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    West Ham 3-2 Chelsea LIVE RESULT: Masuaku downs Blues with late cross into net as Mendy endures horror afternoon

    CHELSEA are on the verge of a devastating defeat at West Ham.Thiago Silva headed the Blues in front but the Hammers then levelled after a shocker from Edouard Mendy.
    The Chelsea goalkeeper gave the ball away before conceding a penalty, which was converted by Manuel Lanzini.
    However, a stunning strike from Mason Mount put the Blues back on course for a crucial win.
    But in the second half West Ham battled back to level again with a goal from Jarrod Bowen before Arthur Masuaku’s wayward cross was fumbled into the net by the despairing Mendy late on.

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    TV channel: BT Sport 1
    Live stream: BT Sport website/app
    Free live stream: BT Sport on EE
    West Ham XI: Fabianski, Zouma, Dawson, Diop, Johnson, Rice, Soucek, Coufal, Bowen, Lanzini, Antonio.
    Chelsea XI: Mendy, Silva, Rudiger, Christensen, James, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Alonso, Mount, Ziyech, Havertz.

    THAT’S ALL FOR NOW
    If ever you wanted a better game to kick-start this round of fixtures, then this would definitely be my pick.
    Chelsea came flying out the blocks in the London Stadium and when they went 1-0 up through a brilliant header from Thiago Silva, it looked as if the Hammers were in for a thumping.
    However, Edouard Mendy decided to become Santa Clause by gifting Manuel Lanzini with the chance from the penalty spot which he perfectly dispatched.
    But then another twist in the tail happened on the stroke of half-time when Chelsea put together a well-orchestrated move which was superbly finished off by Mason Mount.
    Check that out in the blog if you haven’t seen it already.
    In the second half, the visitors continued to control possession until against the run of play, Jarrod Bowen hit a long range effort leaving the Chelsea keeper with no chance on the 56th minute.
    And then one of the strangest things you’ll see in football occurred three minutes from time when substitute defender Arthur Masuaku attempted a shot/cross which ended up beating Mendy at his near post and turned out to be the winning goal.
    He’ll probably claim it as a shot but I am not so sure about that If I am honest.
    Thanks a million for tuning in SunSport family, I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    CHELSEA PLAYER RATINGS
    If you were in the blue corner this afternoon, skip this post because there are some brutal ratings being handed out.
    But if you fancy a good read of how and why certain players were rated a certain score.
    CLICK HERE FOR THE CHELSEA PLAYER RATINGS
    UP NEXT
    With qualification to the knock-outs already secured, David Moyes can afford to rest the big hitters in their final Europa League group game against 22x Prva NHL title winners Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday.
    However, West Ham’s scheduled becomes rapidly busy shortly after; two away trips against Burnley and Arsenal followed by welcoming Norwich to the London stadium all in six days is going to be tough.
    And then to top it off, the Hammers’ last match before Christmas is a good old London derby against Spurs in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup.

    COMING SOON
    Thomas Tuchel’s men will have to brush themselves down and go again because they are back at the Bridge for their next two Premier League fixtures where they’ll be hosting a struggling Leeds United and an underperforming Everton side.
    The Blues then get on their travels to the Black Country where Wolves will be waiting for them at Molineux Stadium which is followed up by a trip across London against Brentford in the last 16 of the Carabao Cup.
    But before all of that, Chelsea’s primary focus will be on topping their Champions League group by bettering Juventus’ result on Wednesday but to do that, the Blues need a good result against Russian giants Zenit St.Petersburg on the night.

    FEELING THE BLUES
    All those mistakes has led to Chelsea suffering their first Premier League defeat after leading at half-time since December 2018 against Wolves which ends their record of 48 league games.
    48 – Chelsea’s loss to West Ham was their first Premier League defeat after leading at half-time since December 2018 against Wolves under Maurizio Sarri – they had been unbeaten in 48 league games when ahead at HT before today (W40 D8). Slip. pic.twitter.com/uQFP4Ix4gU— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 4, 2021

    TUCHELS TALKS
    The Chelsea boss wasn’t completely distraught with his side’s performance but Thomas Tuchel did emphasis that the Blues have been making far too many costly mistakes lately.
    I think the Blues gaffer likes the word ‘mistakes’.
    Below are some of the quotes from his post-match presser.
    I don’t think we did a bad match, it was an ok match where we can win with this performance.
    It’s tough to play here and we did too many individual mistakes today. We did that already against Manchester United, already against Watford and got punished for it.
    If you want a result in this kind of level you have to minimise the mistakes. We talked about it before which obviously did not help.
    This was the story.Thomas TuchelBT Sport 1
    LINEKARS ANALYSIS
    I totally agree Gary.

    LEAGUE TABLE REFRESHED
    This three points for the Hammers is huge because it opens up some breathing space between themselves in fourth and Arsenal who are still to play their game against Everton.
    As for the Blues, they remain top for now but should Manchester City and Liverpool do their jobs, then Chelsea can end up dropping to third place this evening.
    Credit: Premierleague.com
    JARRODS JUSTIFICATION
    West Ham winger Jarrod Bowen had an incredible game and it was his wonderful strike which put the Hammers level for the second time in the game.
    Here are a couple of his post-match thoughts on his perspective of the performance from his team including that freakish goal from Arthur Masuaku.
    I think this is what we are about. The team the character, the belief.
    We hung in sometimes because it was always going to be difficult but we never know when we are beaten.
    We went behind twice but we showed that reaction, showed a lot of a better performance and we got the three points.
    He’ll [Arthur Masuaku] tell you different, he’ll tell you he shot but listen, it’s gone in. Jarrod BowenBT Sport 1
    MATCH RECEIPTS
    Similar to the first half, Chelsea controlled the possession, passing and shot statistics.
    But the one big difference is that the Hammers were able to turn the game on its head.

    MADNESS FROM MASUAKU
    Brace yourselves ladies and gentleman because this is the goal which snatched the points away from Chelsea.
    Was it a cross or shot from Arthur Masuaku?
    I’ll let you decide.

    THE BUBBLES ARE BLOWING
    What a result for West Ham as they overcome the current league leaders 3-2 at the London Stadium.

    PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!
    THEY HAVE DONE ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!
    THE BUBBLES ARE CERTAINLY BLOWING!
    BECAUSE CHELSEA HAVE BEEN BEATEN FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE SEPTEMBER!
    FT: WEST HAM 3-2 CHELSEA
    WEST HAM 3-2 CHELSEA
    90+3. That is brilliant play from Michail Anotnio who has lured Andreas Christensen into committing a foul deep in Chelsea’s half.
    The Hammers are so close to a massive three points.
    WEST HAM 3-2 CHELSEA
    90+1. It’s backs to the wall for West Ham as Chelsea throw everything forward to try and salvage something from this game.
    They’ll know that they could end the weekend under both Manchester City and Liverpool if it ends like this.
    FOUR MINUTES OF ADDED TIME FOR WEST HAM TO HANG ON
    WEST HAM 3-2 CHELSEA
    87. How that strike went in I have no idea but Arthur Masuaku won’t care and neither will the rest of the West Ham supporters.
    The defender seemed to be winding up for the cross but the ball took a swerve and dip and eventually flew into Mendy’s top corner.
    That was his first Premier League goal after having 96 attempts on goal.
    What a time to get it too.
    GOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!
    I DO NOT BELIEVE THISSSSSSSSSS!
    ARTHUR MASUAKU HAS HIT A FREAKISH STRIKE!
    WHICH SOMEHOW WENT IN!
    WEST HAM 3-2 CHELSEA
    WEST HAM 2-2 CHELSEA
    84. It’s clear to see what David Moyes’ thoughts are towards this game because the West Ham manager has made a positive substitution.
    Not only that, but he has sent a letter onto the field for Declan Rice to put in his shorts but the England midfielder is struggling to read the handwriting.

    Manuel Lanzini – OFF
    Said Benrahama – ON

    GARY’S SPOKEN
    Legendary pundit Gary Lineker can’t get enough of watching Mason Mount in action.

    WEST HAM 2-2 CHELSEA
    79. It’s all Chelsea at the moment as they send wave after wave of attacks to the hosts’ back-line.
    But you get the feeling that similar to July 2020, West Ham can put together one last counter attack and snatch the victory.
    WEST HAM 2-2 CHELSEA
    76. OOOOPHHH I THOUGHT THAT WAS ROLLING IN!
    Jorginho hit in what was a soft spot in truth but it somehow manged to roll through everyone’s legs and almost crept inside Lukasz Fabianski’s near-post.
    The keeper would have been fuming at himself had that gone in.
    WEST HAM 2-2 CHELSEA
    74. In the aftermath of all that, Thomas Tuchel has made another roll of the dice.

    Marcos Alonso – OFF
    Christian Pulisic – ON

    WEST HAM 2-2 CHELSEA
    74. SO CLOSEEEEEEEE!
    Michail Antonio bullied his way through the Chelsea defence before picking out Jarrod Bowen on the stretch at the back-post.
    But unfortunately for the winger, he couldn’t wrap his foot around the ball.
    KURT CAN’T CONTINUE
    Looks painful.

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    Lionel Messi SLAMMED, Eden Hazard to Fenerbahce, Barcelona want Chelsea’s Azpilicueta, Barbosa Prem link – updates

    CHELSEA remain top of the Premier League after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Watford at Vicarage Road.But there were worrying scenes from the terraces early in the contest with the match suspended for 35 minutes while a supporter was given CPR.
    In the Merseyside derby, Jurgen Klopp’s side showed no mercy on out-of-form Everton as Liverpool romped to a 4-1 victory over their big rivals.
    And the agent of Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa has shot down rumours linking the Brazilian to the Premier League.
    Arsenal have been linked with the 25-year-old, but the star striker is said to ‘very happy’ in Brazil.

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    Get all the latest football news, updates and transfer gossip below…
    PEP LINKED TO NEW YORK MOVE
    Pep Guardiola could move to New York City FC – part of the City Football Group – when he leaves Manchester City.
    And plans are being prepared to take Guardiola 50, to the Big Apple, according to 90min.

    The City boss could be keen on the move after spending a year in New York on sabbatical after his Barcelona exit.
    Last month Guardiola praised NYCFC and the work the club has done to promote football in the city, such as its mini-pitch project.
    He said: “I’ve spent a lot of time in New York City during my career.
    “It’s a city I love deeply and over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to see first-hand New Yorkers’ passion for football.
    “Young people want to play and need a place to play.
    “The fact that there are now 50 new football pitches throughout New York City because of NYCFC and our group is amazing and will make a big difference in the lives of young people.
    “I have said it for many years, I believe there is an incredibly bright future for football in the U.S. and amazing projects like this one will play a part in helping to produce the next generation of young American talent.
    “All over the world, I’ve seen how football can change lives; it brings people together like no other sport – and I’m very proud that our Group has played a part in using our sport to bring people together and give young people more places to play the game we love here in Manchester and around the world.”
    STRU’S THE DADDY
    Manchester United want New York Red Bulls coach Gerhard Struber to be Ralf Rangnick’s new assistant.
    SunSport understands that United have made contact with the Austrian in the last few days over a move to Old Trafford as Rangnick begins his six-month reign in the hotseat.

