Arsenal and Manchester United are unlikely to ever revisit the conflict-ridden "pizzagate" days due to the nature of modern football, says Mikel Arteta.

United travel to Emirates Stadium on Saturday aiming to recover form a shock loss to bottom club Sheffield United that dealt a blow to their Premier League title ambitions.

Either side of the turn of the century, Arsenal and United were typically the top two clubs in England and that battle for supremacy led to some feisty affairs.

From Roy Keane threatening Patrick Vieira pre-match in the Highbury tunnel to Cesc Fabregas hurling a slice of pizza in Alex Ferguson's direction near the Old Trafford dressing rooms, it was a rivalry not confined to more traditional combat on the field.

Although he feels the competitive spirit remains, Arteta knows those urges must be channelled in different ways in the modern game.

"I think it has calmed down, not only with the Arsenal-Manchester United fixture but in general," he said when asked whether compatriot Fabregas had regaled him with tales of his unsavoury use of the savoury buffet.

"You see the way the derbies used to be played, and it’s not the same right now. The game is evolving. We are educating players in a different way as well.

"Things that were allowed before, now they are for sure not allowed, with VAR even less. I think it’s a different game to that time.

"You are more controlled and policed, so you know that you are not going to get away with certain things that you got used to before. It’s the way the game is evolving. It’s a natural thing."

Arsenal are on a run of five wins in six unbeaten Premier League games, a record their head coach is keen for them to extend in a fixture that still captures the imagination.

"You need that passion to defend your position and to show how much you want to win. I think that’s part of a winning mentality in a team, that’s for sure," he said.

"Before there were those two teams that were the candidates to win the league, now there are six or seven teams every season that are capable of doing that.

"That’s where the league has gone, and that’s the difference from 10 years ago and now in this league."

Jesse Lingard has joined West Ham on loan from Manchester United for the rest of the season.

West Ham have reportedly agreed to cover Lingard's wages for the duration of his time at London Stadium and pay a £1.5million fee to United.

The 28-year-old was allowed to leave to find more regular first-team football, having only made three appearances under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.

Lingard played under Hammers boss David Moyes when he was in charge of the Red Devils and is looking forward to working with him again.

He told West Ham TV: "I'm excited. It's another new chapter in my life. Nothing is guaranteed but I've come here to work hard and help the team and bring my experience. 

"That's the main aim. I just want to enjoy my football and get back playing again and get my feet back on the pitch.

"There were lots of clubs involved but, for me personally, I felt this was the right move. I've obviously had a previous relationship with the manager as he was at Man U and I've played under him before, so he knows my qualities and what I can bring to the team.

"I know a couple of the players as well – I know Dec [Rice] very well from the England side – and I feel I can really settle in here quickly."

Moyes said of his new signing: "I've seen him play as a young boy, when he was still a wide player on the right, and I've seen him play off the left.

"He's played for England as a number 10, he's played for England as a number eight, and I actually think if we needed him as a false nine, he could do that as well.

"We're bringing in that versatility, I've wanted to try to get an energetic team at the moment and Jesse has been known for his work-rate and effort, so I think he'll fit in nicely with what we've got.

"I hope he brings us a little bit of quality too, and a winning mentality from Manchester United."

Lingard's best season came in 2017-18, when he had a hand in 19 goals (13 scored, six assisted) in all competitions for United – it was one more goal involvement than he had managed in his two prior campaigns for the club combined.

Anthony Martial (20), Marcus Rashford (21) and Romelu Lukaku (36) were the only two United players to play a role in more goals that season, while his first senior England strike arrived in March 2018.

Things quickly went downhill, though. After an assist in a 3-1 win at home to Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day in 2018, Lingard did not register another Premier League goal involvement for United until scoring against Leicester City on the final day of last season. It ended an incredible run of over 28 hours on the pitch with a goal or assist in the top flight.

Lingard also experienced the longest drought of his club career in 2019, with 307 days separating goals against Arsenal in the FA Cup in January and versus Astana in the Europa League in November.

The arrival of Lingard comes after the high-flying Hammers completed a permanent deal for attacking midfielder Said Benrahma.

Jesse Lingard has joined West Ham on loan from Manchester United for the rest of the season.

