Forest Green Rovers expressed they are "disappointed" with Rob Edwards and Watford after confirming their head coach was leaving the club.

Edwards led Forest Green to the League Two title this season, winning 23 games as they finished above Exeter City on goal difference.

However, Edwards will not be in charge of Rovers in League One next term, after it was confirmed he is departing.

He is widely expected to replace Roy Hodgson at Watford, whose short spell at Vicarage Road will come to an end at the culmination of the Premier League season.

Watford's relegation back to the Championship was confirmed last week after a 1-0 defeat to Hodgson's former side Crystal Palace. 

A statement issued on Forest Green's official website read: "FGR confirms the departure of head coach Rob Edwards. Rob was a key part of the team that gained promotion to League One this season.

"We're disappointed that our support, loyalty and honesty towards Rob has been repaid in this way – with negotiations taking place behind our backs. We had no contact from Watford, from whom we might expect less, but in any event this kind of behaviour gives football a bad name.

"We thank Rob for all his work at FGR – forgive him the manner of his departure and wish him well."

Watford failed to save themselves as their relegation from the Premier League was confirmed by a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

It meant Watford boss Roy Hodgson saw the final blow inflicted by one of his former clubs, as the Hornets missed out on the win they required to keep survival as a long-shot hope.

Wilfried Zaha's 31st-minute penalty, following a handball by Hassane Kamara, put Palace in front and proved to be the match-winner. Kamara was also sent off midway through the second half for a second bookable offence.

Even if Watford had won at Selhurst Park, they would have required further victories in their final three games against Everton, Leicester City and Chelsea, while hoping Leeds United or Burnley lost each of their remaining fixtures.

Hodgson, who left Palace last May after four seasons with the Eagles, was appointed Watford manager in January and inherited a side sitting 19th in the Premier League.

After earning promotion with Xisco at the helm, Watford fired the Spanish coach in October and brought in Claudio Ranieri, the Italian who led Leicester City to a shock title in the 2015-16 season.

Ranieri showed little sign of repeating past glories, and Hodgson also found the going tough, with Watford remaining 19th and now condemned to a swift return to the Championship, along with already-doomed Norwich City.

This will be Watford's fourth relegation from the Premier League, making them the sixth different side to be relegated from the competition on four or more occasions, after Norwich (6), West Brom (5), Palace, Middlesbrough and Sunderland (all 4).

Hodgson, who will leave Watford at the end of the season, this week said he would not be putting his name forward for Premier League jobs in the future at the age of 74.

Watford have now won just one of their last 30 league matches against London sides (D7 L22), with the exception being a 1-0 home win over Millwall in April 2021. They have lost 15 Premier League matches in a row against teams from the capital, the longest ever losing run against London teams in top-flight history.

Roy Hodgson has confirmed he will leave his role as Watford manager at the end of the season and does not foresee taking up another Premier League job.

The 74-year-old was appointed on a short-term deal in January to replace Claudio Ranieri, but he has been unable to pull the Hornets away from relegation trouble.

Hodgson has so far taken charge of 14 games since arriving, winning two, drawing two and losing 10, including each of their last five outings.

Watford's relegation from the Premier League will be confirmed on Saturday should they fail to beat Hodgson's previous employer, Crystal Palace.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, the former Liverpool and England manager said he explained to the club's board that he was only ever interested in a short-term deal and so will leave Vicarage Road once the campaign concludes.

"Obviously, it's a short-term [deal]," he said. "Certainly, I made it clear [to the board] it would need to be a short-term one between now and the end of the season. I took that job on and came out of retirement to do that particular job.

"Now that job has unfortunately ended. I've enjoyed my time doing the job. I don't think I shall be putting my name forward anymore for further sorties in the world of Premier League football. It's a very demanding world and I think I've earnt the right to step back and enjoy some free time and spend some time with my wife and son."

While Hodgson indicated this would be his last job in football, he did say the same after leaving Palace at the end of last season, before answering Watford's call, and admitted "itchy feet" could see him return, though not at the top level.

"I don't think we'll ever lose that [itchy feet]," he added. "I think you can speak to any other managers that have actually decided to step aside and announce their retirement, but they still do something within the game.

"I'd like to think that I'm always going to be passionate enough about the game and involved enough in the game that some particular aspect of work might come my way which I think I can happily do but as I say, it's not something I'm punting for.

"It certainly won't be in charge of a [Premier League] team. I think that's my swansong on that one."

Hodgson was at Buckingham Palace to receive a CBE from Prince William for his services to football.

The Premier League witnessed drama at both ends of the table on an absorbing Saturday, as Manchester City and Liverpool continued to trade blows in the title race.

Jurgen Klopp's men downed in-form Newcastle United thanks to Naby Keita's first-half strike, before City responded by cruising to a 4-0 thrashing of Leeds United at Elland Road.

