Real Madrid have been likened to a cat with nine lives by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin after their dramatic run to the Champions League final.

The Spanish LaLiga winners came from 2-0 behind on aggregate with a stunning comeback against Paris Saint-Germain at the last-16 stage, then resisted a Chelsea fightback in the quarter-finals.

They topped those victories, however, with their recovery against Manchester City in the semi-finals, with Ceferin admitting he thought the Spanish giants' hopes were finally dead and buried.

An all-English final in Paris was looming when City led 5-3 on aggregate going into the 90th minute at the Santiago Bernabeu on May 4, only for a Rodrygo double and Benzema's penalty in extra time to sensationally turn the tie around.

The May 28 showpiece will now feature Madrid against Liverpool, both long-time titans of the competition, with Ceferin describing that match-up as "insanely interesting".

"Already in the semi-finals I doubted that Real could eliminate Manchester City," Ceferin said, "especially after the defeat in the first game."

City won 4-3 in Manchester and led 1-0 in Madrid through Riyad Mahrez's goal, before the late flurry from the hosts.

"They obviously have nine lives like cats," Ceferin said, in an interview with Slovenian news website 24ur.com.

The UEFA boss noted the experience in the Madrid ranks, yet he questioned the strength of Carlo Ancelotti's defence, describing it as "weak".

"But they have the miraculous Karim Benzema, for whom I have said many times that in my opinion he is one of the most underrated players in the history of football," Ceferin added.

"Luka Modric, the older he is, the better he is."

 

Benzema has scored a competition-high 15 goals for Madrid in the Champions League this season, in just 11 games. Those goals have come at a rate of one every 67.7 minutes. He is an obvious threat to Liverpool's hopes of winning a third cup competition this season, having already won the FA Cup and EFL Cup.

Ceferin believes both sides have their merits, with Madrid's experience punching against the relative youth of Liverpool.

"I wouldn't dare to predict the winner, as a rule I misjudge. It's impossible to predict," he said. "This will be an insanely interesting final."

Off the field, Ceferin says he has had no recent contact with Madrid senior officials, after the club were key players behind the failed push for a European Super League.

"The time will come when these things will be cleared up, but they will certainly not be on the pitch," Ceferin said.

Bukayo Saka says he could not believe how badly Arsenal played in a 2-0 defeat at Newcastle United that will surely cost them a Champions League place next season.

A win at St James' Park on Monday would have moved the Gunners back above fierce rivals Tottenham into fourth place heading into the final day of the Premier League season.

Mikel Arteta's side failed to rise to the occasion on Tyneside, though, as a Ben White own goal and a late Bruno Guimaraes strike left them shell-shocked.

Spurs will realistically only need a point against already relegated Norwich City on Sunday to qualify for the Champions League due to a far superior goal difference to Arsenal, who are host Everton on the last day of the campaign.

The Gunners only had one shot on target as Newcastle dominated and are seemingly destined for the Europa League again next season.

England winger Saka says they only have themselves to blame.

"Overall there is huge disappointment and frustration," he said. "I just can't believe how we performed.

"We lost all our duels. We lost all the second balls. We didn't play out well. Just overall disappointment in every aspect."

Saka says the loss was hard to take, but Arsenal must regroup before facing the relegation-threatened Toffees.

"I think it’s going to hurt a lot of us," Saka added.

"You know, all of us, the fans – all of our families. But come Sunday against Everton at the Emirates we're going to be there to win, and hopefully things go our way. That's all you can do from now.

"Technically it's not over, we can still do it, but we've missed out on two big opportunities to put ourselves in a good position. So it's just a shame."

Winning the Premier League is more difficult than lifting the Champions League, says Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, who could have a decisive say in the title race when his side host Liverpool.

Liverpool could cut Manchester City's lead at the Premier League summit to just a point by winning at Southampton on Tuesday, after Pep Guardiola's team were held to a 2-2 draw at West Ham on Sunday.

Victory over Southampton, who have won just one of their last 10 league games, would keep Jurgen Klopp's side in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple. A shock win for Southampton would hand the title to City.