    However, United would have to buy Struber out of his current contract with New York, which has two years left having joined from Barnsley in October 2020.
    It is unsure how quickly United would be able to get Struber to Manchester, despite the fact the regular MLS season finished last month.
    Rangnick, 63, and Struber, 44, know each other very well after working together at Red Bull Salzburg – the former as director of football and the latter as a youth team coach.
    And following the departure of interim boss Michael Carrick from the club, Rangnick is keen to have people around him with the same footballing and coaching philosophy.
    Rangnick rates Struber highly, and has watched him develop into one of the game’s most talented young coaches.
    Struber spent the majority of his career playing for SV Austria Salzburg – before their Red Bull takeover – and then was a part-time youth team coach at the club while also working in sales at an insurance company.
    TAKING AUBA OFF WAS A THIERRY STRANGE DECISION
    Thierry Henry has questioned why Mikel Arteta took Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang off with Arsenal chasing an equaliser at Manchester United.
    The Gunners captain was replaced by Alexandre Lacazette in the 79th minute last night as United won 3-2.

    And with Arsenal a goal behind going into the latter stages of the game, Arteta decided to sacrifice his skipper in a double change.
    Aubameyang, 32, was an almost invisible figure against the Red Devils, with the striker failing to offer anything.
    His only notable contribution was being denied by David De Gea from yards out, resulting in him being taken off moments later.
    It is now five Premier League games without a goal for the Gabon international, but despite his poor form, Henry believes he should have stayed on the pitch.
    Speaking on Amazon Prime, Arsenal‘s all-time top scorer said: “Aubameyang is your captain. He is your goal scorer.
    “You put him as your captain. 15 minutes to go, you’re losing 3-2 and you take him off. 3-2 away from home, you need a goal and you take your captain, your symbol, off the field.
    “You know he can score you goals so something is not right there.”
    MANE UTD?
    Manchester United are reportedly positioning themselves to snap up long-time transfer target Ousmane Dembele for FREE.
    The Frenchman’s contract at the Catalan giants is set to expire next June, potentially spelling an end to his injury-hit career at the club.
    According to Mundo Deportivo, Dembele’s agent has advised against signing a new deal with Barca.
    Dembele is being fed the impression he could pick up more money elsewhere, with Premier League duo Man Utd and newly mega-rich Newcastle circling.
    United are believed to have the edge in the race to sign the unpredictable winger, already positioning themselves to make a move.
    But it is unclear whether an offer will be submitted in the winter transfer window.
    REUNION – Exclusive by SunSport’s Jordan Davies
    Manchester United want New York Red Bulls coach Gerhard Struber to be Ralf Rangnick’s new assistant.
    SunSport understands that United have made contact with the Austrian in the last few days over a move to Old Trafford as Rangnick begins his six-month reign in the hotseat.
    However, United would have to buy Struber out of his current contract with New York, which has two years left having joined from Barnsley in October 2020.
    It is unsure how quickly United would be able to get Struber to Manchester, despite the fact the regular MLS season finished last month.
    Rangnick, 63, and Struber, 44, know each other very well after working together at Red Bull Salzburg – the former as director of football and the latter as a youth team coach.
    And following the departure of interim boss Michael Carrick from the club, Rangnick is keen to have people around him with the same footballing and coaching philosophy.
    ‘STONEWALL PENALTY’
    Arsenal fans were left fuming after being denied a potential penalty in the 3-2 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
    Takehiro Tomiyasu got away from Harry Maguire on the edge of the box in the first half.
    And to prevent Tomiyasu from getting his head on the ball, Maguire gave the defender a tug.
    But VAR didn’t intervene and play was waived on.
    Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher says the incident wasn’t a ‘clear and obvious error’, which is why it wasn’t given.
    One Arsenal fan said on Twitter: “Why haven’t they checked Maguire dragging down Tomiyasu in the penalty box? Stonewall penalty.”
    While another fumed: “That’s a clear foul by Maguire on Tomiyasu in the penalty box… What’s the use of VAR?”

    MAG-NIFIED
    Former Manchester United midfielder Kleberson believes that his old side need to replace skipper Harry Maguire.
    He told Paddy Power: “Manchester United must make a few signings at the centre back position, primarily to replace Harry Maguire.
    “He’s a great player and leader, but there are a too many moments that he just doesn’t perform, particularly when he’s one-on-one, or up against pacey players. He needs help defending.
    “They need someone faster, stronger in the air, that can anticipate what will happen and that will be able to stop counter attacks.
    “I like Matthijs de Ligt, Manchester United tried to bring him in a few years ago, but it didn’t quite work out. Manchester United need a player like him. They need to get someone in there to do a better job.”
    RON TO REMEMBER
    Cristiano Ronaldo has paid homage to Michael Carrick after the caretaker boss announced his departure from Manchester United.
    The Portuguese superstar, 36, shared his pride in being able to play alongside Carrick at Old Trafford and to be coached by him over the last few months.
    Ronaldo posted his message to Carrick on Instagram and also used the opportunity to welcome Ralf Rangnick to the club.
    CR7 shared a photo of him shaking hands with Carrick alongside a caption which reads: “Michael Carrick was a class act as a player and he can become a great coach as well.
    “Nothing is impossible for this guy. Personally, I’m proud to have played with him by my side as well as with him as a manager on our bench.
    “But now it’s time to welcome Mister Ralf Rangnick to the wheel… Let’s get started!”

    AU REVOIRAU DEAR
    Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has incurred the wrath of fans following the loss against Manchester United by ‘liking’ Cristiano Ronaldo’s celebratory post.
    The 32-year-old was a passenger for the 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford as the Gunners missed out on the chance to leapfrog West Ham into fourth spot.
    Aubameyang missed a sitter from yards out with the North Londoners seeking an equaliser in what was his only contribution in the match as his poor form in front of goal continues.
    And his activity following the clash has infuriated the Arsenal faithful after the Metro pointed out that Ronaldo’s Instagram post was ‘liked’ by the Gabon international.
    It read: “Our minds are already set on the next game, there’s no time to celebrate!
    “Today’s win was very important to get back on track, but there’s still a long road to go until we reach our destination.
    “Congrats to all my team-mates, great spirit tonight! And a very special thank you to our supporters, we couldn’t have done it without you.”

    PRESSING CONCERNS
    Can this be a coincidence, Man United fans?
    It seems Cristiano Ronaldo DOES have the energy to press more.
    27 – Cristiano Ronaldo made 27 pressures last night against Arsenal, his most in any league game this season, previously averaging 14.4 per 90. He made 16 pressures in the attacking third, more than five times as many as in his previous league start against Watford (3). Ralf. pic.twitter.com/9MLn1c3v5f— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 3, 2021

    RALF AND READY – by SunSport’s Neil Custis
    Ralf Rangnick wants to stay on as Manchester United manager if he is successful at Old Trafford this season.
    SunSport revealed last week that despite a contract being drawn up for just six-and-a-half months as manager and then two years as a consultant he had not given up on getting the job full time.
    And Rangnick confirmed: “Right now I’m fully aware they might be looking for a new manager.
    “If they will then speak with me about that we will see. Maybe if they ask my opinion and everything goes well and we develop the team I might even make the same recommendation to the board that I did at Leipzig twice when I recommended it might be a good idea to keep working with me for one year.
    “But this is all hypothetical. For me now it’s about winning the next games and this is the major focus.”