At the other end of the table, Norwich City were condemned to a record sixth Premier League relegation at Aston Villa, and Watford look destined to join them after Burnley continued their incredible upturn in form at Vicarage Road.

After another frantic day of action, Stats Perform looks at some of the key Opta facts from Saturday's contests.

Newcastle United 0-1 Liverpool: Keita continues Reds' run

Liverpool's bid for a remarkable quadruple faced a tough test when they travelled to Eddie Howe's in-form Newcastle in the first clash of the day.

However, Naby Keita's 19th-minute goal proved the difference in a competitive encounter, and was Liverpool's earliest winning goal in a 1-0 Premier League victory since December 2016, when Georginio Wijnaldum netted after eight minutes against Manchester City.

Klopp's side had chances to extend their lead, with home goalkeeper Martin Dubravka making nine saves, his highest tally in a single Premier League match. Since 2003-04, when Opta data began, the only Newcastle goalkeepers to make more saves in a Premier League game are Tim Krul (14 against Tottenham in November 2013) and Karl Darlow (11 against Tottenham in September 2020).

However, a 21st clean sheet of Liverpool's league campaign was enough to move them to the top of the table - only in 2005-06 (22) have the Reds kept more shutouts in a single Premier League campaign.

Liverpool have now picked up 40 points from the last 42 on offer in the competition, and the win turned up the pressure on City ahead of their trip to Leeds later on Saturday.

Leeds United 0-4 Manchester City: Visitors draw on set-peice prowess to reclaim top spot

The Reds were not top of the table for long, however, as City claimed a 4-0 win over relegation-threatened Leeds at Elland Road. Goals from Rodri and Nathan Ake both came from set pieces, meaning City have now scored 18 set-piece goals (excluding penalties) this season, their most in a Premier League campaign since 2013-14 (22).

Pep Guardiola's men have also kept five consecutive away league clean sheets, the best such sequence in the club's history.

After Gabriel Jesus had made the points safe, Fernandinho stuck a superb fourth goal late on, becoming the club's oldest ever Premier League goalscorer at 36 years and 361 days old, overtaking Frank Lampard in 2015 (36 years and 338 days old).

Leeds, meanwhile, are looking over their shoulders after another heavy defeat. They have conceded a remarkable 20 league goals against the two Manchester clubs this season (11 against City, nine against Manchester United) – a new top-flight record for goals conceded against the duo in a single season.

Watford 1-2 Burnley: Clarets' revival continues after Cork ends barren run

Elsewhere, Burnley continued their incredible revival by coming from behind to defeat Watford, making Mike Jackson the first Clarets boss to win three of his first four league games in charge since Jimmy Mullen won his first four in 1991.

After James Tarkowski's own-goal put Watford ahead, Jack Cork ended his run of 84 Premier League games without a goal with his first strike since December 2018 (against Liverpool), before Josh Brownhill scored a late winner.

The Clarets are now five points above the bottom three after winning three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since April 2019, having won just three of their previous 21 games.

Roy Hodgson's Watford, meanwhile, look destined for relegation after becoming the first side in English top-flight history to lose 11 consecutive home league matches.

Aston Villa 2-0 Norwich City: Canaries suffer another relegation at Villa Park

Burnley's win had other ramifications, contributing to Norwich suffering their sixth relegation from the Premier League – the most of any club in the competition's history – after the Canaries were beaten at Villa Park.

Remarkably, Norwich have been relegated in each of their last four Premier League seasons (2013-14, 2015-16, 2019-20 and 2021-22). They are only the second side in English league history to suffer relegation in four consecutive campaigns in the top-flight, after Crystal Palace (1992-93, 1994-95, 1997-98 and 2004-05).

 

Dean Smith's men saw their fate sealed after becoming the first team to concede 70 Premier League goals this season after just 34 games, representing the earliest point in any league campaign they have reached 70 concessions since 1956-57 (in their 34th game in the old Third Division South).

Ollie Watkins set the tone for Villa's win with his first-half strike, and he has now scored at least 11 more goals than any other Villa player since his September 2020 debut (25 goals in all competitions).

Norwich City's relegation from the Premier League has been confirmed after the Canaries fell to a 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa and Burnley beat Watford.

The Canaries' tame loss to manager Dean Smith's former employers, coupled with Burnley recovering from a goal down to stun fellow strugglers Watford 2-1, condemned Norwich to an immediate return to the Championship, which they won last season.

Norwich have now been relegated from the Premier League on six occasions, more than any other side in the competition's history, with Smith and predecessor Daniel Farke overseeing just five wins in 34 league outings this term.

Meanwhile, the Canaries have been relegated in each of their last four Premier League seasons (2013-14, 2015-16, 2019-20, and 2021-22), becoming just the second club in English football history to suffer that fate in four consecutive top-flight campaigns (after Crystal Palace in 1992-93, 1994-95, 1997-98, 2004-05).