West Ham have reportedly agreed to cover Lingard's wages for the duration of his time at London Stadium and pay a £1.5million fee to United.

The 28-year-old was allowed to leave to find more regular first-team football, having only made three appearances under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.

"Please, Mr Matic, get out to the ball," said an anguished Rio Ferdinand as BT Sport replayed Oliver Burke's winning goal for Sheffield United at Old Trafford.

It came after a passage of lacklustre Manchester United play that Ferdinand insisted would not have been allowed in "yesteryear", in which players ambled back, stood stock still or pointed in vain before Burke fired in a shot via Axel Tuanzebe's knee.

He took his shot just in time – there was one Manchester United player sprinting back to challenge in a desperate attempt to lift his ailing side. No prizes for guessing who that was.

Bruno Fernandes will celebrate one year as a United player on Saturday. His transfer from Sporting CP for an initial fee of £47million in January 2020 came after a similar abject home defeat for United, on that occasion against Burnley.

That 2-0 loss was a shock only in historical terms given the 20-time champions of England were on a dismal run at the time, the latest setback making it four defeats in seven. Things were different on Wednesday, when Sheffield United ended their hosts' 13-match Premier League unbeaten streak and prevented the Red Devils from returning to the top of the table.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had reached the halfway stage of this campaign 12 points better off than in 2019-20, and 23 points closer to the leaders. There has been undeniable progress in the past 12 months, inspired by Fernandes. Across all competitions, he has been involved in 45 goals – more than any other player for a Premier League club. Only Harry Maguire (53) has made more competitive appearances for United than the Portuguese (52), but the former Sporting star has scored the most goals (28), assisted his team-mates the most often (17) and created the most goalscoring chances (136).

Fernandes has been a transformative signing, in the mould of Eric Cantona and Robin van Persie – but, crucially, without the trophies. When it comes to the league title, he has made United believe again. But as doubts return over his team's credentials, is belief alone enough?

IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR

Fernandes ended 2020 winning his fourth Premier League Player of the Month award, becoming the first to get that many in a calendar year. For that award, he has already matched the tallies of United greats Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo and is just one behind Wayne Rooney and Van Persie.

He's been directly involved in 33 goals in his first 34 appearances (19 goals, 14 assists), a figure bettered only by Andrew Cole (41) in the history of the Premier League – all this despite not being involved in a goal in any of his most recent four appearances in the competition.

From his debut on February 1, 2020 until January 28 this year, he has had the most direct goal involvements in the competition (33); only Kevin De Bruyne had more assists (15 > 14) and only Mohamed Salah more goals (20 > 19). In fact, the impact of the attacking midfielder has been so great that United have won more points in the Premier League than any other side since his arrival (72) – one ahead of rivals City (71).

Such were his talismanic efforts on the pitch during 2019-20, Fernandes was crowned the club's Player of the Year, becoming the second Portuguese player to win the award after Cristiano Ronaldo. Since its inception in 1987-88, no player has won the award having played as few games in a season as Fernandes' 22 in all competitions in 2019-20.

So integral has he been to Solskjaer's plans that he has missed just two games in 2020-21 – domestic cup wins over Brighton and Hove Albion, and Watford – and, when he was finally given a rest against Liverpool in the FA Cup last weekend, he promptly came off the bench to score the winning free-kick.

UNITED'S HEART AND SOUL

Beyond the goals and assists output, Fernandes, as the odd defensive sprint highlights, is a player who likes to be involved. Examine shot-ending sequence involvements in the Premier League from his debut to January 28 this year – that's a measure of how players contribute to the creation of shots in open play – and only De Bruyne (220) is above Fernandes (212).

For such sequences ending in goals, Fernandes is top of the pile on 33, five above anyone else. Similarly, if you look at multi chance involvements (the number of unique shot-ending sequences in open play, where the player in question created the chance and was involved in the build-up), Fernandes (21) is second only to Jack Grealish (24) – the heartbeat of an exciting Aston Villa.