    BARC-ING MAD
    Manchester United are reportedly positioning themselves to snap up long-time transfer target Ousmane Dembele for FREE.
    The Frenchman’s contract at the Catalan giants is set to expire next June, potentially spelling an end to his injury-hit career at the club.
    According to Mundo Deportivo, Dembele’s agent has advised against signing a new deal with Barca.
    Dembele is being fed the impression he could pick up more money elsewhere, with Premier League duo Man Utd and newly mega-rich Newcastle circling.
    United are believed to have the edge in the race to sign the unpredictable winger, already positioning themselves to make a move.
    But it is unclear whether an offer will be submitted in the winter transfer window.
    JANUARY BLUES
    Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has admitted that it will be ‘difficult’ to sign good players in January.
    He said: “”We haven’t spoken about new players.
    “Now is the time to get to know the current squad in detail, the squad is definitely not too small.
    “There is enough players.
    “Maybe after Christmas, there will be a time to talk about possible transfers in the winter.
    “In my experience, winter is not the time for sustainable transfers. It will be difficult in the winter.”
    MIKE DROP
    Ralf Rangnick has admitted that he tried to convince Michael Carrick to stay on at Man United.
    He said: “”Michael, I got to know this two days ago.
    “I met with Michael and Kieran, I had a long private conversation for more than an hour.
    “I tried to convince him to stay, in the end, I had to accept that.
    “I’m more than happy to work with the current coaching staff, I need their expertise.
    “I will try to find two or three people that will join us in the coming weeks, but due to Brexit, it’s not that easy.”
    KING RALF
    Interim boss Ralf Rangnick hasn’t ruled out staying on as Manchester United manager beyond the end of the season.
    He said: “The people with whom I’ve spoken with, they have been very clear that it is a six-month role.
    “We have never spoken about what will happen in the summer. If they will speak about me with that, we will see.
    “If they ask me about my opinion, I might make the same recommendation that I did at RB Leipzig twice, that it might be better to work with me for one year.”
    WHAT A MESS
    Lionel Messi has been slammed by the French media for his recent performance in Paris Saint-Germain’s 0-0 stalemate with Nice at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday night.
    The Argentine turned in another below par performance, failing to have an impact on the game.
    And French outlet L’Equipe blasted the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner for playing ‘at the same slow pace’, and say he often looks ‘disconnected’ from his PSG team-mates.
    Le Parisien instead shifted most of their fury towards manager Mauricio Pochettino.
    The outlet said: “The game of Mauricio Pochettino’s team is slowly heading towards nothingness.”
    STICKY SITUATION
    Everton have backed under-fire boss Rafa Benitez – despite the Spaniard overseeing the club’s worst Prem run in more than a quarter of a century.
    Furious Toffees fans demanded action after their side were humiliated by Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.
    But in a text message to talkSPORT presenter Jim White, who asked if the club still backed Benitez and which he knew would be broadcast, Moshiri said: “Yes.
    “Football is about crisis one day and glory the following day.
    “Rafa is a good manager and under-performance is largely due to injuries.”
    Everton were without England striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, whose return date from a quadriceps injury is still unknown, Colombian centre-half Yeri Mina and midfielders Tom Davies and Andre Gomes on Wednesday night.
    Moshiri added: “Next two weeks, we will get a full squad and in the meantime results will improve.
    “Rafa needs time to have his mark on the squad. He will be supported to have time.”
    ED AND SHOULDERS ABOVE
    Chelsea are reportedly set to offer goalkeeper Edouard Mendy a bumper new deal.
    The Senegal international has been a revelation for the west Londoners since joining them last summer to replace the bumbling Kepa Arrizabalaga.
    And the Blues brass are said to be keen on rewarding the stopper for his efforts with a sweet new pay packet.
    That’s according to Football Insider, who claim talks over a new deal for the former Rennes man are underway.
    It’s claimed Mendy, 29, is one of Chelsea’s ‘low earning’ stars on a measly £60,000-a-week.
    That figure would likely increase to around £100,000-a-week if he extends his Stamford Bridge stay past 2025.
    PEP TALK
    Plans are already in place for Pep Guardiola to manage New York City FC when he eventually leave Man City, according to reports.
    The Spaniard, 50, has never hidden his love for New York, having spent his sabbatical there after leaving Barcelona.
    According to 90min, plans are already ‘afoot’ for Guardiola to join the City Group’s MLS franchise later in his career.
    On New York itself, the City boss said: “I’ve spent a lot of time in New York City during my career. It’s a city I love deeply and over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to see first-hand New Yorkers’ passion for football.”
    Pep Guardiola could join New York City FC when he leaves ManchesterCredit: Rex
    LEW BEAUTY
    Arsenal reportedly want to sign Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin to replace Alexandre Lacazette, whose contract expires next summer.
    The England international has missed the majority of this season with a fractured toe.
    But it hasn’t stopped him from attracting interest from a host of top clubs.
    According to the Mirror, Arsenal want to sign Calvert-Lewin to replace Lacazette, who looks to be on his way out of the club.
    The Frenchman, 30, is being tracked by clubs from across Europe, including Atletico Madrid, Newcastle, West Ham and Juventus.
    LLOR BLIMEY
    Tottenham could extend Hugo Lloris’ contract by a further year, according to reports.
    The Frenchman, 34, confirmed in September that negotiations hadn’t begun, despite his current deal expiring in the summer.
    But according to Tutto Mercato, the possibility of an extension is growing after Antonio Conte’s arrival at the club.
    They claim that Lloris could stay at Spurs, even if they try and recruit Jordan Pickford from Everton.
    SHEAR INEPTITUDE
    David de Gea has been slammed for going down too easily in Manchester United’s Premier League win over Arsenal.
    The Spanish stopper went to ground in the 13th minute of Thursday night’s 3-2 victory over the Gunners after team-mate Fred accidentally stood on the back of his foot.
    Emile Smith Rowe’s long-range effort whizzed past the crocked De Gea to give Arsenal the lead, although the Spaniard was back to his feet a few moments later.
    And Premier League legend Alan Shearer believes the 31-year-old made a meal of the contact, saying: “I didn’t see or hear the referee blow. I didn’t see or hear a serious foul on the goalkeeper and it’s only that his own player stands on him.
    “I don’t think I’m being too harsh here, but I don’t think the game has changed that much. That happens in every game, someone standing on your foot or ankle.
    “With him going down like that, not a care to where the ball is, yes they hurt. But I’m not sure he should be staying down like that. He’s up on his feet a minute later anyway, so it couldn’t have hurt that much.
    “There’s an argument, if there would’ve been a serious injury and he couldn’t carry on and had to be stretchered off, then there’s an argument in terms of fairness of play if Arsenal should’ve let Man Utd score.
    “But he’s up on his feet a moment later. He’s walking around, he’s not limping. I think you get them in every game.”

    CAV A LOOK AT THAT
    Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani wants to join Barcelona at the end of the season, according to reports.
    The Uruguayan, 34, has been blighted by injuries this season.
    According to The Times, he he wants to depart Old Trafford when his contract expires in six months… to join Catalan giants Barca.
    Cavani scored 17 goals last year during an impressive debut season in England, but has managed just one in eight outings this term.
    OVERNIGHT ROUND-UP
    Michael Carrick overshadowed history-making Cristiano Ronaldo’s match-winning double by quitting Manchester United.
    Recalled Ron’s double put United seventh with a 3-2 comeback win at home to Arsenal as he became the first modern player to pass 800 club-and-country goals.
    But new interim boss Ralf Rangnick watched as Carrick ended his unbeaten three-game reign by departing the club completely after 15 years.
    Emile Smith Rowe’s controversial early opener – as United keeper David de Gea lay injured – had been cancelled out by Bruno Fernandes.
    Ronaldo then fired two sweet goals, including a penalty winner, either side of Martin Odegard’s 54th minute strike.
    Outgoing Carrick said: “My time at this great club will always rank as the best years of my career. However, after a lot of thought and deliberation, I have decided that now is the right time for me to leave.”
    Credit: EPA
    Sergi Canos’ early own goal and Son Heung-min’s superb counter-attacking strike lifted much-improved Tottenham to sixth after a 2-0 win over Brentford in the night’s other Prem game.
    Spurs boss Antonio Conte said: “We showed a great desire to win and fight. For sure we can improve and we have a lot of space for improvement in possession.
    “We have to continue to improve in many aspects.”
    On the transfer front, Newcastle have been linked to SIX major targets.
    They include England midfielders in Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, Chelsea playmaker Ross Barkley and Tottenham link-man Harry Winks, plus Atletico Madrid’s Three Lions’ full-back Kieran Trippier.
    Centre-backs on the list are Liverpool’s Nat Phillips and Burnley main man James Tarkowski.
    Brazilian left-back Alex Telles is reportedly wanted by both Inter and AC Milan in transfer… but the Red Devils will reportedly reject any January approaches.
    Finally, Real Madrid flop Eden Hazard is said to have ‘promised’ he’ll join Fenerbahce – but also has a shock offer to join Belgian minnows KVC Westerlo.
    PITCH INVADER SLAM SUNK
    A pitch invader was slammed to the ground by security during Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Arsenal.
    Cristiano Ronaldo and Co watched on in astonishment as the supporter charged the field late on in the Old Trafford clash.

    The person managed to make it all the way up to Ronaldo as United attempted to keep the Gunners at bay from a corner.
    However, the pitch invader couldn’t make it all the way to Ronnie and his team-mates.
    As the person approached the players, security finally caught up with them.
    And they were hurled to the ground with a move more akin to a rugby field.
    The crowd cheered as security then dragged the pitch invader off with just minutes left in the game.
    And there was very soon a louder roar as United secured a pivotal win over Mikel Arteta’s men.
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    Man Utd 3-2 Arsenal LIVE REACTION: Cristiano Ronaldo nets winning penalty as Carrick LEAVES club following victory

    CRISTIANO RONALDO netted a brace as Man Utd beat Arsenal 3-2 in the Premier League on Thursday night. But there will be some concerns after the Portugal captain was forced off injured late in the game.
    Emile Smith Rowe put the Gunners ahead early with the most bizarre of goals.
    With David de Gea down injured, the midfielder fired the ball into an empty net.
    And referee Martin Atkinson failed to blow his whistle before the ball crossed the line so was ordered by VAR to give a goal.
    Bruno Fernandes then equalised for the Red Devils on the stroke of half time.
    Ronaldo then netted his 800th goal to put United ahead to the delight of the Stretford end before his former Real Madrid team-mate Odegaard instantly equalised.
    However a clumsy challenge from the Norwegian on Fred saw the Portugal captain earn a penalty to make it 801 career goals.

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    TAKING AUBA OFF WAS A THIERRY STRANGE DECISION
    Thierry Henry has questioned why Mikel Arteta took Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang off with Arsenal chasing an equaliser at Manchester United.
    The Gunners captain was replaced by Alexandre Lacazette in the 79th minute last night as United won 3-2.

    And with Arsenal a goal behind going into the latter stages of the game, Arteta decided to sacrifice his skipper in a double change.
    Aubameyang, 32, was an almost invisible figure against the Red Devils, with the striker failing to offer anything.
    His only notable contribution was being denied by David De Gea from yards out, resulting in him being taken off moments later.
    It is now five Premier League games without a goal for the Gabon international, but despite his poor form, Henry believes he should have stayed on the pitch.
    Speaking on Amazon Prime, Arsenal‘s all-time top scorer said: “Aubameyang is your captain. He is your goal scorer.
    “You put him as your captain. 15 minutes to go, you’re losing 3-2 and you take him off. 3-2 away from home, you need a goal and you take your captain, your symbol, off the field.
    “You know he can score you goals so something is not right there.”
    MANE UTD?
    Manchester United are reportedly positioning themselves to snap up long-time transfer target Ousmane Dembele for FREE.
    The Frenchman’s contract at the Catalan giants is set to expire next June, potentially spelling an end to his injury-hit career at the club.
    According to Mundo Deportivo, Dembele’s agent has advised against signing a new deal with Barca.
    Dembele is being fed the impression he could pick up more money elsewhere, with Premier League duo Man Utd and newly mega-rich Newcastle circling.
    United are believed to have the edge in the race to sign the unpredictable winger, already positioning themselves to make a move.
    But it is unclear whether an offer will be submitted in the winter transfer window.
    REUNION – Exclusive by SunSport’s Jordan Davies
    Manchester United want New York Red Bulls coach Gerhard Struber to be Ralf Rangnick’s new assistant.
    SunSport understands that United have made contact with the Austrian in the last few days over a move to Old Trafford as Rangnick begins his six-month reign in the hotseat.
    However, United would have to buy Struber out of his current contract with New York, which has two years left having joined from Barnsley in October 2020.
    It is unsure how quickly United would be able to get Struber to Manchester, despite the fact the regular MLS season finished last month.
    Rangnick, 63, and Struber, 44, know each other very well after working together at Red Bull Salzburg – the former as director of football and the latter as a youth team coach.
    And following the departure of interim boss Michael Carrick from the club, Rangnick is keen to have people around him with the same footballing and coaching philosophy.
    ‘STONEWALL PENALTY’
    Arsenal fans were left fuming after being denied a potential penalty in the 3-2 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
    Takehiro Tomiyasu got away from Harry Maguire on the edge of the box in the first half.
    And to prevent Tomiyasu from getting his head on the ball, Maguire gave the defender a tug.
    But VAR didn’t intervene and play was waived on.
    Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher says the incident wasn’t a ‘clear and obvious error’, which is why it wasn’t given.
    One Arsenal fan said on Twitter: “Why haven’t they checked Maguire dragging down Tomiyasu in the penalty box? Stonewall penalty.”
    While another fumed: “That’s a clear foul by Maguire on Tomiyasu in the penalty box… What’s the use of VAR?”