Fellow promoted side Watford look destined to join Norwich in making an immediate return to the Football League after throwing away a one-goal lead in their home defeat to Burnley.

Late goals from Jack Cork and Josh Brownhill mean Burnley's caretaker boss Mike Jackson is the first Clarets manager to win three of their first four league games in charge since Jimmy Mullen won his first four in 1991.

Burnley look to be battling Leeds United and Everton to avoid taking up the third relegation spot, having been reinvigorated since making the shock decision to sack Sean Dyche earlier this month.

Pep Guardiola described Gabriel Jesus as "fantastic" after the striker hit four goals in Manchester City's 5-1 rout of Watford.

Jesus scored his first Premier League hat-trick on his 155th appearance in the competition. It made him the fifth Brazilian hat-trick scorer in the competition, after Afonso Alves, Robinho, Roberto Firmino and Lucas Moura, but the first of those to score four times in a single match.

The 25-year-old also assisted Rodri for a brilliant 25-yard strike in the first half, meaning he recorded five goal involvements as City kept the Premier League title race in their own hands.

City moved four points clear of title rivals Liverpool with the resounding victory, ahead of Jurgen Klopp's team hosting Merseyside rivals Everton on Sunday.

Guardiola, who has won all of his 11 managerial clashes with Watford by a combined score of 47-5, said City could still improve upon their five-star display, but he was full of praise for his versatile Brazilian forward.

"We didn't defend well, we were not aggressive enough," Guardiola told Sky Sports. "But the players up front, not just Gabriel for his incredible four goals, all of them were brilliant.

"If there's one person who deserves the best in life for him, his family and his friends, it's Gabriel.

"All of us at the club, when he has one of these situations, we're happy for him because he's so generous. It doesn't matter what position he's going to play, we know how he fights for his mates. He's fantastic."

City also became the first English side in history to record 15 consecutive competitive wins over a single opponent by hammering the Hornets, but Guardiola insisted the victory didn't alter the Premier League title race.

"Nothing changes," he said. "When we won against Brighton we were two points behind [before the game], now we're four in front. Brighton was a 'final'. We had another 'final' today and we won it. Now we have an opportunity to play a 'final' against Leeds [next Saturday].

"Nothing changes. We have to win all five [remaining] games to be champions."

Jesus, meanwhile, was beaming after his four-goal haul, praising his team-mates' creativity after moving from three goals for the Premier League season to seven in under an hour at the Etihad Stadium.

"Today was my day," the striker told Sky Sports. "We played very good today, we created a lot of chances, that's what we need to do.

"We made passes and passes to create chances and try to score, and today we were very good on the finishing. I'm very happy with the three points. The team played so well, and we deserved it.

"It was my first hat-trick in the Premier League. I've tried. Sometimes I've scored two then I've hit a post, the defender has blocked [my shot], or the keeper has saved, but today was my day!"

Jesus is just the second City player to be directly involved in five goals in a single Premier League game (four goals, one assist), after Sergio Aguero scored five against Newcastle United in October 2015.

Saturday's City hero also became the third player to score four goals in a Premier League match for the club, after Edin Dzeko and Aguero, with the latter doing so on three occasions.

Gabriel Jesus scored four times as Manchester City kept the Premier League title race in their own hands by thrashing Watford 5-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Jesus netted twice within 23 minutes, with Rodri drilling home a stunning third after Hassane Kamara pulled one back for the Hornets midway through an entertaining first half.

The Brazilian celebrated twice more within eight minutes of the restart as relegation-threatened Watford collapsed, Jesus first winning and converting a penalty before sweeping home from Kevin De Bruyne's pass.

All eyes will now turn to Anfield on Sunday, where title challengers Liverpool will attempt to keep pace with Pep Guardiola's men by beating rivals Everton.

Jesus needed just four minutes to give City the lead, turning home Oleksandr Zinchenko's fierce left-wing cross after the Ukrainian latched onto Joao Cancelo's overhit ball.

City almost doubled their lead 10 minutes later when Ben Foster got down well to turn away Cancelo's left-footed shot, but Jesus was soon on hand to grab his second when meeting De Bruyne's excellent right-wing cross with a firm header. 

Watford briefly halved the arrears when Kamara raced through to power a left-footed drive into the bottom-right corner, but Rodri restored the two-goal cushion in stunning fashion after 34 minutes, unleashing an unstoppable 25-yard volley into the top-left corner.

Jesus then completed his hat-trick just four minutes into the second half, rolling home a penalty after chasing down a poor clearance and being felled by Foster, and helped himself to a remarkable fourth four minutes later when he converted from De Bruyne's cut-back.

Riyad Mahrez could have added a sixth when sending a wild right-footed volley over late on, as City saw out an incredible 15th consecutive victory over Watford. 