Former United captain Bryan Robson sees someone else in Fernandes, telling Stats Perform: "After the first six games, I couldn't give him any bigger compliment than say he's the closest to Paul Scholes I've seen," he told Stats Perform. "The way he turns with his back to play, the vision he's got, the touch on the ball, the great goals he scores…

"Every time he gets on the ball, his first thought is to look forward and try and put somebody in. He's so quick on little one-twos in and around the last third. He's a bit like De Bruyne. He doesn't lazily pass it backwards; he's always looking to try and hurt the opposition.

"I like that he demands from his team-mates around. It's okay demanding, but if they can see the work and effort you are putting in, then you get a good response."

NOT JUST 'PENANDES'

Many Fernandes detractors will argue that his goal tally is inflated due to the propensity that United are awarded penalties.

He has scored nine times in the Premier League from the penalty spot since his debut, but he's still scored 10 league goals when excluding spot-kicks. He's posted a non-penalty expected goals/90 average of 0.24, which is just below that of De Bruyne (0.26) over that period. To put this simply, even if you take away penalties, he's getting in positions to score a goal every four games from open play – a decent return for a midfielder.

Fernandes has added a new dimension to United's attacking play and they have certainly found a player that can unpick opposition defences with the regularity that they have so often missed in recent years.

He has an expected assists total of 6.5 from open play since his Premier League debut – only Grealish (6.8) and De Bruyne (7.5) can boast a higher level of creative input for their teams since February 1, 2020.

In the 12 months before Fernandes' arrival at the club, United's best creative player from open play was Marcus Rashford with an open-play expected assists tally of 3.9 – nearly half that of Fernandes' total in his first year at the Red Devils.

After that shock defeat to bottom club Sheffield United, United find themselves a point off City with their rivals still having a game in hand. With their next four league games coming against tricky opposition all placed between fifth and 11th, this period could make or break their title challenge.

Fernandes has spent a year making United better, but Solskjaer's men still rely on him to lead by example to get results. He has dragged the Red Devils back into a title battle, but he cannot win it alone.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has declared that anybody who sends racist abuse to Manchester United players cannot call themselves fans of the club.

Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe were targeted after United's 2-1 home defeat to Sheffield United on Wednesday, receiving vile messages on Twitter and Instagram.

What was striking was that many of those directing the abuse professed to be United supporters.

United manager Solskjaer on Friday echoed the club's call for social media giants to step up efforts to clean up their platforms.

But he also addressed those sending the messages.

"It's just incredible that we have these scenes still, or this abuse, still in 2021," said Solskjaer.

"We've been campaigning for a long time now in the Premier League and, to be honest, I think it's working, but there are still some people that haven't got it.

"They hide behind social media, are anonymous and it's unacceptable. It's disgusting.

"They're not Man United fans anyway when this happens. We're standing behind every single one of our players."

Solskjaer was asked about how Tuanzebe, who is just 23 years old, was handling the jolt of being sent overtly racist messages, and said the defender was "fine".

"Obviously it's not nice," Solskjaer added. "He's a strong boy, a strong character; he's got good support from his family.

"We're his family in the club, his team-mates are his family. It's something we don't expect to see now, but you're not really surprised when it happens once in a while because, as we said, there are some people you feel sorry for. That's what you have to do for these individuals."

Captain Harry Maguire said on Thursday that the club "will not tolerate" such behaviour, while United labelled the offenders as "anonymous mindless idiots", calling on social media operators and regulators to clamp down.

Solskjaer, whose team play Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday, believes any avenues for sending abuse must be closed off if users are posting with a sense of impunity.

He said: "I think the social media platforms needs to be looked at. If you can create anonymous accounts, abuse people, of course it's not right.

"We'll work together with everyone to stop this nonsense."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Marcos Rojo is set to leave Manchester United, but Jesse Lingard could still have a future at the club despite nearing a loan move to West Ham. 

Argentina international Rojo has played for United since 2014, when he was brought in by Louis van Gaal, but has long been out of the first-team reckoning. 

The last time he managed to reach double figures for Premier League appearances in a single season was 2016-17, when he played 21 times in Jose Mourinho's first campaign in charge. 

But injuries and poor form saw that figure drop to nine in 2017-18 – he then featured just five times in 2018-19 and thrice last term before he was sent to former club Estudiantes on loan. 