Having already secured the EFL Cup and FA Cup, both on penalties against Chelsea in the final, Liverpool also have the Champions League final against Real Madrid on May 28 in Paris to contend with.

But Hasenhuttl, speaking at a pre-match news conference on Monday, labelled the Premier League as the most challenging of titles to win.

"We all know Jurgen and how strong he is and you can be sure that he doesn't give up the chance for winning the league, for sure," said Hasenhuttl.

"This is still the title that is the most countable for everybody because it's the hardest to get. For me it's even harder to be over 38 games in the Premier League consistently on the top than to win the Champions League sometimes.

"Even if he [Klopp] says it's tough for him to go for all four, I know he will do everything to win this game on Tuesday to give himself a chance on the last day."

Klopp has already suggested he does not envisage City dropping points at home to Aston Villa on the final day, but Liverpool first have to negotiate the hurdle presented by Southampton, who won this exact fixture 1-0 last season.

Southampton have also taken two points off City this campaign, with two stalemates in as many league games, but Hasenhuttl appreciates the sizeable task at hand when Liverpool visit.

"I think it is fantastic for the Premier League to have such a close title race," he added.

"Everybody is electrified from this battle and we are now part of this duel. We have done our job this season against Man City with two points. They lost four points against us in the title race.

"Against Liverpool, the first game we lost, so now it's up to us to show again that we can be competitive against a top team.

"For me, it's one of the most difficult games to prepare for because of the flexibility of the opponent and the unbelievable offensive qualities they have."

Southampton have taken home points against Manchester United and Tottenham as well as City this season, but have lost eight of their last nine league meetings with Liverpool.

Hasenhuttl was quick to add that Klopp's side may pose the toughest task yet for his side, who sit 15th in the Premier League.

"This is maybe the most difficult one at home," he continued.

"We have shown against the top teams that we can achieve something very big – and this is what we will need on Tuesday evening. They [the players] know what team we are facing, they know how tough it is, they know on what run of form they are.

"It's our Champions League final, if you want. And we are going for this with everything we have and the team that is on the pitch is the team that will do everything to make them [the fans] proud."

Christian Eriksen declared he would "love to play Champions League football again" amid speculation of returning to Tottenham or joining Manchester United.

Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest when playing for Denmark last June at Euro 2020 against Finland and was brought back to life on the pitch.

The 30-year-old was then unable to play for Inter, as medical rulings in Italy prevent players from featuring after having a cardioverter-defibrillator fitted.

The midfielder subsequently joined Brentford on a six-month contract in January and has starred on his Premier League return, scoring once and assisting four in 10 league games.

Eriksen has also created 26 chances in the league since his Brentford debut at the end of February, with only Son Heung-min (27), Martin Odegaard (30) and Kevin De Bruyne (37) making more in that period.

However, Eriksen's short-term contract will expire soon after Brentford host relegation-threatened Leeds United on Sunday, leading to questions over his future.

Brentford manager Thomas Frank has made it clear he wants his compatriot to stay, while reports in England suggest a return to Spurs or a move north to United.

Meanwhile, Eriksen has hinted that he wants to play in Europe's premier club competition again, which may bolster Tottenham's bid should Antonio Conte's side edge past Arsenal in the top-four race.

"I do not think that there are some football players who can just pick and choose between clubs, because there are many criteria that come into play," Eriksen told Viaplay.

"There are also many clubs that need to see one's path before that happens.

"I have different offers and options, which we are considering, and then we make a decision.

"I would love to play Champions League football again. I know how much fun it is, but it isn't essential for me."

Eriksen's mid-season boost has ensured Brentford have already secured their Premier League status for next season, while Spurs will head into the final matchday a point behind Arsenal should the Gunners beat Newcastle United on Monday.

Antonio Conte suggested Tottenham should be proud they are even in contention for a top-four finish heading into the final game of the season after beating Burnley 1-0 on Sunday.

Harry Kane's first-half penalty ultimately proved decisive as Spurs went fourth at least until Monday, when Arsenal go to Newcastle United.

It was by no means a vintage performance from Spurs, who came under pressure from the visitors in the second half, but the victory at least means they head into the final day of the season with a chance of clinching the last Champions League spot.