What does it mean? Reigning champions keep title destiny in their hands

City's dominant win meant they established a four-point lead at the Premier League summit ahead of Liverpool's Merseyside Derby against Everton on Sunday.

Their bid to retain the title is gathering steam at the perfect moment, with Guardiola's team now unbeaten in seven league games (five wins, two draws).

Jesus show downs Hornets

Having been linked with a move away from the Etihad in recent days, Jesus bettered his Premier League goals tally for the rest of the season (three) in less than an hour against the sorry visitors. 

Jesus also teed up Rodri's thunderous first-half strike, meaning he has contributed more Premier League assists than any other City player this term (eight).

City dominate favourite opponents again

City made history with Saturday's victory, becoming the first English league side in history to win 15 consecutive competitive games against a single opponent.

Meanwhile, Guardiola maintained the best 100 per cent record of his managerial career; he has now won all 11 of his meetings with Watford in all competitions by an aggregate score of 47-5.

What's next?

Guardiola's men must switch their attention to Europe as they host Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday. Watford, meanwhile, host fellow strugglers Burnley next Saturday.

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City are treating every fixture as a knockout game in their pursuit of a Premier League and Champions League double.

City hold a one-point lead over Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table with six matches to play ahead of a clash with Watford at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

They will also have home advantage for a Champions League semi-final first leg against LaLiga leaders Real Madrid next Tuesday.

City's hopes of winning a treble were ended when they were beaten 3-2 by Liverpool in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley last weekend, but they have back-to-back Premier League titles and a first Champions League triumph in their sights.

Guardiola knows they cannot afford any slip-ups in the hunt for more trophies.

Asked if they are taking the mindset that each game is a knockout, the City boss told reporters on Friday: "Definitely. We can't drop points, but they [Liverpool] can't either.

"The players know it, we were in this position before. We played a final versus Brighton to be able to play another one. If we win we have a chance to play another.

"We try to recover injured players, be fresh in the mind. When we finish tomorrow, another [game] in three days in Champions League. Then Leeds. Be fresh, relax, ready for the moment of the game."

Guardiola says City are relishing the challenge of trying win more silverware.

"Of course we enjoy it, prefer to be in this position than don't have chance to make back-to-back titles," he said.

"After the game, remains six games, already qualified for Champion League, big success. Now we target the Premier League.

Guardiola revealed the fitness of defenders Kyle Walker, Nathan Ake and John Stones will be assessed ahead of the visit of Watford.

Second-bottom Watford will have to pull off a great to avoid an immediate return to the Championship, but Guardiola expects Roy Hodgson's side to pose a threat.

He said: "Roy Hodgson has incredible experience as manager, we struggled to break down Palace [when Hodgson was in charge].

"Every game is the of the same importance. Watford have their quality,,their physicality up front. We have to be ourselves and get three points."

City could be four points clear by the time Liverpool face Everton in the Merseyside derby on Sunday.

With Manchester City and Liverpool facing off in the FA Cup on Saturday, the Premier League's attention turned to the race for a top-four spot.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Manchester United beat Norwich City 3-2, with the Red Devils taking full advantage of 1-0 defeats for Tottenham and Arsenal against Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton respectively.

Elsewhere, Watford's slim survival hopes were dealt a blow as they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Brentford.  

Stats Perform takes a look at some key Opta facts from the day's games.

Manchester United 3-2 Norwich City: Ronaldo racks up yet another treble

Ralf Rangnick's side delivered another disjointed performance at Old Trafford, yet they did enough to secure a 13th win in their past 16 Premier League games against the Canaries.

Ronaldo was the star of the show, the Portuguese superstar plundering the 60th hat-trick of his professional career for club and country.

The 37-year-old has now scored 20 or more goals across all competitions in each of his past 16 seasons at club level – a run that started in the 2006-07 campaign during his first spell at United.

His first goal was teed up by Anthony Elanga, who is 17 years and 81 days younger than Ronaldo. It is the greatest age gap between a United goalscorer and the player who assisted him in Premier League history.

Teemu Pukki had given Norwich hope of a memorable result when he pulled the visitors level at 2-2 from 2-0 down, the Finland international becoming the first Canaries player to score 10 or more goals in two different Premier League campaigns (11 in 2019-20 and 10 in 2021-22).

As is so often the way, though, Ronaldo had the last word.

Tottenham 0-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Seagulls leave it late to edge out blunt hosts

Spurs missed the chance to strengthen their grip on fourth position as they suffered a third home defeat in their past six home Premier League games – as many as in their previous 14 on home soil.

Despite starting with the in-from trio of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski in attack, Spurs did not manage a single shot on target. It was the first time they had failed to do so in 21 Premier League games, since November last year against Everton.

Brighton's winner came in the 90th minute through Leandro Trossard, who has now scored six goals in the top flight this season – his best-ever season return in the competition.