His brief stint back in Argentina did not go to plan either as he made a solitary appearance due to injury, while he has not played for United in any competition since returning. 

A social media post from someone purporting to be his personal trainer earlier this week appeared to lift the lid on Rojo's next move, claiming he was set to start training with Boca Juniors. 

And Solskjaer confirmed the defender's exit is almost complete, with Lingard also on the way out. 

"It's likely that Jesse's loan deal with West Ham is going through," Solskjaer said on Friday.

"Likely that Marcos goes back to Argentina, a little bit of paperwork left to be done, I think. Sergio [Romero], I've not heard anything there apart from that he'll be with us for the rest of his contract." 

But while Rojo and Romero are due to leave permanently, there still appears to be a hint of hope for Lingard at Old Trafford. 

The attacking midfielder is a product of United's academy and featured prominently under Van Gaal, Mourinho and – initially – Solskjaer, but he is yet to make a single Premier League appearance for United in 2020-21. 

The England international has seemingly been the player impacted the most by Bruno Fernandes' arrival a year ago, but Solskjaer says there will be a place for him in the squad if he can get himself back on track with high-flying West Ham. 

"We want Jesse to come back here revitalised and having shown at West Ham how good a player he is," Solskjaer said. 

"Of course, he's just been unfortunate with a couple of issues, some periods he had to stay away from us with COVID and isolation and close contact. 

"The rest of the team has done well, we've had little to no injuries and he's not forced his way into the team, unfortunately. 

"I just want him to go there and enjoy himself, show how good a player he is, and come back and show he's a Man United player through and thorough."

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.

West Ham have exercised a purchase option on Said Benrahma early in order to free up space for the mooted loan signing of Jesse Lingard from Manchester United.

Reported issues with his medical in October led to Benrahma's initially agreed transfer being renegotiated to a season-long loan move that included "an agreement to make the transfer permanent".

It is claimed West Ham paid an initial £4million to take him on loan from Championship side Brentford, with the permanent deal set to cost the Hammers £21m, plus £5m in variables.

West Ham are said to have triggered the purchase early to create space for Lingard, who is reportedly on the verge of completing a loan switch from United.

Premier League clubs are restricted to two domestic loan players in their squad, vacancies that were filled by Benrahma and Craig Dawson.

West Ham are rumoured to be spending £1.5m on bringing Lingard in until the end of the season, as they look to boost their push for European football.

David Moyes' men are flying high in the Premier League, their 35 points from 20 games enough to put them fifth in the table, just two points behind defending champions Liverpool a place above them.

Winger Benrahma is perhaps still acclimatising to top-flight football, as he has only played 12 times in the Premier League and has just a couple of assists to his name.

His eight chances created is also relatively underwhelming for such an explosive player – that figure translates to 1.2 per 90 minutes, which is only high enough for seventh in the West Ham squad.

He is attempting (5.2) and completing (2.9) more dribbles than any other West Ham player, though in the long run they will be expecting greater attacking productivity considering his form with Brentford over the previous two seasons.

He was directly involved in 54 goals in all competitions (29 goals and 25 assists) for the Championship club, which was more than any other Brentford player in that time.

Also across the same period, no player in England's second tier could match his 50 goal involvements (27 goals and 23 assists) in the league.

And across the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, Benrahma created 188 goalscoring chances in the Championship – which was second only to Pablo Hernandez (204) – and his 233 successful dribbles was 32 more than any other player in the division.

Chelsea are reportedly interested in Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland and Bayern Munich defender David Alaba. 

Haaland and Alaba have been linked with moves, with the latter almost certain to leave Bayern when his contract expires at the end of the season. 

Chelsea spent big last year – but they are apparently eyeing the pair.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA INTERESTED IN HAALAND AND ALABA

Chelsea are interested in signing Dortmund star Haaland and Bayern defender Alaba ahead of 2021-22, according to Sky Sports.

Real Madrid have been strongly linked with the duo, while Alaba is said to be a target for several other European giants.

Thomas Tuchel has replaced Frank Lampard at the helm for Chelsea, who are eighth in the Premier League.