When Conte replaced Nuno Espirito Santo as coach in November, Spurs were five points behind the top four – while not necessarily an alarming gap in itself, Tottenham appeared to be in freefall at the time after losing five of their previous seven league games.

Spurs have only lost six top-flight matches since then, with Conte credited with inspiring a significant improvement across the pitch.

And given the position and form they were in back in November, Conte felt he had to commend his Spurs players for hauling themselves back into contention.

"I think first of all we had to do our task and to win and get three points and put some pressure on Arsenal," he told reporters.

"We know very well it is not easy to play against Newcastle and especially when they arrive with the new manager and in a good spell and not an easy game, but it will be the same for us in Norwich [in the final game of the season], and the last game against Everton for Arsenal.

"For sure I will watch the game because I love football and I want to watch and I want also to suffer.

"But I think it is a big achievement for the last game to have the possibility to take a place into the Champions League, because I don't forget our path since November and we will see what happens.

"I also think Arsenal did a really good job this season because they didn't play in Europe and now they have a chance to play in the Champions League."

While Sunday's performance may not have been as impressive as Thursday's north London derby win over Arsenal, the visit of Burnley took place against a backdrop of squad uncertainty.

Four players had been affected by a stomach virus ahead of the match, yet each one was either able to start or take a place on the bench, which – according to Conte – proved their commitment to the fight.

"It wasn't easy because [Saturday] morning the doctor sent me a message that a few players they felt not well and with a stomach problem, vomiting and also fever," he said. "For this reason, [Dejan] Kulusevski didn't have a training session, also [Pierluigi] Gollini, also Hugo [Lloris].

"He was not in a perfect condition today, also Winksy [Harry Winks]. Despite this we face the game in the right way and I am so happy because I have seen a team that has improved in many aspects. Now this team is ready to fight in every game."

Burnley felt aggrieved by the handball decision that allowed Kane to convert from 12 yards, with the VAR spotting the ball brush Ashley Barnes' arm in the box.

Conte had no time for their complaints, however.

"I think it was 200 per cent a penalty, not 100 per cent. It was so clear. It was very difficult to understand the complaints – if your arm is in this way and you take the ball, I think it is very, very clear, honestly."

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah is confident he will be fit to face Real Madrid in the Champions League final despite suffering an injury in the FA Cup final win over Chelsea.

Salah was forced off just over 30 minutes into Saturday's showdown at Wembley.

Even without their talisman, Liverpool went on to claim their second trophy of the season – the Reds triumphing 6-5 on penalties after a goalless draw over 120 minutes.

Liverpool have two Premier League games remaining, and sit three points behind leaders Manchester City, before they then face Madrid in Paris on May 28 and there was concern over Salah's participation after he was withdrawn.

But asked by reporters if he would be fit to feature against Los Blancos, a smiling Salah replied: "Of course."

Salah was not the only Liverpool player to suffer in north London. Andrew Robertson had to go off with apparent cramp, albeit his replacement Konstantinos Tsimikas scored the winning spot-kick, while Virgil van Dijk was replaced by Joel Matip at the end of normal time.

Van Dijk had an issue with his knee, but told ITV Sport that he is hopeful it was a minor injury.

"Hopefully well, we're going to check it out," he said. "I felt in the first half when I sprinted, I felt a twinge behind my knee, I played on.

"In the end, I can't risk it for the team and I need to trust Joel. Hopefully it will be fine."

In his post-match news conference, Jurgen Klopp said: "Obviously I spoke to both already after the game, both are really okay. All that we know is it's not a big thing, we really came through."

However, he is unsure if the pair will be fit to face Southampton on Tuesday.

"But the next game is on Tuesday and that's obviously pretty quick," he continued. 

"I think they both will be fine, but not… maybe… we have training tomorrow morning, then if they tell me 'I'm completely fine' I will be surprised but I will take it and then we have to go from there. So we will see."

With Salah and Van Dijk playing this season, Liverpool have won 31 times out of 43 games, suffering only three defeats.

The Reds have scored 101 goals across all competitions in matches the duo have featured in, while they have managed 41 in the 17 games that at least one of the two have missed.