Graham Potter's side have now won consecutive away league games for the first time since September 2021 and are unbeaten in three Premier League games, winning the last two, after losing each of the six before that.

Southampton 1-0 Arsenal: Wasteful Gunners punished by Saints

Arsenal missed the chance to pull level on points with Tottenham after a third consecutive Premier League defeat, having lost just two of their previous 13.

The Gunners dominated at St Mary's, taking 23 shots and enjoying 76 per cent possession. There have been 11 instances of a team failing to score having taken 20 or more shots in a Premier League match this season, with Arsenal responsible for three of those.

They were undone by Jan Bednarek's goal on the stroke of half-time, the first they have conceded from a corner situation in the top flight this season.

Bednarek has now scored four goals in 27 Premier League games this season, which is one more than he scored in his previous four campaigns combined (three in 100 appearances).

Watford 1-2 Brentford: Hornets' miserable home run continues

Pontus Jansson's 95th-minute winner for Brentford meant Watford became only the third team to lose 10 consecutive top-flight home games in a row, after Birmingham City in February 1986 and Sunderland in August 2005.

Alongside Birmingham, they are only the second to do so within a single season.

That run means Hornets boss Roy Hodgson is the first manager to lose his first five home Premier League games in charge of a club since Chris Ramsey with QPR in 2015.

Brentford, meanwhile, have won five of their last six Premier League games (L1) and have won three top-flight games in a row for the first time since September 1946.

Manchester City remain the likely Premier League champions and are on course to pip weekend opponents Liverpool to the title as the race reaches its home straight.

The top two each have eight games remaining and the first comes on Sunday when they go head-to-head at the Etihad Stadium in what many are billing a title decider.

That is hyperbole of course, but for City it is the last time they will face a team currently in the top five, so by that logical reasoning it is the game where they are most likely to slip up.

Arsenal are the team likeliest to snatch fourth place and a Champions League ticket for next season, while at the foot of the table it is almost too close to call between Everton and Burnley for the third relegation place, with Leeds United now standing just a 12.2 per cent chance of sliding down to the Championship.

Stats Perform AI analysis has given us a strong sense of how the standings might look come the season's final whistle on Sunday, May 22, but the figures also show us there remains plenty to play for.

PEP TO WIN THE TITLE BATTLE AGAIN?

Pep Guardiola's City head into the crucial contest with a one-point advantage over a Liverpool side who have been closing the gap since trailing by 14 points on January 15, albeit with Jurgen Klopp's Reds having played two fewer games at that time.

It is clear this remains a title race that could yet go either way, but City stand a 65.6 per cent chance of carrying off the trophy for a second season in a row, with Liverpool, their lone rivals for silverware, having a 34.4 per cent opportunity.

Diego Simeone described City as "an extraordinary rival" after Atletico Madrid's 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, and the second leg of that Champions League tie follows three days after the Liverpool game.

City's Premier League opponents for the remainder of the campaign will then be, in order: Brighton (home), Watford (home), Leeds United (away), Newcastle United (home), West Ham (away) and Aston Villa (home), with a trip to Wolves also to be arranged for a date to be confirmed.

Liverpool, also with Champions League commitments and an FA Cup semi-final against City to come, have what looks a more daunting Premier League run-in after this weekend, beginning with two huge Anfield games: Manchester United (home), Everton (home), Newcastle (away), Tottenham (home), Aston Villa (away), Southampton (away), Wolves (home).

They are 64.7 per cent likely to finish as runners-up, the Stats Perform prediction shows, and 0.9 per cent likely to be caught by Chelsea for second place. City are 0.3 per cent likely to throw it away and finish third. Now that would be some story.

Of all teams in the top flight, third-placed Chelsea are the most likely to finish in their current position. That is calculated as a 94.5 per cent probability.

GO FOURTH AND PROSPER?

The last Champions League qualifying berth is the prize that looks to be a slug-off between north London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal, who will meet in a May 12 derby.

Both sit on 54 points heading into this weekend, with Tottenham fourth for now but Arsenal having played one fewer game.

Momentum could change considerably, but for now Arsenal are predicted to have a 59.1 per cent chance of taking fourth spot, with Tottenham given a 31.9 per cent shot (50.8 per cent to be fifth).

Who else might take fourth and secure the riches that come with Champions League involvement? Well, Chelsea are reckoned to have a 4.0 per cent prospect of slipping there (and a 0.3 per cent chance of nose-diving to fifth), while Manchester United are three points adrift of Spurs and the Gunners, sitting in seventh ahead of a weekend trip to struggling Everton, and are given a 4.2 per cent hope of finishing so high.

That would be a massive boost to United's next boss, but it remains a slim hope. In fact, United's most likely finishing position, according to the predictor, is sixth place (46.1 per cent).