 

ROUND-UP

- Jesse Lingard could join West Ham. Sky Sports reports they have offered a £1.5million loan fee and to pay Lingard's wages for the rest of the season to land him on loan from Manchester United.

- Amid reports Lucas Torreira could leave Atletico Madrid, where he is on loan from Arsenal, to join Monaco, it seems that may not be the case. Fabrizio Romano reports Monaco are not negotiating for Torreira.

- Bayer Leverkusen are confident of completing a deal for Leicester City midfielder Demarai Gray, according to Sky Sports.

- Struggling for game time at Arsenal, Ainsley Maitland-Niles could make a move. The Athletic reports West Brom are looking at the 23-year-old for a potential loan deal.

Manchester United have called on social media giants to step up efforts to banish racist abuse from their platforms after Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe were targeted. 

The United players received racist messages on Twitter and Instagram after United's 2-1 home defeat to Sheffield United on Wednesday. 

Captain Harry Maguire said the club "will not tolerate" such behaviour. 

In a statement, United said: "Everyone at Manchester United is disgusted by the racial abuse received by players via social media after last night's game. 

"We utterly condemn it and it is encouraging to see other fans condemn this on social media also. 

"Manchester United has zero tolerance of any form of racism or discrimination and a long-standing commitment to campaigning against it through our All Red All Equal initiative. 

"Identifying these anonymous mindless idiots remains problematic. We urge social media platforms and regulatory authorities to strengthen measures to prevent this kind of behaviour."

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) revealed research in October that showed racist messages to players are disturbingly commonplace. 

Of the sample of Premier League players it looked at in its study, the PFA said 43 per cent experienced online "targeted and explicitly racist abuse". 

Speaking at the time about the findings of that research, Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling said social media operators must "show real leadership and take proper action in tackling online abuse". 

Sterling added: "The technology is there to make a difference, but I’m increasingly questioning if there is the will."

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."

Manchester United failed to regain top spot in the Premier League after suffering a shock 2-1 home defeat to Sheffield United on Wednesday.

Harry Maguire cancelled out an opening goal from Kean Bryan, but a deflected strike from substitute Oliver Burke secured just a second league win of the season for the Blades.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men needed to win to overtake Manchester City at the top but delivered a lifeless performance as they saw a 13-match unbeaten run in the top flight come to an end.

They managed only four shots on target despite having nearly 75 per cent of the possession as they failed to beat Sheffield United at home in a league game for the first time since August 1975.

Marcus Rashford, passed fit after a knee problem, pulled a shot wide from a good Aaron Wan-Bissaka cut-back as the home side controlled the early play.

But they found themselves behind from the first corner of the match, Bryan glancing the ball in off the post after beating David de Gea to John Fleck's delivery.

De Gea felt he had been pushed by Billy Sharp and home frustrations grew when Anthony Martial scored after Aaron Ramsdale dropped the ball, only for the goal to be disallowed harshly for a foul by Maguire.

Mason Greenwood scuffed a good chance wide from a Bruno Fernandes throughball, but it was another set-piece through which the scores were levelled, Maguire running onto Alex Telles' corner to head in the equaliser.

Edinson Cavani was introduced off the bench but it was Burke who proved the match-winner, his shot skidding off Axel Tuanzebe's knee and in off the crossbar after the home side had failed to clear.

 

What does it mean? Big boost for City in title race

City's thrashing of West Brom left Man United needing to respond in order to regain top spot from their local rivals.

Instead, they offered a largely dismal display in damp conditions, and City can now move four points clear at the top if they win their game in hand.

Sheffield United's second win of the season gives them some survival hope, although they are 10 points from safety.

Basham bosses the back

Chris Basham was the standout performer of a supremely well-organised Sheffield United defence.

He made four tackles, six clearances - tied for a game high - and nine possessional gains alongside veteran Phil Jagielka.

Red Devils pay for De Gea indecision

There was scarcely a single positive about Man United's display but the result ultimately came down to two De Gea moments.

Perhaps Sharp fouled him for the opener but he could still have done more to reach the cross, and it was his aimless kick that led to Burke's winner.

What's next?

Solskjaer's men face Arsenal away on Saturday, while Sheffield United have another daunting away game, this time at Manchester City.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.