    ‘A BIT DISAPPOINTED’
    Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has given his thoughts on the Gunners’ 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford last night.
    He said: “We are a bit disappointed tonight because the team played very well. We could have got a better result.
    “In this time of game you need to be clinical defensively and offensively and you have to do the perfect game because of the quality of Manchester United.
    “At the end of the first half we started to drop for too long and we conceded. In the second half we had the character to come back but in this type of game I have to stand up and score that opportunity and maybe get a point for us.
    “I should definitely score that type of goal but I will not give up and I will keep trying to score goals.
    “Compared to the game against Liverpool at Anfield we did better today. We did something very clear and we tried our best. It was very unlucky because I think the team deserved better today.”
    ‘A TOP COACH’
    Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has tipped Michael Carrick to be a ‘really good manager’ after he announced his departure from the club on Thursday.
    Carrick was placed in temporary charge of United after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking last month.
    Speaking to Amazon Prime after last night’s game, Fernandes backed Carrick to have a future in management.
    He said: “I’ve said to him I was really mad to be off on his first game and I tell him now at the end of this game.
    “But honestly for me Michael can be a really good manager in the future if he gets that chance.
    “He knows how to speak, he knows a lot of football.
    “He was one of the great players that not a lot of people talk about. For what I have seen he can be a top coach.”
    KING RALF’S PALACE
    Get used to this sight, Man United fans.
    It’s your new boss walking the corridors of Old Trafford.
    Have you been impressed by his first press conference?

    PRESSING CONCERNS
    Can this be a coincidence, Man United fans?
    It seems Cristiano Ronaldo DOES have the energy to press more.
    27 – Cristiano Ronaldo made 27 pressures last night against Arsenal, his most in any league game this season, previously averaging 14.4 per 90. He made 16 pressures in the attacking third, more than five times as many as in his previous league start against Watford (3). Ralf. pic.twitter.com/9MLn1c3v5f— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 3, 2021

    RALF AND READY – by SunSport’s Neil Custis
    Ralf Rangnick wants to stay on as Manchester United manager if he is successful at Old Trafford this season.
    SunSport revealed last week that despite a contract being drawn up for just six-and-a-half months as manager and then two years as a consultant he had not given up on getting the job full time.
    And Rangnick confirmed: “Right now I’m fully aware they might be looking for a new manager.
    “If they will then speak with me about that we will see. Maybe if they ask my opinion and everything goes well and we develop the team I might even make the same recommendation to the board that I did at Leipzig twice when I recommended it might be a good idea to keep working with me for one year.
    “But this is all hypothetical. For me now it’s about winning the next games and this is the major focus.”

    ‘BIGGEST CLUB IN THE WORLD’
    Ralf Rangnick is excited to get started at Manchester United.
    He said: “We are talking about six-and-a-half months, one third of the games, and we have agreed on a two-year advisory deal. If Manchester United contacts you for such a role you cannot turn it down.
    “This is one of the biggest clubs, if not the biggest club, in the world. I am excited to work with the players we have here.
    “I have watched the latest games, Watford, Chelsea, Arsenal, and I also watched on TV the games against Liverpool and Manchester City.
    “I am well acquainted. It’s pretty obvious the team has an abundance of young, talented players and experienced players. The major target for me is to bring more balance into the team. Even yesterday we conceded two and needed three to win. We concede on average two a game and this is too much.
    “I want to bring more balance and more control. Yesterday’s game, for me as the future coach, they are not the games you need. I will try and bring these outstanding, talented players away from their own goal.”
    RALF’S RED DEVILS
    Ralf Rangnick has explained his vision for Man United.
    He said: “”It can only go game by game, step by step.
    “You have to make sure you have the biggest chance to win the next game then step by step.
    “Let the players follow and buy into the idea that I can offer them on how we want to play in the future.
    “Pep has been at City for three years, Jurgen for five, Thomas only came in February, but in time-wise, they’re a little ahead of us in the way they want to develop.
    “I’m more than happy with the players we have here.”
    JANUARY BLUES
    Ralf Rangnick has admitted that it will be ‘difficult’ to sign good players in January.
    He said: “”We haven’t spoken about new players.
    “Now is the time to get to know the current squad in detail, the squad is definitely not too small.
    “There is enough players.
    “Maybe after Christmas, there will be a time to talk about possible transfers in the winter.
    “In my experience, winter is not the time for sustainable transfers. It will be difficult in the winter.”
    MIKE DROP
    Ralf Rangnick has admitted that he tried to convince Michael Carrick to stay on at Man United.
    He said: “”Michael, I got to know this two days ago.
    “I met with Michael and Kieran, I had a long private conversation for more than an hour.
    “I tried to convince him to stay, in the end, I had to accept that.
    “I’m more than happy to work with the current coaching staff, I need their expertise.
    “I will try to find two or three people that will join us in the coming weeks, but due to Brexit, it’s not that easy.”
    FERGIE TIME
    Ralf Rangnick has offered his thoughts on Man United’s lack of success in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson years.
    He said: “”It’s not unusual that after along. successful spell, the club needs to find a new pathway.
    “The club has had no continuity in signing new players and sticking to the DNA of the club.
    “In the future, the board members and my self have the same opinion. It’s important not to have many changes in management.”
    Ralf Rangnick was in attendance at last night’s match
    KING RALF
    Interim boss Ralf Rangnick hasn’t ruled out staying on as Manchester United manager beyond the end of the season.
    He said: “The people with whom I’ve spoken with, they have been very clear that it is a six-month role.
    “We have never spoken about what will happen in the summer. If they will speak about me with that, we will see.
    “If they ask me about my opinion, I might make the same recommendation that I did at RB Leipzig twice, that it might be better to work with me for one year.”
    THREE NOT EASY
    Ralf Rangnick has admitted that it will be difficult to chase down the Premier League’s top three.
    He said: “”It’s about winning games and, in the end, I’m very ambitious.
    “We want to make the most successful season that is possible.
    “Right now, we have to be realistic.
    “The difference between us and the top three is big. But let’s see.”
    ‘JUST TOO MUCH’
    New Man United boss Ralf Rangnick wants to bring more ‘balance’ to the team.
    He said: “”The major target for me is just to bring more balance to the team.
    “We conceded two goals yesterday and if you look at the total of number of goals conceded, it is on average of two a game. That is just too much.
    “Those are not the kind of games you need every day.
    “In football to me, it’s to minimise the coincidence factor.”
    RANGNICK SPEAKS
    Ralf Rangnick has explained why he joined Man United after rejecting Chelsea last season.
    He said: “”At the time, when Chelsea contacted me, they only talked about the option to become interim manager for four months.
    “We’re talking about six and a half months [at United] and we also have a two-year advisory role.
    “If Manchester United contact you for such role then you can’t turn it down.”
    FEEL THE BRUN
    Bruno Fernandes has called on Man United to build momentum from last night’s 3-2 victory over Arsenal.
    The Portuguese, who netted his side’s first goal, told Amazon Prime Video: “Every win is important for us at this moment.
    “We know that we have been through a lot of ups and downs, and it has been hard for us to come out of that.
    “Today we got a great win, but we cannot stop here and be satisfied because we beat Arsenal. The next game is coming quick, so we have to put our heads on that straight away and be ready for that one.”
    SOL DESTROYING
    Michael Carrick admitted that ‘loyalty to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’ was part of the reason he decided to leave Man United.
    Quizzed if the Norwegian’s departure was a factor, he said: “A little bit yeah, of course it was because I owe Ole an awful lot.
    “There’s a lot of things that have come into my decision it wasn’t an easy one and I just said to the players and the staff the way we’ve worked together – good, good people in there.
    “Sometimes, you get what you deserve, sometimes you don’t. I’ve worked so hard to try and bring some success here in recent years.
    “It’s hard to take, when you don’t quite get to them heights, but great times, great memories.
    “I’m proud of the players over the last three games and, tonight, they gave everything and in some ways, it was the perfect night, but it’s not about me it’s about the players and the club.”

    BOTTOM THIERR
    Arsenal legend Thierry Henry likened David de Gea to an 11-year-old after the Spaniard stayed down while Emile Smith Rowe put the Gunners 1-0 up at Old Trafford last night.
    The Frenchman said: “The last time I saw that was when I was 11 and my goalkeeper went to have a sandwich and left his goal – and then we were 1-0 down.”
    Fortunately for De Gea, United went on to win 3-2.
    SHEAR INEPTITUDE
    David de Gea has been slammed for going down too easily in Manchester United’s Premier League win over Arsenal.
    The Spanish stopper went to ground in the 13th minute of Thursday night’s 3-2 victory over the Gunners after team-mate Fred accidentally stood on the back of his foot.
    Emile Smith Rowe’s long-range effort whizzed past the crocked De Gea to give Arsenal the lead, although the Spaniard was back to his feet a few moments later.
    And Premier League legend Alan Shearer believes the 31-year-old made a meal of the contact, saying: “I didn’t see or hear the referee blow. I didn’t see or hear a serious foul on the goalkeeper and it’s only that his own player stands on him.
    “I don’t think I’m being too harsh here, but I don’t think the game has changed that much. That happens in every game, someone standing on your foot or ankle.
    “With him going down like that, not a care to where the ball is, yes they hurt. But I’m not sure he should be staying down like that. He’s up on his feet a minute later anyway, so it couldn’t have hurt that much.
    “There’s an argument, if there would’ve been a serious injury and he couldn’t carry on and had to be stretchered off, then there’s an argument in terms of fairness of play if Arsenal should’ve let Man Utd score.
    “But he’s up on his feet a moment later. He’s walking around, he’s not limping. I think you get them in every game.”