Former Red Devils boss David Moyes has probably seen his West Ham side's hopes of a top-four finish slip away. The Hammers are also just three points behind Tottenham and Arsenal but have played more games than both and are given a trifling 0.7 per cent chance of coming home fourth.

GOING DOWN WITH THE NORWICH?

The Canaries of Norwich are so far down the relegation pit of despair they can surely smell Championship gas. They stand a 1.3 per chance of survival, and are 81.3 per cent likely to finish rock bottom.

Second-bottom Watford are given an 18 per cent chance of staying up by the predictor, and home games against Leeds, Brentford, Burnley, Everton and Leicester City mean that door to survival should be considered just slightly ajar.

Leeds could yet plummet, but if Norwich and Watford are the likeliest two sides to exit the Premier League, then Burnley and Everton are the two most obviously jostling to avoid joining them.

For now, after a bruising 3-2 defeat at Burnley on Wednesday, Everton are rated 49.4 per cent shots to finish inside the bottom three, compared to 53.2 per cent for Sean Dyche's Clarets.

It is knife-edge stuff, hardly the end of the table where Frank Lampard is at his most comfortable.

Come the final day, Lampard's Everton might need something from a trip to Arsenal, who in turn might need points in that fourth-place battle.

HOW THE NUMBERS ARE WORKED OUT

Stats Perform's League Prediction model simulates the outcomes of the remaining matches to estimate the likelihood of teams finishing in each position.

The model estimates the probability of each match outcome (win, draw or loss) from the latest available betting market odds data or, when not available, by using an internal win probability model that is powered by historical team strengths.

Based on these probabilities, the results of the remaining matches can be simulated. The outcome of the season is simulated 10,000 separate times in order to estimate the likelihood of each team finishing in each league position.

James Maddison's importance to Leicester City is of little debate, but the Foxes are considering selling the playmaker.

Though the 25-year-old's sole senior England cap came in 2019, he has provided 13 goals and eight assists in 41 appearances across all competitions this season.

However, Maddison's sale might be required to facilitate the Foxes strengthening in other areas.

 

TOP STORY – MADDISON SALE TO FUND LEICESTER REVAMP

Leicester are weighing up the prospect of Maddison's sale in order to make new signings, the Daily Mail has reported.

Manager Brendan Rodgers wants three new additions to propel the Foxes up the Premier League following a season in which they have plateaued.

Leicester will reportedly back Rodgers, but the impact of coronavirus on their finances would likely mean outgoing as well as incoming transfers, and Maddison holds one of the higher market values at the club.

The 25-year-old's £50million price tag would provide serious flexibility in the transfer market, while the club also has to make decisions on Caglar Soyuncu and Youri Tielemans.

ROUND-UP

–  Barcelona want to confirm a contract extension for Ronald Araujo , who has received an offer from Manchester United, according to Sport, but the 23-year-old has viewed this club's pursuit of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen with caution.

–  Arsenal and Tottenham are keen to sign Lautaro Martinez , but Inter will only sell if they meet a transfer demand in excess of €80million (£67.3m), per Calciomercato.

– The Sun is reporting Newcastle are preparing a £20million offer for Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, while also showing interest in Watford's Ismaila Sarr.

–  Manchester United target Manuel Akanji wants to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season and is considering a move to the Premier League, according to Sport1.

With the final international break of the season done and dusted, it was back to Premier League action on Saturday as teams prepare for the all-important run-in.

Having not had any changes of leader since the turn of the year, it was a novelty to see it change twice in one day, albeit with a familiar look at the end as Liverpool and Manchester City both recorded wins.

Something far less routine happened at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea were clobbered by Brentford, while there was also a win for Wolves against Aston Villa and draws at Brighton and Hove Albion, Leeds and Manchester United.

Stats Perform takes a look at some key Opta facts from a selection of the day's games…

Liverpool 2-0 Watford: Jota the slotter strikes again

It was a nervy afternoon at Anfield as Liverpool looked to leapfrog City to the top of the table.

Despite a determined performance from Roy Hodgson's Hornets, a first-half header from Diogo Jota and a late penalty from Fabinho secured the three points for the Reds.

It sent Jurgen Klopp's men to the top of the Premier League for the first time since December, albeit they were back to second later on after City's own win.

Liverpool are back in the title race after having won 10 consecutive Premier League games, becoming just the second side to embark on such a run on five separate occasions after City (also five).

It was another goal for Jota, his 20th of the season, and since making his Liverpool debut in September 2020, the Portugal international has scored more headed goals (nine) than any other player for a Premier League club in all competitions.

Burnley 0-2 Manchester City: Citizens retain top spot

Despite being displaced by their rivals, City eased to victory against Sean Dyche's side to take back their top spot just a couple of hours after losing it.

First-half goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan saw Pep Guardiola's men to the win, continuing their exemplary record against Burnley.