However, Liverpool have not lost any of those games, winning 13 and drawing four.

Their average goals conceded per game does, though, rise slightly, from 0.7 with the pair playing, to 0.9 without.

Jurgen Klopp has become only the second manager to win the European Cup, EFL Cup, the top-flight title and the FA Cup with the same English club, joining Alex Ferguson.

Klopp's Liverpool side triumphed on penalties over Chelsea for the second time this season on Saturday, as they won 6-5 in the shoot-out after a 0-0 draw to seal the club's first FA Cup success since 2006.

While Chelsea were left to reflect on a third straight FA Cup final defeat, after losses in 2020 and last year to Arsenal and Leicester City respectively, Liverpool's hunt for an unprecedented quadruple continues.

The victory means Klopp has now won the Champions League (2018-19), the Premier League (2019-20) and both of England's domestic cup competitions during his time at Liverpool.

Only Manchester United's managerial great Ferguson, who retired in 2013, had managed that feat with the same English club before.

In a good omen for Liverpool ahead of their clash with Real Madrid in Paris on May 28, they have won both of England's domestic cup tournaments for the first time since 2001, when they also went on to win a European trophy.

Only United (12) and Arsenal (14) have won the FA Cup on more occasions than the Reds (eight).

Liverpool were dealt a huge blow in the first half of their FA Cup final clash with Chelsea as Mohamed Salah limped off injured. 

The Egypt forward suddenly sat down inside the Blues half 33 minutes into the contest, walking off gingerly to be replaced by Diogo Jota after receiving attention from the Reds' medical team.

Salah's exit marks just the second time he has been substituted during the first half of a Liverpool match, with the first also coming in a major final when he was infamously injured by Sergio Ramos' challenge in a 3-1 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid in 2018.

Should the 29-year-old's injury prove serious, it would represent a monumental blow to Liverpool's hopes of adding to February's EFL Cup win over the coming weeks, with two Premier League matches and a Champions League final rematch with Los Blancos on the horizon.

Salah declared earlier this month that "everyone" at Anfield wanted to face Madrid in that contest, and will be desperate to be fit to feature in Paris after saying the team has a "score to settle" with Carlo Ancelotti's men. 

The attacker has scored 30 goals and provided 15 assists in all competitions for Jurgen Klopp's side, and was recently nominated for the Premier League's Player of the Season award, having scored the most goals (22) and recorded the most assists (13) in the competition so far this term.

Borussia Dortmund bade farewell to several players on an emotional day at Signal Iduna Park, with Erling Haaland signing off in style.

Haaland is moving to Manchester City ahead of the 2022-23 season, with that move confirmed this week.

The 21-year-old – who joined Dortmund from Salzburg in 2019-20 – was presented with a wreath prior to kick-off on Saturday, as Dortmund faced Hertha Berlin in their final Bundesliga game of the season.

He was not the only player given an ovation before the match, with Axel Witsel and Dan-Axel Zagadou, who are leaving the club following the expiration of their contracts, and departing loanees Marin Pongracic and Reinier Jesus also paraded on the pitch, along with Marcel Schmelzer, who has retired.

Long-time sporting director Michael Zorc is also retiring, and was given a huge send-off by the Dortmund crowd.

The enthusiasm in the stands was not initially matched on the pitch, as relegation-threatened Hertha took an 18th-minute lead through Ishak Belfodil's penalty.

However, Haaland got his farewell goal with 22 minutes of normal time remaining, coolly slamming in an 86th Dortmund strike from the spot, in what was his 89th appearance for the club.

Zagadou and Witsel were both subbed off with the game winding down and, fittingly, it was the latter's replacement who netted Dortmund's winner.

Marco Rose insisted Dortmund would "not stop playing football" in the wake of Haaland's departure and 17-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko showed the future is bright as he converted from Jude Bellingham's sublime pass.

Haaland was able to enjoy a standing ovation as he made way, with Dortmund's 2-1 victory also ensuring Hertha will be in the relegation play-off.

Dortmund's place in second was already sealed, but below them, Freiburg's attempt to get into the Champions League fell just short as they lost 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen, who took third, while RB Leipzig finished fourth.