    CARR BLIMEY
    Outgoing Manchester United legend Michael Carrick explained his decision to leave the club after guiding them to a 3-2 victory over Arsenal.
    He said: “It wasn’t an easy decision by any stretch. Anyone that knows me knows how much I love the club.
    “When you’re here you’ve got to dedicate everything and my life has revolved around this place for so long.
    “I did promise my family when I finished playing we’d have some time to spend together and that never happened because I jumped into the coaching role.
    “As things pan out, things happen for a reason and it felt natural to make that decision. It wasn’t easy but I’m not going anywhere.
    “I’ll still be around supporting the boys here and away. My son’s desperate to go to the away days, supporting the boys.
    “I’ve told them I’m doing that and I’ll be supporting them. But yeah it’s the right thing to do for me and my family.”
    THAT’S ALL FROM MANCHESTER!
    Manchester United beat Arsenal 3-2 in an absolute thriller of a match at Old Trafford.
    The Gunners opened the scoring with one of the most controversial goals in Premier League history after just 13 minutes.
    David de Gea got hurt when Fred inadvertently stepped on his heel during a corner-kick and Emile Smith Rowe noticed the net open so he fired a shot from the edge of the box.
    After a long VAR consultation, referee Martin Atkinson awarded the goal to the north Londoners as his whistle went off after the ball crossed the line.
    United were furious but equalised just a minute before half-time when Jadon Sancho broke from the left and found Fred, who redeemed himself with a brilliant flick towards Bruno Fernandes that allowed him to score on his 100th appearance for the club.
    The hosts turned things around on 52 minutes when the visitors left plenty of space open down the right and that allowed Marcus Rashford to set Cristiano Ronaldo up for his 800th career goal.
    But Mikel Arteta’s men responded just two minutes later when Alex Telles forgot Gabriel Martinelli down the right flank and the forward passed to Martin Odegaard in the box from where he equalised.
    Odegaard, though, turned into a somewhat tragic figure soon after as he fouled Fred inside his own box and referee Atkinson pointed at the spot after checking with the VAR monitor.
    Ronaldo beat Aaron Ramsdale in the 70th minute with a composed finish that gave United a huge victory and limped off with a knock during the closing moments.
    That’s all from us here at SunSport, have a great night!
    GETTY IMAGES
    ARTETA REACTS
    Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes his team deserved more out of the game with Manchester United.
    Arteta told Amazon Prime: “I think we’ve come a long way since the game at Anfield.
    “We had a period after the goal where we just kept giving the ball away in dangerous areas.
    “If you look at the game you would say we deserved much more than we got but you get punished against this level of opponent”
    GETTY IMAGES
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    Chelsea want FIVE defenders, Barcelona want Azpilicueta transfer, Liverpool hammer Everton, Barbosa Prem link – updates

    CHELSEA remain top of the Premier League after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Watford at Vicarage Road on Wednesday.But there were worrying scenes from the terraces early in the contest with the match suspended for 35 minutes while a supporter was given CPR.
    In the Merseyside derby, Jurgen Klopp’s side showed no mercy on out-of-form Everton as Liverpool romped to a 4-1 victory over their big rivals.
    And the agent of Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa has shot down rumours linking the Brazilian to the Premier League.
    Arsenal have been linked with the 25-year-old, but the star striker is said to ‘very happy’ in Brazil.

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    Get all the latest football news, updates and transfer gossip below…
    PITCH INVADER SLAM SUNK
    A pitch invader was slammed to the ground by security during Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Arsenal.
    Cristiano Ronaldo and Co watched on in astonishment as the supporter charged the field late on in the Old Trafford clash.

    The person managed to make it all the way up to Ronaldo as United attempted to keep the Gunners at bay from a corner.
    However, the pitch invader couldn’t make it all the way to Ronnie and his team-mates.
    As the person approached the players, security finally caught up with them.
    And they were hurled to the ground with a move more akin to a rugby field.
    The crowd cheered as security then dragged the pitch invader off with just minutes left in the game.
    And there was very soon a louder roar as United secured a pivotal win over Mikel Arteta’s men.
    IT’S SAUL GONE WRONG
    Saul Niguez fears he is caught in a trap at Chelsea as his dream loan move turns into a nightmare.
    The midfielder’s latest blow came at half-time of Wednesday’s 2-1 win at Watford when he was substituted for what Thomas Tuchel claims were ‘tactical reasons’.
    The Chelsea boss later admitted: “I don’t know where he goes from this performance.”
    The one-time Spain international is struggling to adapt to the Premier League but believes he can’t do that without more game time and that his career is stalling at Stamford Bridge.
    Saul, 27, is happy with life in London but is growing increasingly fed up with lack of action.
    But he looks doomed to remain at Chelsea for the entire season regardless of his growing frustrations.
    There is no way back to Atletico Madrid because of Spanish football’s salary cap system. Saul was moved on in August so that his parent club could pay the wages of incoming star Antoine Griezmann.
    He has already played for two teams this season and the only way to play for a third is if he moved out of the UEFA area completely to play in the Middle East, USA or China – which might be on the table in January if things do not improve.
    CARRICK: BEST YEARS OF MY CAREER AT UTD
    Michael Carrick quit United after 15 years with an emotional message.
    The outgoing stand-in boss said after the 3-2 win over Arsenal: “My time at this great club will always rank as the best years of my career.
    “When I first signed over 15 years ago, I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined winning so many trophies and I will certainly never forget the fantastic memories both as a player and as a member of the coaching team.
    “However, after a lot of thought and deliberation, I have decided that now is the right time for me to leave the club.
    “I want to place on record my thanks to all of the players and a special mention goes to the backroom staff, working long hours with such a great group of people has been a real pleasure and I have made some long-lasting friendships.”
    CARRICK QUITS UTD
    BREAKING: Michael Carrick has sensationally quit Manchester United – just minutes after guiding them to victory over Arsenal, writes SUNNI UPAL.
    The former midfielder turned interim boss has left Old Trafford altogether rather than take a backseat to new manager Ralf Rangnick.
    Man Utd had just beaten Arsenal 3-2 at Old Trafford when the club announced the shock decision.
    RON UP TO 801 GOALS AS UTD WIN
    Michael Carrick’s unbeaten three-game United reign ended on a high as Cristiano Ronaldo’s double made him the first modern player past 800 goals as the Red Devils went seventh with a 3-2 comeback defeat of Arsenal.
    Click here for our FULL REPORT.
    And for all the reaction go to our BLOG.
    Credit: Getty
    Credit: Getty
    Credit: Getty
    RESULT: MAN UTD 3 ARSENAL 2
    Cristiano Ronaldo’s two goals sealed United’s thrilling comeback win.
    Follow all the action with our live blog HERE
    UNITED SO DANGEROUS ON THE BREAK
    Arsenal’s bid for a leveller is being thwarted by United’s thrilling counter-attacks.
    And the Red Devils’ two-goal hero Ronaldo got a standing ovation when he went off in the dying minutes.
    Follow all the action with our live blog HERE
    GOAL! MAN UTD 3 ARSENAL 2
    Cristiano Ronaldo smashed his penalty home down the middle.
    Arsenal responded by replacing Emile Smith Rowe with Bukayo Saka.
    Follow all the action with our live blog HERE
    F
    PENALTY! RON TO TAKE
    Follow all the action with our live blog HERE
    FRED PENALTY APPEALS REJECTED – BUT GOES TO VAR
    Ref Martin Atkinson rejected strong appeals… but VAR is likely to give it.
    LATEST: MAN UTD 2 ARSENAL 2
    Both sides are going for it now, Ronaldo almost restoring United’s lead.
    Follow all the action with our live blog HERE
    CECH BEATS INEQUALITY
    Petr Cech has picked up his drumsticks once again for a Christmas single to highlight inequalities in society.
    The Chelsea legend is a keen drummer and has long posted videos of himself playing along to his favourite tracks.
    Chelsea legend Petr Cech turns drummer for Christmas single to highlight racial, religious and social injustice
    Last Christmas he teamed up with Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth to release a track to raise money for dementia charities.
    And this year the pair have repeated the trick – recording a version of a song that originally featured Blues heroes Didier Drogba and Michael Essien.
    Cech told ITV News: “The idea was to make this song alive today with some adjustments to the modern days. In the end I think this song became a completely different thing.”
    The original track was entitled ‘Skin’ and released to challenge racism in the wake of the killings of young black men such as Anthony Walker and Stephen Lawrence.
    Artist Ian Wills – lead singer of group Wills & The Willing – recorded a version of the original with Chelsea stars Drogba and Essian.
    Thirteen years later, Wills has updated the song to raise awareness over racial, religious and wider social issues.
    GOAL! MAN UTD 2 ARSENAL 2
    Martin Odegaard squeezes an instant leveller via Gabriel Martinelli’s fine play.
    GOAL! MAN UTD 2 ARSENAL 1
    Cristiano Ronaldo became the first modern-era player to pass 800 goals for club and country with a superb right-footer.
    Marcus Rashford teed up Ronaldo for a bottom-corner finish after the England attacker’s superb right-wing work as United came from behind to lead after 52 minutes.
    Follow all the action with our live blog HERE
    F/T: SPURS 2 BRENTFORD 0
    Sergi Canos’ early own goal and Son Heung-min’s superb counter-attacking strike on 65 minutes put back-in-form Tottenham sixth with an impressive win.
    Brentford improved after the break but had only two efforts on target all night.
    For all the reaction go to our live blog HERE
    S/H UNDERWAY: MAN UTD 1 ARSENAL 1
    Follow all the action with our live blog HERE
    H/T: MAN UTD 1 ARSENAL 1
    Emile Smith Rowe’s opener – cancelling out by Bruno Fernandes’ fine leveller on 44 minutes – was the overwhelming talking point of the first half.
    Former England striker Alan Shearer told Prime Video: “My immediate thought was goal. I didn’t hear the referee blow and I didn’t see a foul on the keeper.
    “I think that happens in every game. The keeper goes down without a care to where the ball is and I don’t think he should be going down like that.
    “If it had been a serious injury then there’s an argument that maybe Arsenal should have let Man Utd score but a minute later he’s walking around and not limping.”
    Follow all the action with our live blog HERE
    LATEST: SPURS 2 BRENTFORD 0
    Brentford are pressing late on – with Ivan Toney prominent.
    But Tottenham are surely heading to a victory under Antonio Conte that they richly deserve after a vastly-improved performance.
    Follow all the action with our live blog HERE
    TWO REASONS SMITH ROWE’S GOAL STOOD
    Arsenal scored a controversial goal to open the scoring against Man Utd – and here’s why it stood.
    Emile Smith Rowe volleyed home from a half-cleared corner to give the Gunners the lead in the 17th minute.