This made it 14 wins from their last 15 games against the Clarets in all competitions (D1), winning each of their last 10 by an aggregate scoreline of 34-1.

City are the only side yet to drop a single point from a winning position in the Premier League this season, winning all 23 games in which they have led. No side has ever gone through an entire Premier League campaign without dropping points when ahead before.

Aymeric Laporte made his 100th Premier League appearance, picking up his 82nd win – the most wins by a player in their first 100 games in the competition's history.

Chelsea 1-4 Brentford: Tuchel's men toppled

It has been a turbulent time for Chelsea off the field, but until now they had kept their on-field form in check.

Brentford had other ideas at Stamford Bridge as they came from 1-0 down to ease to their first victory in nine meetings against the Blues in all competitions since a 3-1 away win in the top-flight in February 1939.

Chelsea went ahead thanks to an Antonio Rudiger piledriver from 39.6 yards, which was Chelsea's longest range Premier League goal since Frank Lampard against Wigan in January 2007 (45.1 yards).

However, goals from Vitaly Janelt (two), Christian Eriksen and Yoane Wissa turned things around to make it just the second time Chelsea have conceded four or more goals in the Premier League at home to a newly promoted side (also under Thomas Tuchel in the 5-2 defeat against West Brom in April 2021).

Eriksen scored his first Premier League goal since December 2019. He has now been directly involved in eight goals (three goals, five assists) against Chelsea in the competition, with all three goals arriving at Stamford Bridge.

Manchester United 1-1 Leicester City: Ronaldo-less Red Devils' top four hopes dealt another blow

It felt like an ominous sign for United when Cristiano Ronaldo was ruled out of their game against Leicester through illness.

Ralf Rangnick's side ultimately rescued a draw having fallen behind to Kelechi Iheanacho's header, with Fred following in from a Bruno Fernandes shot, but it was still two points dropped in the race for the top four.

United have now won just one of their last six games in all competitions (D3 L2), after winning four and drawing three of the seven before that.

Fred is the seventh player to score on their 100th Premier League appearance for the Red Devils, and the first since Marcus Rashford did so, also against Leicester, in February 2019.

James Maddison laid on the assist for Iheanacho, and has now been directly involved in 21 goals in all competitions this season (13 goals, eight assists), four more than any other Leicester player; only in 2017-18 with Norwich has he been involved in more goals in a single campaign (26 – 15 goals, 11 assists).

Jurgen Klopp knows his team must continue winning to keep the Premier League title race alive after recording a 10th consecutive league victory against Watford.

The Reds briefly went top of the Premier League after the 2-0 victory at Anfield thanks to a first-half header from Diogo Jota and a late penalty from Fabinho.

Klopp acknowledged that any question about moving ahead of Manchester City by two points would be null and void after discovering Pep Guardiola's men had already taken the lead at Burnley before he had even started his post-game media conference. The reigning champions, who host Liverpool nextwent on to win 2-0 at Turf Moor.

Klopp told reporters: "No, you can't give an inch, but it's nothing to do with being on top of the table, I didn't think about that in the moment, I was just happy to win the game and having now 72 points.

"To keep it a title race we have to win our football games, otherwise it will be really tricky. And the next Premier League game obviously is a big one [against City], we do not hide from that. It's all good. But now we have a Champions League game to play, which is as important, and three days' time to prepare that. Then we go from there."

Liverpool were not at their best against the Hornets but secured the three points and another clean sheet, meaning they have now kept five consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League for a second time under Klopp, previously doing so in January 2020 (a run of seven).

Part of the backline today was Joe Gomez, making just his second league start of the season, and Klopp was pleased with the 24-year-old's efforts filling in at right back.

"He did really well and he could have set up a second goal in the second half, the cross was an incredible one as well.

"Defensively we don't have to talk, offensively some really good moments and some not-so-good moments because you see the positioning against a deep-sitting opponent, it is not so easy to find the right position in these moments and we are usually a bit more flexible, but it’s all fine.

"Joe is an outstanding football player and he will play a lot of games during his career, 100 per cent, he will play here a lot of games definitely. This season was tricky so far for him, but who knows how these things can change. He is obviously ready to use the opportunity when he gets it."

Gomez's accurate ball in the 22nd minute found the head of Jota, who grabbed his 20th goal of the campaign.

The Portugal international also had words of praise for Gomez, telling Liverpool's official website: "I spoke with Joey before the game, I said: 'You are going to get an assist today!' I remember against Nottingham [Forest] he had a few crosses that I couldn't get on the end of, but I was confident for today and fortunately for us it happened.

"It's the first time in my career that I reach 20 [goals], so just keep on going because we still have plenty to play for."

No player has scored the opening goal in more Premier League games this season than Jota, with Liverpool going on to win all six games in which he has opened the scoring for them.

Liverpool moved above Manchester City at the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Watford in Saturday's early kick-off at Anfield.