Freiburg still have the DFB-Pokal final against Leipzig to look forward to but ultimately slipped down to sixth, with Taiwo Awoniyi's late penalty sending Union Berlin into fifth with a 3-2 win over VfL Bochum.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has agreed with Mohamed Salah that the Liverpool star is the best player in the world in his position.

Ancelotti's Madrid face Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in the Champions League final on May 28 in Paris, with two contenders for the Ballon d'Or lining up against each other in Salah and Karim Benzema.

Salah has been in fine domestic scoring form once again this season, on course for the Premier League's Golden Boot award with 22 strikes, while he has been directly involved in 35 goals in 34 league games.

The Egypt international, speaking after winning the Football Writers' Association Player of the Year in England, declared himself as the best forward in the world at present.

"If you compare me with any player in my position, not only in my team but in the world, you will find that I am the best," he told BeIN SPORTS.

"I always focus on my work and do my best, and my numbers are the best proof of my words."

Indeed, only five players – Ciro Immobile (156), Kylian Mbappe (167), Cristiano Ronaldo (169), Lionel Messi (174) and Robert Lewandowski (232) – have scored more than Salah (154) since his Liverpool debut in August 2017 across Europe's top five leagues in all competitions.

Meanwhile, Lewandowski (49), Benzema (44), Mbappe (35), Christopher Nkunku (34) and Immobile (32) are the only players from the same group to outscore Salah (30) this season.

The debate continues over who should win the next Ballon d'Or with Benzema, who could deliver World Cup glory for France in Qatar to aid his cause, and Salah among the front-runners for the personal accolade.

Ancelotti, addressing a pre-match news conference ahead of a LaLiga clash at Cadiz on Sunday, admitted that no player comes close to Salah in his position at the minute.

"Salah has said that in his position he is the best in the world and I think he is right," Ancelotti told reporters.

"I agree with him. In his position, yes, he is the best in the world."

Pep Guardiola insisted Manchester City are not experiencing a personality crisis as he aimed a startling put-down at former Manchester United stars Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov.

The City manager was riled by criticism from Evra and Berbatov, now both working as pundits, after City surrendered a winning position to go out at Real Madrid's hands in the Champions League semi-finals.

Evra claimed Guardiola "can’t train people with personality", while Berbatov offered a response that was not far from Guardiola's own assessment, albeit saying City "had to be more concentrated and focused" in the closing moments.

There was also criticism from former Milan and Madrid star Clarence Seedorf, who said City lacked the necessary "mentality" to come through such a test, comparing them to Paris Saint-Germain.

City were 5-3 ahead on aggregate going into the closing minutes against Madrid on May 4, only to concede a quickfire double to Rodrygo, before Karim Benzema hit a penalty winner in extra time.

It was a dizzying turnaround at the Santiago Bernabeu, but City have responded by thrashing Newcastle United 5-0 and picking apart Wolves 5-1 to reassert their Premier League supremacy over Champions League finalists Liverpool.

Guardiola denies City have any issues with their attitude, saying the approach that brought the back-to-back heavy league wins was "the same character that lost to Madrid in the last two or three minutes".

"The former players like Dimitar Berbatov, Clarence Seedorf, Patrice Evra... these type of people they were there," Guardiola told a news conference ahead of City's clash with West Ham on Sunday.

"I played against them and I didn't see this kind of personality when we destroyed them in the Champions League final against United."

That was an apparent reference to Guardiola's Barcelona beating United 2-0 in the 2009 Champions League final, when Evra and Berbatov both featured on the losing team at the Stadio Olimpico as the Catalan giants sealed a treble. The teams also met at the same stage in 2011, but Berbatov was not involved in that game, which the Blaugrana won 3-1.

"[They say] we don't have personality because we concede in the last minutes, and after the last two games we have personality," Guardiola added.

"Personality is what we have done in the last five years. Maybe Liverpool is going to win all four titles or just one. Am I going to say they don't have personality or that they had a bad season?

"Of course they have and of course they are good, but sometimes in football, it happens.