    Man Utd were left furious because goalkeeper David de Gea was laying on the ground between his sticks injured.
    The Spanish stopper would’ve probably denied Smith Rowe’s effort – but for his injury.
    Football chiefs released a statement explaining the ball had crossed the line before the whistle blew – meaning the goal had to be given.
    And former referee Mark Clattenburg came on Amazon Prime to clear up any confusion about the incident itself.
    He said on the live broadcast: “Martin Atkinson has to give the goal because Fred accidentally stamps on David de Gea’s foot, so therefore it’s not a foul by an Arsenal player.
    “He doesn’t blow his whistle and therefore he has to give the goal.”
    Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta celebrated on the touchline while Man Utd players surrounded the referee.
    UTD FANS IN OLE TRIBUTE
    Manchester United fans unveiled a huge Ole Gunnar Solskjaer banner ahead of their game against Arsenal.
    Supporters in the Stretford End of Old Trafford raised the gigantic sign in the air before kick-off as they sang songs in praise of their former manager and player.

    Solskjaer was sacked last month following a dismal run of form that saw United lose five of their first 12 league games this term.
    And tonight was the Red Devils’ first game at home since Solskjaer’s exit.
    The red banner featured a picture of the Norwegian tactician in black print.
    And across it were the words ‘2O LEGEND’, with ‘OLE’ highlighted in white.
    SunSport reported this week how United had given fans permission to hold up the banner against Arsenal.
    Supporters approached the club about the touching gesture and Old Trafford chiefs approved.
    Following speculation over the United hot seat, Ralf Rangnick was eventually confirmed as the new interim boss.
    However, the German is yet to take charge of a game after struggling with work permit issues.
    And caretaker Michael Carrick was in control against Arsenal following games against Villarreal and Chelsea.
    GOAL! MAN UTD 1 ARSENAL 1
    Fred’s brilliant work teed up Bruno Fernandes for a cool, calm United equaliser just before the break.
    Follow all the action with our live blog HERE
    GOAL! MAN UTD 1 ARSENAL 1
    Fred’s brilliant work teed up Bruno Fernandes for a cool, calm United equaliser just before the break.
    Follow all the action with our live blog HERE
    GOAL! SPURS 2 BRENTFORD 0
    Son Heung-Min deservedly doubled Tottenham’s lead on 65 minutes.
    Harry Kane and Sergio Reguilon masterminded another excellent Spurs counter-attack, leaving Son to nudge the ball home.
    Follow all the action with our live blog HERE
    DON’T LOOK BECK IN ANGER
    Sir Alex Ferguson’s former No 2 Carlos Queiroz has revealed the ‘truth’ behind the infamous ‘flying boot’ clash with David Beckham.
    The legendary Manchester United manager clashed with Golden Balls on several occasions but the best remembered is undoubtedly the battle of February 2003.

    United lost 2-0 to bitter rivals Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round and Fergie was not happy after the game.
    Ryan Giggs missed a sitter when it was still 0-0 but Becks was the one who was the main subject of Fergie’s ire.
    The Scot let rip at the England legend before kicking a stray boot in his direction which struck him in the face.
    Becks needed stitches and was seen sporting butterfly strips over the eyebrow wound in the days after – but Portuguese coach Queiroz says all was not quite as it seemed.
    He told Four-Four-Two: “It’s time to establish the truth behind that story.
    “Someone once told me that if he had intended to hit Beckham with that boot, Sir Alex’s left foot must be real quality.
    “I was there in the dressing room that day and, let’s put things right, it was not a good shot because the boot first hit a table and only after went in Beckham’s direction.
    “Sir Alex, I’m sorry but your left foot was not as good as you think!”
    SPURS 1 BRENTFORD 0: KANE CLOSE
    Tottenham are pressing for a second goal, only Brentford keeper Álvaro Fernández foiling Harry Kane.
    Follow all the action with our live blog HERE
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    Man Utd 3-2 Arsenal LIVE RESULT: Cristiano Ronaldo nets winning penalty and 800th goal but goes off injured

    CRISTIANO RONALDO has netted a brace to put United in front against Arsenal.But there will be some concerns after the Portugal captain was forced off injured late in the game.
    Emile Smith Rowe put the Gunners ahead early with the most bizarre of goals.
    With David de Gea down injured, the midfielder fired the ball into an empty net.
    And referee Martin Atkinson failed to blow his whistle before the ball crossed the line so was ordered by VAR to give a goal.
    Bruno Fernandes then equalised for the Red Devils on the stroke of half time.
    Ronaldo then netted his 800th goal to put United ahead to the delight of the Stretford end before his former Real Madrid team-mate Odegaard instantly equalised.
    However a clumsy challenge from the Norwegian on Fred saw the Portugal captain earn a penalty to make it 801 career goals.

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    THAT’S ALL FROM MANCHESTER!
    Manchester United beat Arsenal 3-2 in an absolute thriller of a match at Old Trafford.
    The Gunners opened the scoring with one of the most controversial goals in Premier League history after just 13 minutes.
    David de Gea got hurt when Fred inadvertently stepped on his heel during a corner-kick and Emile Smith Rowe noticed the net open so he fired a shot from the edge of the box.
    After a long VAR consultation, referee Martin Atkinson awarded the goal to the north Londoners as his whistle went off after the ball crossed the line.
    United were furious but equalised just a minute before half-time when Jadon Sancho broke from the left and found Fred, who redeemed himself with a brilliant flick towards Bruno Fernandes that allowed him to score on his 100th appearance for the club.
    The hosts turned things around on 52 minutes when the visitors left plenty of space open down the right and that allowed Marcus Rashford to set Cristiano Ronaldo up for his 800th career goal.
    But Mikel Arteta’s men responded just two minutes later when Alex Telles forgot Gabriel Martinelli down the right flank and the forward passed to Martin Odegaard in the box from where he equalised.
    Odegaard, though, turned into a somewhat tragic figure soon after as he fouled Fred inside his own box and referee Atkinson pointed at the spot after checking with the VAR monitor.
    Ronaldo beat Aaron Ramsdale in the 70th minute with a composed finish that gave United a huge victory and limped off with a knock during the closing moments.
    That’s all from us here at SunSport, have a great night!
    GETTY IMAGES
    ARTETA REACTS
    Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes his team deserved more out of the game with Manchester United.
    Arteta told Amazon Prime: “I think we’ve come a long way since the game at Anfield.
    “We had a period after the goal where we just kept giving the ball away in dangerous areas.
    “If you look at the game you would say we deserved much more than we got but you get punished against this level of opponent”
    GETTY IMAGES
    CARRICK REACTS
    Michael Carrick said it wasn’t an easy decision to leave Manchester United but insists it was “100 per cent” his and is looking forward to spending some time with his family for the first time since his retirement.
    Carrick told Amazon Prime: “It’s not been an easy decision to make to be honest but I feel it’s the right one and I feel quite happy.
    “I’ve meant to take some time off after I finished playing and I promised the family that we would have some time together and it’s never happened. It feels like the right time to step away.
    “I’ll be back around the place. I’m not disappearing. But it’s just the right time and what a way to finish. It’s a perfect night really.
    “It’s 100 per cent my decision. I respected the club and I respected the new manager coming in and I wanted to make the decision before I had any contact with him or spoke to him.
    “There was no crossover whatsoever. I thought it was the right thing to do for the club and for Ralf [Rangnick]. Once I made the decision, that was final and I was happy with that.
    “I told the players about five minutes ago. They were a bit shocked and surprised. It was a little bit emotional in the changing room but I expected that. I held it together just about.
    “It’s not been easy to keep it away from people over the last few days but I had a job to do. I was desperate to win the game for the club, for the fans and for the players”
    GETTY IMAGES
    CARRICK LEAVES
    Manchester United have announced that Michael Carrick has decided to step down as first-team coach and will leave the club as Ralf Rangnick is set to take over as interim manager.
    Carrick said: “My time at this great club will always rank as the best years of my career. When I first signed over 15 years ago, I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined winning so many trophies and I will certainly never forget the fantastic memories both as a player and as a member of the coaching team.
    “However, after a lot of thought and deliberation, I have decided that now is the right time for me to leave the club. I want to place on record my thanks to all of the players and a special mention goes to the backroom staff, working long hours with such a great group of people has been a real pleasure and I have made some long-lasting friendships.
    “I am, and will always be, a Manchester United fan and will come to as many matches as possible. I would like to wish Ralf, the staff, the players and the fans all the best for the future and I look forward to being in the stands and supporting the boys as a fan”
    GETTY IMAGES
    CENT-BRUN-ION
    Bruno Fernandes made his 100th appearance across all competitions for Manchester United.
    Fernandes combined his incredible milestone with a very special goal that helped United beat Arsenal at Old Trafford.
    The playmaker became the first Red Devils star to score on his 100th game after Antonio Valencia in 2012.
    More below:
    100 – Bruno Fernandes is the first player to score on his 100th competitive appearance for Man Utd since Antonio Valencia vs Blackburn in April 2012. Equaliser. pic.twitter.com/AaJ49zaiE6— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 2, 2021

    UPDATED TABLE
    Manchester United have climbed up to seventh place after their victory over Arsenal.
    United are now three points away from West Ham and the Premier League’s top four.
    Arsenal remain fifth and are one point behind fourth place.
    More below:

    STATS
    Manchester United dominated a total of 50.4 per cent of possession during an evenly-matched ancounter against Arsenal.
    United registered 12 shots and proved to be very efficient as nine of them were on target.
    The Gunners, on the other hand, recorded 13 shots, six of which were on target.
    This was quite a thriller at Old Trafford, but remarkably enough there was only one yellow card which was shown to Red Devils ace Scott McTominay
    FT: MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    Manchester United won an absolute thriller against Arsenal at Old Trafford.
    The Gunners opened the scoring with one of the most controversial goals in Premier League history after just 13 minutes.
    David de Gea got hurt when Fred inadvertently stepped on his heel during a corner-kick and Emile Smith Rowe noticed the net open so he fired a shot from the edge of the box.
    After a long VAR consultation, referee Martin Atkinson awarded the goal to the north Londoners.
    United were furious but equalised just a minute before half-time when Jadon Sancho broke from the left and found Fred, who redeemed himself with a brilliant flick towards Bruno Fernandes that allowed him to score on his 100th appearance for the club.
    The hosts turned things around on 52 minutes when the visitors left plenty of space open down the right and that allowed Marcus Rashford to set Cristiano Ronaldo up for his 800th career goal.
    But Mikel Arteta’s men responded just two minutes later when Alex Telles forgot Gabriel Martinelli down the right flank and the forward passed to Martin Odegaard in the box from where he equalised.
    Odegaard, though, proved to be quite a tragic figure as he fouled Fred inside his own box and referee Atkinson pointed at the spot after checking with the VAR monitor.
    Ronaldo beat Aaron Ramsdale in the 70th minute with a composed finish that gave United a huge victory
    GETTY IMAGES
    PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!
    THAT’S FULL-TIME IN MANCHESTER!!!!!!!!!!
    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    93 Arsenal are desperately trying to salvage something but United are defending well.
    Fatigue is also starting to come into play for the visitors
    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    90 Five more minutes of stoppage time to go.
    Plenty of time for Arsenal to equalise, plenty of time for United to kill the game!
    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    90 SUBSTITUTION
    United boss Carrick isn’t done just yet as Van de Beek comes on for Fernandes, who also stood out against Arsenal
    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    89 SUBSTITUTION
    United boss Carrick introduces Martial, who replaces the impressive Ronaldo.
    The Red Devils faithful give their star forward a standing ovation on his way out!
    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    88 WHAT A CHANCE!
    United break into a very dangerous counter-attack and Sancho sets Fernandes in the penalty area.
    The Portugal international has the chance to kill the game but his shot is perfectly blocked by Tomiyasu!
    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    85 Five more minutes to go at Old Trafford.
    Arsenal are still pushing and are getting a lot out of full-backs Tavares as well as Tomiyasu down the left and right flank respecitvely.
    Dalot and Telles have had their hands full down the wings tonight
    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    83 CHANCE
    Arsenal ace Tavares delivers a cross from the left and finds Saka on the far post.
    The Gunners ace tries a shot but De Gea saves it rather comfortably
    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    82 Arsenal are desperately pushing for a late equaliser.
    But the United faithful are confident as they haven’t stopped singing since Ronaldo’s second goal
    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    79 SUBSTITUTION
    Arsenal boss Arteta responds with a coupe of changes of his own with Nketiah and Lacazette replacing Aubameyang and Odegaard respectively.
    The Gunners boss introduces two strikers in his bid for a late equaliser
    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    79 SUBSTITUTION
    United boss Carrick makes his first change as Lingard replaces Rashford for the last few minutes of the match
    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    78 WHAT A SAVE!
    Arsenal come so close to a third goal as Tomiyasu’s cross from the right finds Martinelli, whose scuffed shot reaches Aubameyang.
    The star striker only has De Gea to beat but his awkward volley is stopped by the Spaniard’s incredible save.
    Doesn’t matter, as the Gabon international is offside, but the United keeper still didn’t know that
    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    77 That is 801 career goals for Ronaldo, who has completed a brace against Arsenal.
    That is also a total of 130 goals for United across all competitions
    800 – Cristiano Ronaldo has scored the 800th goal of his professional career for club and country, scoring 129 of those for Man Utd (also 5 for Sporting, 450 Real Madrid, 101 Juventus, 115 Portugal). Remarkable. pic.twitter.com/kU7Z3zObAQ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 2, 2021

    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    75 CHANCE!
    Arsenal come close to an equaliser as Martinelli passes to Aubameyang and the star striker delivers a shot that is saved by De Gea
    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    75 He’s done it again! United are ahead thanks to Ronaldo once again!
    But Arsenal can’t be ruled out in any way, shape or form! This has been an insanely entertaining match!
    GETTY IMAGES
    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    73 Here’s how Ronaldo gave the lead to United once more.
    Absolutely composed from the Portugal captain!

    MAN UTD 3-2 ARSENAL
    71 SUBSTITUTION
    Arsenal boss Arteta makes the first switch of the match as Saka replaces Smith Rowe.
    Interesting to see in what kind of condition Saka is after his knock against Newcastle
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    Chelsea want FIVE defenders, Barcelona want Azpilicueta transfer, Liverpool thrash Everton, Barbosa Prem link – updates

    CHELSEA remain top of the Premier League after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Watford at Vicarage Road last nightBut there were worrying scenes from the terraces early in the contest with the match suspended for 35 minutes while a supporter was given CPR.
    In the Merseyside derby, Jurgen Klopp’s side showed no mercy on out-of-form Everton as Liverpool romped to a 4-1 victory over their big rivals.
    And the agent of Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa has shot down rumours linking the Brazilian to the Premier League.
    Arsenal have been linked with the 25-year-old, but the star striker is said to ‘very happy’ in Brazil.

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    Get all the latest football news, updates and transfer gossip below…
    BENITEZ AND BRANDS UNDER THREAT
    Everton may reportedly axe boss Rafa Benitez or director of football Marcel Brands as a power struggle engulfs the club.
    The Toffees have failed to notch a win in their last eight Premier League games and sit just five points above the relegation zone.
    But there’s as much turmoil off the pitch at Goodison Park as Brands and Benitez both want to wrangle more power over transfers from each other, according to Football Insider.
    Insider report that Benitez would like more say over who comes in and out of the club.
    However, Brands, who’s overseen the Toffees transfers since 2018 and recently penned a new three-year deal isn’t willing to cede power to Benitez.
    The pair’s alleged internal feud is having a negative effect on the team and Everton’s hierarchy are now mulling over which one to get rid of.
    And the Everton board may swiftly wield the axe before the club’s next must-win Premier League clash against Arsenal on Monday.
    RIVAL-NO
    Brazilian icon Rivaldo believes Lionel Messi was a deserved winner for this year’s hotly debated Ballon d’Or.
    Messi beat Robert Lewandowski to the award by just 33 points, and ex-Barcelona man Rivaldo reckons both would have been worthy winners, as would Karim Benzema.
    Speaking to betfair, Rivaldo said: “He [Messi] deserved the award based on his performances for Argentina as they won the Copa America – a trophy they have coveted for many years – and he was the best player of the tournament.
    “There will always be arguments about the Ballon D’or, as there are so many voters from all over the world and there is so much footballing talent around.
    “I could have made the case for Karim Benzema, along with Lewandowski and Messi, but in the end the award must go to one player.
    “It’s possible the Argentinian’s amazing career also had some influence on those voters who were wavering.”
    ‘FOREVER GRATEFUL’
    Wigan striker Charlie Wyke has revealed Latics boss Leam Richardson saved his life after he had a cardiac arrest during training.
    The forward, 28, was rushed to hospital on November 25 after he collapsed and has credited his boss’ quick reactions for ‘saving his life’.#
    Wyke told Wigan’s website: “First and foremost, I just want to stress my sincere appreciation to the club’s medical staff and the NHS staff who have cared for me after I was taken into hospital last week.
    “In particular, I would like to mention Dr. Rob Cooper from the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital for everything he has done for me over the last week or so.
    “I feel it’s important to tell my story to our supporters and to the wider public, because my life has been saved by the actions of the gaffer [Richardson] and the club doctor Jonathan Tobin, and my story may well save another life.
    “As you are aware, I collapsed during training on Monday.
    “I suffered a cardiac arrest and required CPR, and I am told it was only the quick response of the gaffer to initiate the resuscitation process and then the continuation from the Doc that saved my life.
    “I will be forever grateful that due to their actions – and those of my team-mates and other staff – I am here to talk to about the experience.”
    Read more HERE.

    WELCOME RETURN
    Christian Eriksen is back in training with one of his former clubs, six months after suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.
    The 29-year-old was suspended from playing for Inter in Serie A by the Italian medical authority because the life-saving device fitted to his heart is not allowed in the league.
    Now the former Tottenham man is in training with Danish outfit and one of his former sides Odense Boldklub.
    A spokesperson for the club told Reuters: “Eriksen reached out to us, and he is now training by himself.
    “It’s natural for him since he played here in his youth and lives around the corner. We are very happy to be able to provide training facilities for him.”
    The playmaker is targeting a sensational return to the game in 2022, and has stepped up his rehabilitation by training with his former side.

    PLAN B
    Antonio Conte is grooming Steven Bergwijn to be Harry Kane’s short-term understudy as a striker at Spurs.
    Even though the Dutchman has scored just four goals in 40 Premier League appearances – and three of those were in his first three home games.
    But new Tottenham boss Conte believes Bergwijn could be the man to get them through their chronic striker shortage during this busy festive period.
    Tonight’s Premier League clash at home to Brentford kicks off Spurs’ run of NINE matches in under a month before the transfer window reopens on January 1 – Conte can bring in some much-needed reinforcements.
    The Italian is well aware Harry Kane is and has long been the club’s only out and out striker.
    Previous Spurs managers Mauricio Pochettino, Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo have opted to play Son Heung-min as a No9 when Kane has been unavailable.

    MEDAL OF HORROR
    Winning the Premier League is no easy task.
    It takes the right manager, a strong mix of players, hard work, dedication, skill…
    No wonder that picking up a winners’ medal in the top-flight is among the most impressive feats in football.
    For every superstar champion there’s a backup player in dreamland, clutching the trophy with a medal around their neck.
    In tribute to them, here’s an XI of those Premier League winners you can be forgiven for having forgotten down the years.

    FA CHARGE
    FA chiefs are braced for a stinging rebuke over their part in the Euro 2020 Final carnage.
    Wembley bosses, under pressure from the Government, appointed Baroness Casey to investigate the shameful scenes that were witnessed before the game with Italy on July 11.
    And the results of the four-month probe will be published on Friday morning with Baroness Casey due to explain her findings.
    England were ordered to play their next home Nations League tie – in June – behind closed doors with Uefa also fining the FA £84,500.
    But the punishment did not close the matter down with the Casey investigation continuing in the background.
    The FA was under pressure to pinpoint the precise reasons for the anarchic scenes which including the families of England squad members being injured by ticketless thugs inside the stadium.
    PERFECT PEP
    Man City’s win against Aston Villa on Wednesday night bought up 150 Premier League victories for Pep Guardiola.
    Guardiola becomes the fastest manager to achieve the landmark, doing so in just 204 Prem games.
    Of the remaining 54 matches he’s lost 29 and drawn 25 – a 74 percent win rate.
    He has Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva to thank for his 150th three points, with the Portuguese duo netting in the 2-1 win against Aston Villa.
    And according to Manchester City’s official website, he’s comfortably the quickest to reach the achievement.

    UM DINGER
    Barcelona fans have not been shy in showing their ill feeling towards Samuel Umtiti by JUMPING in front of the defender’s car.
    As the French World Cup winner left Barcelona training a group of fans stood in the way of his sleek Lamborghini, with one even jumping up on to the bonnet.
    The defender accelerated away before stopping, getting out of the car and marching towards the fans that had gathered.
    And he reportedly said: “Come here. Do you pay for the car? Why do you mess around? Do you know what respect is,” according to Football Espana.
    Fans are unhappy with the defender after he refused to leave in the summer.
    The Barca faithful BOOED him during a 3-0 pre-season victory against Juventus after he stubbornly declined an exit.
    Umtiti has not played a single minute of football for Barcelona this campaign and continues to be linked with an exit from the club.