The Reds knew that victory would see them leapfrog City, who face Burnley later in the day, for the first time since November 27 – even if only for a matter of hours.

Diogo Jota headed in from a Joe Gomez cross after 22 minutes to open the scoring and substitute Fabinho sealed a battling win with a penalty in the final minute.

Liverpool have now won 10 league games in a row ahead of next weekend's huge showdown with City, who are two points worse off with their game at Turf Moor to come.

Watford more than held their own in the early stages of the game and would have been in front if not for a good stop from Alisson to deny Juraj Kucka.

That proved a huge save as, a little over 30 seconds later, right-back Gomez – filling in for Trent Alexander-Arnold – whipped in a cross for Jota to turn in from four yards. 

Jota nearly made it 15 league goals for the season shortly after, only to be denied by Ben Foster when he had Jordan Henderson screaming out for the pass alongside him.

Watford, in action for the first time in three weeks, continued to cause Liverpool problems as Joao Pedro fired wide in plenty of space once played in by Ismaila Sarr.

Jota saw a couple of headed chances come and go but Fabinho made certain of the win when thumping in a late penalty, awarded for Kucka dragging down Jota in the box.

What does it mean? Reds set up tantalising showdown

Liverpool were never at their best but got the job done to become the second club, after City, to record five different runs of 10 or more victories in the Premier League era.

The Reds have kept eight clean sheets during that incredible run and will head to the Etihad Stadium next weekend with wind in their sails.

They have now won 13 of their 14 home league games against Watford, who remain in the relegation zone and are running out of fixtures to drag themselves out of danger.

Gomez fills Trent void

No player has scored more opening goals in the Premier League this season than Jota (six), who had a brilliant Gomez cross from the right to thank for his latest headed goal.

That was Gomez's first assist in the top flight since December 2017 and means Liverpool have had 22 players involved in league goals this term, two more than any other side.

Salah's off day

Salah had previously been directly involved in 11 goals in seven league games against Watford, averaging a goal involvement every 57 minutes, but he was off the pace here.

He suffered World Cup qualifying heartbreak with Egypt in the week and that perhaps told as he failed to find the target from any of his three attempts.

What's next?

Liverpool travel to Benfica for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday, while Watford host Leeds United on their return to league action in a week's time.

Jurgen Klopp is confident Liverpool forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will deal with their international rivalry "in the right way" after Senegal beat Egypt to World Cup qualification.

The Reds boss also condemned fans for targeting Salah with laser pens as he skied Egypt's first spot-kick in their penalty shoot-out loss, with Senegal qualifying for Qatar after a 1-1 aggregate draw in the African play-offs.

Tuesday's defeat represents the second time this season that Salah has been bested by his club team-mate on spot-kicks after Senegal accomplished the same feat to win the Africa Cup of Nations in February.

Salah and Mane have hit a combined 32 Premier League goals this season, with the Egyptian scoring 20 and the Senegalese forward netting 12.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with Watford, Klopp, while condemning the laser pens, expressed his pride for Mane's achievement and backed the duo to move on in the correct manner.

"I'm obviously really happy for Sadio that he could make it, and I'm obviously very disappointed for Mo," Klopp said.

"I don't think that the situation around the penalty and the laser was particularly cool, so I feel for him [Salah]. But I'm happy for Sadio as well, that's football. 

"It's different when two mates are in such a big game, playing against each other, but they are both top professionals, very emotional people as well, but I'm pretty sure they will deal with it in the right way. 

"There's no doubt about it, at the moment, Senegal are the best team in Africa, and Egypt did really well to take them twice to the wire, twice to a penalty shoot-out.

"Senegal have an extremely talented squad and Egypt did really well. I'm not sure they can see it like this exactly, but from my point of view they should.

"They got unlucky with the draw, against pretty much all other [African] teams, Egypt would have qualified for the World Cup."

No player has scored the opening goal in more different Premier League games this season than Mane (six), while Salah has scored the joint-most winning goals in the competition this term (also six).

Salah has now faced penalty heartache twice this calendar year with Egypt, but Klopp claims the 29-year-old's international disappointment will simply spur him on at club level. 

"There's no doubt about it, Mo wants to win everything he can," Klopp added. "That's why he was very disappointed about the fact they couldn't win the [AFCON] tournament or qualify for the World Cup.  

"That's different competitions, his desire will be bigger now, and he's a very smart person who sees the difference between all these things. 

"We didn't speak about it in detail, to be honest, but he knows that Senegal are a tough team. Mo was unlucky in moments, especially with the penalty shoot-out, but nobody has to worry about him."

Salah has been directly involved in 11 goals in just seven Premier League games against Watford, scoring nine and assisting two.

He averages a goal or assist every 57 minutes against the Hornets, the fourth-best ratio any player has against a club in Premier League history having played a minimum of 600 minutes against that opponent.

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