"It is football, you cannot control it. When you always arrive in the latter stages, semi-finals, finals, it is incredible. This for me, because we arrive until the end, playing a lot of games, this is the most important thing."

Ronaldinho told Paris Saint-Germain fans they should be careful what they wish for as he mounted a defence of the club's under-fire superstars.

Neymar and Lionel Messi have faced a backlash from supporters in recent months, with Kylian Mbappe the only member of the much-vaunted forward trio seemingly immune to their criticism.

It helps that Mbappe has enjoyed another spectacular season for PSG, scoring 35 goals and adding 19 assists, while Neymar and Messi have struggled to live up to their lofty reputations.

Many supporters have been unimpressed by the team's performances this season, despite a costly recruitment drive that brought a raft of big names to the Parc des Princes.

Messi, an all-time great, arrived from Barcelona, while the likes of Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos and Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum also joined, along with Inter's flying full-back Achraf Hakimi.

Despite PSG assembling a star-studded squad, there has been such a backlash against the side's performances that last month's Ligue 1 title success was barely celebrated by supporters.

Squandering a 2-0 aggregate lead to lose to Real Madrid in the Champions League's last-16 was a shattering blow, and many supporters want change to come not only on the pitch, but in the boardroom, with President Nasser Al-Khelaifi and Sporting Director Leonardo facing heavy criticism.

Ronaldinho, however, does not understand those questioning the side, telling RMC Sports: "I don't understand because there are all these great players.

"And you want to change everything? What do you want to have? The worst players in the world?

"We have to wait for them to understand this new way of living and playing football. And the rest will come slowly. This adaptation is normal, to do things well."

Neymar signed a big-money contract extension last May so appears unlikely to leave any time soon, but patience is in short supply among some fans when it comes to the Brazilian.

His compatriot Ronaldinho, who spent two years at PSG before joining Barcelona in 2003, defended the winger by declaring: "He's one of the best players in the world.

"He has had several injuries this year. When he's at 100 per cent he's a really special player for this team. Neymar, [Angel] Di Maria, Messi... the greatest players are together. If you're not happy with that, who are you going to play with?"

Mbappe, meanwhile, will reach the end of his contract next month with Madrid remaining eager to take him to the Santiago Bernabeu, although reports have suggested he could yet decide to remain in the French capital.

Ronaldinho refused to offer an opinion as to where the 2018 World Cup winner should play next term, saying the most important thing is Mbappe's happiness and predicting he will become the world's best player.

"I have no advice. I love him so much," he added. "The most important thing is that he is happy, the rest will come normally. He will become the best player in the world. The rest is up to him to decide where he will play and what he wants to do."

Antonio Conte insists he is "100 per cent and more" committed to Tottenham as speculation persists over his future next season.

Conte was appointed as Nuno Espirito Santo's successor in November and has transformed Spurs' fortunes, lifting them from ninth to fifth in the Premier League with two games to play.

Tottenham sit just a point behind fierce rivals Arsenal after winning 3-0 against Mikel Arteta's side on Thursday, their biggest league win over the Gunners since April 1983 (5-0).

However, questions continue to surround the future of Conte, who has been linked with the Paris Saint-German job should Mauricio Pochettino be dismissed for his Champions League failures.

But the Italian appears set on staying put at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

"From the moment I came into the club – and in every club I worked in in the past – I go totally with my heart, mind and head," he told reporters.

"Totally, 100 per cent and more. This is my characteristic. I'm a passionate person. I think I showed this passion. I think to see me afterwards sometimes on TV, it's not simple to see me in this way. I'm very passionate, I'm this way. I like to go totally into the club where I work.

"I know that only in this way I'm able to give everything. And also to find the way to receive everything from my players, my club and the fans.

"Because if I'm the first person to give 200 per cent, then for sure I can ask for this [in return]."

The expectation is that Conte will remain in charge should Spurs seal Champions League football next term, and Tottenham can move into the top four with victory over Burnley on Sunday.

With Arsenal not in action at Newcastle United until Monday, Spurs can look to seize the initiative. But relegation-threatened Burnley will prove a challenge given they defeated Conte's side 1-0 in the reverse fixture.

