their worst return at this stage of a campaign since 2014-15 (14).

Leeds might smell blood, or arguably more likely, face the wrath of a wounded beast.

North London giants Tottenham and Arsenal endured frustrating outings as the Premier League saw more twists and turns on an action-packed Sunday.

Spurs' Champions League hopes suffered a blow as they were edged out by Newcastle United in the day's headline clash, with goals from Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron helping the visitors to a 2-1 win.

That result saw Eddie Howe's side climb into the top four, and there was another surprise at the summit as leaders Arsenal were pegged back by Southampton in a 1-1 draw.

At the bottom of the table, meanwhile, Fulham increased the pressure on Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch and Leicester City leapfrogged Wolves by trouncing them 4-0 at Molineux.

Here, Stats Perform picks through the most interesting facts to emerge from Sunday's action.  

Tottenham 1-2 Newcastle United: Magnificent Magpies go fourth

Tottenham approached Sunday's match having won eight consecutive league games on home soil, but Newcastle seized the initiative with an outstanding first-half display to end that run and move within two points of Antonio Conte's team.

Hugo Lloris' bizarre error allowed Wilson to put Newcastle ahead, with the France captain hitting the deck as the striker lobbed into an unguarded net from range.

Wilson's goal was his first in the Premier League from outside the penalty area since January 2019 (for Bournemouth v West Ham), and just the second of his 65 goals in the competition to come from more than 18 yards out.

Newcastle were two goals ahead within 10 minutes of that strike, with Almiron scoring his fifth goal in his last five Premier League outings – as many as he had netted in his previous 61. 

While Harry Kane pulled one back after the break, Newcastle held on to ensure they went fourth after 12 games of the season – this is the latest point at which they have occupied such a lofty position since April 2012, when they sat fourth after 35 matches of the campaign.

Southampton 1-1 Arsenal: Armstrong denies Gunners four-point lead

Arsenal went to St Mary's looking to re-establish a four-point lead over Manchester City at the summit, but saw their run of 27 Premier League games without a draw halted as they slipped up.

Granit Xhaka converted Ben White's cross to put Arsenal ahead – with four goals this season in all competitions, Xhaka is enjoying his joint-best goalscoring campaign with the Gunners, and he has scored in back-to-back games for the club for just the second time (also in September 2016).

However, Stuart Armstrong replied with his first goal in 21 league games as the Saints fought back – each of his last seven Premier League goals have now come at St Mary's.

Arsenal were unable to find a late winner, meaning they dropped points after opening the scoring in a Premier League game for the first time since New Year's Day (1-2 v City), ending their run of 18 straight wins when scoring first.

Wolves 0-4 Leicester City: Lethal Foxes leapfrog sorry hosts

At Molineux, Wolves' nightmare campaign continued as a clinical Leicester side ran out 4-0 winners despite recording just five shots to their hosts' 21.

Wolves have now lost five of their last six Premier League games, failing to score four times during that run, and are enduring their worst ever goalscoring start to a season in the competition with just five goals in 12 games. 

Leicester took the lead through an incredible effort from Youri Tielemans, who picked out the top-left corner to score the Foxes' seventh goal from outside the penalty area this season – the most of any side in the Premier League.

Harvey Barnes, Jamie Vardy and James Maddison then added some gloss to the scoreline, with the latter doing his hopes of an England call-up no harm with another fine display.

Maddison has amassed 28 goal contributions in the Premier League since the start of last season, a tally only bettered by Kane (37) among English players.

Leeds United 2-3 Fulham: Pressure builds on Marsch as Willian shines

Leeds joined Wolves in the bottom three after Fulham dealt them a fourth consecutive Premier League defeat at Elland Road, piling more pressure on beleaguered boss Marsch. 

Leeds have collected nine points from their 11 games this season, their fewest at this stage of a campaign since 2003-04 (eight), when they went on to be relegated from the Premier League. 

Meanwhile, Fulham have posted back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since April 2019 under Scott Parker (a run of three), having failed to win consecutive matches at any point in their last top-flight season (in 2020-21).

Willian's 84th-minute strike ultimately proved decisive for Marco Silva's men, on the day the former Chelsea and Arsenal winger made his 264th Premier League appearance.

Among Brazilian players, only Manchester City great Fernandinho has appeared as often in the competition. 

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