That loss at Turf Moor led Conte to explode in a post-match interview where he questioned whether he was up to the task, but he later suggested this was to rally his players.

"I think honestly there are moments that if you want to change the situation, address the situation in the way you're used to addressing, sometimes you have to go strong," he said of his outburst.

"I understand very well that I took a risk because a lot of people didn't understand. I read that it only took two months for Tottenham to make Conte crazy! I remember very well I was the crazy one.

"Sometimes coaches have a strategy, and the strategy is the stick or the carrot. At the time, all the environment needed the stick.

"Myself was the first person because I hit myself. And then the others. Because before saying something wrong about the players or the situation, the first to take the blame has to be the manager. The manager has to address the situation.

"At the time I thought it was right to go strong to try to change the situation. At the time, in my opinion, no one could think with two games to go Tottenham could fight for the Champions League.

"Instead, now, we are there, and from that step, we improved a lot. Also, there are moments when everyone has to take responsibility. The manager is the first, then the players, the club and all the employees of Tottenham. Because we win and we lose together."

Should Burnley win again, they would become just the fourth side to complete a top-flight double over a team coached by Conte, after Sampdoria (2012-13 v Juventus), Manchester City (2017-18 v Chelsea) and Juventus (2019-20 v Inter).

Fabinho will definitely be back available for Liverpool's Champions League final against Real Madrid, manager Jurgen Klopp has said.

The Reds were dealt a huge blow ahead of Saturday's FA Cup final against Chelsea with the news that the Brazil international has been ruled out with a muscular injury.

Fabinho was forced off during the first half of Tuesday's 2-1 win over Aston Villa and will not return in time for this weekend's trip to Wembley.

However, providing a further update at his pre-Chelsea news conference on Friday, Klopp confirmed the 28-year-old will be available to face Madrid in Paris on May 28.

"He will definitely be back for the Champions League final," Klopp said. "Whether he will play before that, we don't yet know.

"Fab is a professional. He was obviously not happy about missing the Chelsea match, but he took it and is already taking on the fight against time, if you want. That's how it is.

“It is not enough if you are ready on Friday before the final, it should be Tuesday or Wednesday or something like that and we are working on that.

"We are all very positive that it will be the case. So he is absolutely OK."

Liverpool have lost just three of the 47 games that Fabinho has played in this season, conceding 0.7 goals per game compared to 0.9 in the 12 matches he has not featured.

Jordan Henderson is likely to return to central midfield alongside Naby Keita and Thiago Alcantara for the clash with Chelsea, and Klopp has full confidence others can step up.

"If all the other boys didn't show the attitude they have had in training all season, we'd have had no chance this season," he said. That's been very important."

Liverpool are competing in their first FA Cup final since 2011-12 when losing 2-1 to Chelsea, with the most recent of their seven triumphs in the competition coming in 2006.

The Reds have already lifted one cup at the national stadium this year, though, having overcome Chelsea on penalties following a goalless draw in February's EFL Cup final.

Klopp's side are therefore looking to win both of England's domestic cup competitions in the same season for the first time since 2000-01, when also winning the UEFA Cup.

"We didn't 'beat' Chelsea. We won the penalty shoot-out," Klopp said. "I've said a few times, without luck you have no chance, and luck was on our side that day.

"It was a tough, tight game and we know how good Chelsea are and we expect another tough game.

"Both teams will go for all they have. That's what I expect from Chelsea and that's what I especially expect from us this time.

"It's the biggest domestic cup competition in the world. I haven't watched 20 FA Cup finals but I don't think that's necessary to understand how big it is.

"We are really looking forward to this opportunity. The boys worked their socks off to arrive here, with all the different challenges over the year.

"It's now a massive final for us and I'm really happy we are part of it. We always gave our all to arrive to the final [in previous years], we just didn't make it."

The three previous meetings between Liverpool and Chelsea this season have finished level and Klopp is anticipating another tight contest against Thomas Tuchel's side.

"Chelsea are a really well-coached team. They have a similar system to others but a different level," he said.

"They have an idea for all areas. They're organised defensively and offensively, with incredible talent. We have no idea how Thomas will line up. There are so many options."

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