    GREEN LIGHT
    Ralf Rangnick has been granted his work permit to officially take charge of Manchester United – but he won’t be in the dug-out for tonight’s clash with Arsenal.
    The German, 63, was finally confirmed as the new interim manager of the Red Devils earlier this week.
    He will perform that role until the end of the season before then beginning work as a consultant for the club.
    SunSport revealed today that Rangnick has arrived in the UK and will be allowed into the Old Trafford stands providing he continues to test negative for Covid.
    But he needed a work permit to take up his post as interim manager of United.
    Due to his lack of recent coaching experience, Rangnick had to go before an FA panel to obtain the necessary visa to work in the Premier League.
    Read more HERE.
    CAV AT IT
    Edinson Cavani reportedly ‘wants’ a move to Barcelona at the end of the season.
    His current Manchester United deal expires in the summer, and he has ambitions of playing in La Liga before calling time on his career.
    The Uruguay international believes he still has two years left at the top level, and wants to link up with Xavi at Barcelona according to The Times.
    Cavani joined the Red Devils in 2020 and signed a one-year extension in the summer.
    But he seems unlikely to put pen-to-paper on another extension at Old Trafford with a move to Barcelona on the cards.
    And with cash-strapped Barca targeting low-cost transfers, the free signing of Cavani is an attractive prospect.

    BOU RADLEY
    Former Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna has spoken of how injuries ruined Abou Diaby’s career.
    The ex-midfielder was tipped to be the next Patrick Vieira, only for injuries to cruelly rob him of the chance to become a Gunners legend.
    Diaby, 35, suffered a serious ankle injury against Sunderland in May 2006, before then picking up further knocks to his knee, thigh and groin.
    He was limited to just 180 appearances from his nine-year stay in North London, with the player forced to hang up his boots aged 32.
    Discussing the towering central midfielder, Sagna told SunSport: “Abou was amazing.
    “Fearless with a huge amount of talent but his injury finished it off because he dislocated his ankle.
    “Then after that he was compensating from somewhere else, and he never managed to get back to what he was. He became fragile. An unlucky player but he was brilliant.”
    SAUL SHOCKER
    Thomas Tuchel has admitted he ‘doesn’t know’ what’s next for Saul Niguez after another shocking Chelsea showing.
    The deadline day loan signing was gifted a rare appearance against Watford with Jorginho out injured, but was hooked at half time by Tuchel.
    Tuchel said: “I don’t know where he goes from this performance but he was on a yellow card so we had two options.
    “We could have taken Marcos [Alonso] off who also had a yellow card and try Saul as a wing-back.
    “I had this in my mind before the game, if something happened to Marcos.
    “But I thought maybe it was not the right match to try things with new positions so it was [subbing] him to change the shape a little bit and have Thiago on the pitch with his organising.
    “Having Trevoh [Chalobah] on the number six who is more physical – unfortunately Trevoh injured himself and we ended up with Ruben on the single six. But it was a tactical decision.”

    SPURRED ON
    Yaya Toure is spending time at Tottenham’s academy as he works his way towards earning his coaching badges.
    The Manchester City great has previously coached in Russia, but is now back in the UK and in the process of earning his UEFA A-Licence.
    Toure, 38, lives in Hampstead and wanted to find a club close to home to work with, according to the Evening Standard.
    After an induction on Wednesday the former Ivory Coast midfielder will spend a couple of days a week working with Spurs’ youth prospects at their Enfield training ground.
    The three-time Premier League winner is reportedly open to a more formal role with the club though should he be offered one.
    He will not be involved with Antonio Conte and the Tottenham first team who train in a separate part of the training ground.
    Instead he will link up with academy manager Dean Rastrick and head of youth coaching Chris Powell.

    FAN FURY
    Seamus Coleman and several other Everton fans were confronted by an angry pitch invader after they were hammered at home by Liverpool.
    The Blues had a night to forget as Jurgen Klopp’s side ran riot at Goodison Park and beat their Merseyside rivals 4-1.
    That result piled even more pressure on Toffees boss Rafa Benitez with many supporters leaving early as their team crumbled away on the pitch.
    However, seconds after the full-time whistle, one individual who did stay decided to dart past stewards and get onto the grass himself to make his feelings known.
    Midfielder Anthony Gordon, 20, came face-to-face with the male before Seamus Coleman and Abdoulaye Doucoure came over to their young team-mate.
    The man continued to vent his fury at the players for several seconds as other supporters also attempted to encroach on the pitch as stewards eventually managed to restore order.

    GIFT OF THE GAB
    The agent of Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa has shot down rumours linking the Brazilian to the Premier League.
    Arsenal have been linked with the 25-year-old, but journalist Jorge Nicola has seemingly put those rumours to bed after speaking to Gabigol’s agent Junior Pedroso.
    Pedroso said: “Only us from 4ComM and Gabriel’s father can speak on behalf of the athlete. And there is absolutely nothing with Premier League or any other league at the moment.
    “He is focused solely on playing for Flamengo, because he is very happy at the club.”
    ROO BEAUTY
    Chelsea are competing with some of Europe’s top clubs to land Copenhagen wonderkid Roony Bardghji, according to reports.
    The Swedish winger, 16, is on the Blues’ radar after already breaking into his side’s first-team.
    But Thomas Tuchel’s men will have stiff competition.
    According to reporter Ekrem Konur, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Ajax are also interested in signing Bardghji.
    The wing wizard began the season playing for Copenhagen’s Under-19 side.
    But after four goals in nine appearances, he was promoted to the first-team.

    PEP TALK
    Man City boss Pep Guardiola has claimed Bernardo Silva is the best player in the Premier League after his stunning goal against Aston Villa.
    The Portuguese maestro put his side 2-0 up at Villa Park with a sumptuous volley on the stroke of half-time.
    Asked if his attacking midfielder is among the league’s best performers, he purred: “The best. When we made 98 points two or three years ago, he was the best, too. Take the videos and you will see.
    “It was an incredible finish. The goal was good, it was quick. To beat them was an incredible step for us.
    “The performance, 90 minutes, it was exceptional, the way we start the game. Villa have everything and the way we behaved today was really really good.
    “Villa are a top side with an incredible players and the manager on the touchline.”
    PROGRESS
    Man Utd have announced the make-up of their Fans Advisory Board in the wake of protests at Old Trafford last season.
    There are seven fan representatives in the group which will be co-chaired by barrister and lifelong United fans Christopher Saad and the club’s Group Managing Director Richard Arnold.
    The group was set up to ensure better fan representation with major decisions made by the club.
    The attempt to breakaway into a European Super League caused mass protests last season which saw the club’s home game with Liverpool last May postponed.
    Two members of the already established Fans’ Forum, Ian Stirling and Rick McGagh, have been appointed to the board along with Manchester United Supporters Trust Chair Jonathan Deitch and it’s Chief Executive Duncan Drasdo.
    The other fan places will be taken by Deborah Henry, Chair of the Manchester United Women’s Supporters’ Club, and communications consultant Oli Winton.
    Dave Pennington, a retired senior civil servant and another MUST board member has been named as special advisor to the co-Chairs.
    OVERNIGHT ROUND-UP
    Michael Carrick will take charge of Manchester United for a third huge game in a row tonight as new interim boss Ralf Rangnick waits for his visa issues to be resolved.
    Cristiano Ronaldo is tipped for a recall as ninth-placed United host on-fire Arsenal, while Tottenham entertain Brentford in this evening’s other match.Prem top three Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool all won away last night.
    Mason Mount hit the opener and teed up sub  Hakim Ziyech ‘s  winner as Chelsea beat Watford 2-1 in a game halted for 32 minutes by a medical emergency in the crowd.
    Ruben Dias and a sensational volley from Bernardo Silva sealed Steven Gerrard’s first defeat as Aston Villa boss as City also triumphed 2-1.
    And Mo Salah’s double led Liverpool’s 4-1 win to continue Everton’s slump with Rafa Benitez’s first Merseyside loss on the Toffees’ side.
    Elsewhere, Neal Maupay’s spectacular late overhead kick rescued a 1-1 draw for ten-man Brighton at West Ham.
    Leicester twice came from behind in a 2-2 stalemate at Southampton.
    And Burnley stopped Wolves moving fifth with a stubborn 0-0 draw at Molineux.
    Off the pitch, Barcelona are reportedly ready to swoop for Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta.
    And it’s claimed the Blues could target FIVE defenders – Jules Kounde, Attila Szalai, Marquinhos, Niklas Sule and Pau Torres.
    CONTE: MY TOUGHEST JOB
    Antonio Conte says managing Tottenham is the biggest challenge of his career.
    The Italian insists Spurs are having to start again as the team they have now is at a “medium level”.
    Conte and his players are still reeling from last Thursday’s embarrassing Europa Conference League loss away to Slovenian minnows NS Mura.

    The former Chelsea boss took over at Tottenham last month but he has warned he will not be able to turn the North Londoners around overnight.
    Ahead of Spurs Premier League clash at home to Brentford tonight, he said: “This is a big challenge for me.
    “This is a big challenge for the club. And this is a big challenge for the players. For everybody.
    “The club, in the last years, has been slipping.
    “If I compare Tottenham to when I was in Chelsea, Tottenham were very very competitive, a really really strong team.
    Conte and his players are still reeling from last Thursday’s embarrassing Europa Conference League loss away to Slovenian minnows NS Mura.
    The former Chelsea boss took over at Tottenham last month but he has warned he will not be able to turn the North Londoners around overnight.
    Ahead of Spurs Premier League clash at home to Brentford tonight, he said: “This is a big challenge for me.
    “This is a big challenge for the club. And this is a big challenge for the players. For everybody.
    “The club, in the last years, has been slipping.
    “If I compare Tottenham to when I was in Chelsea, Tottenham were very very competitive, a really really strong team.”
    ASTON VILLA 1 MAN CITY 2
    Bernardo Silva sealed Steven Gerrard’s first defeat as Villa boss with a sensational volley as City stayed a point clear of third-placed Liverpool with their fourth successive victory.
    Ruben Dias curled City’s stylish opener before Silva sidefooted Gabriel Jesus’ dropping cross high into the net on 43 minutes.
    Ollie Watkins replied deftly soon after the break but defeat left Villa 13th.
    WATFORD 1 CHELSEA 2
    Mason Mount hit the opener and set up the winner as leaders Chelsea stayed a point clear of Man City in a game delayed by 32 minutes by a medical emergency in the crowd.
    England midfielder Mount rounded off a sweet move just before the half-hour mark – after the players had resumed action.
    Emmanuel Dennis fired a deflected equaliser after Ruben Loftus-Cheek lost the ball.
    But Mount teed up sub Hakim Ziyech to seal Chelsea’s victory on 72 minutes.
    EVERTON 1 LIVERPOOL 4
    Mo Salah’s double spearheaded Liverpool’s convincing win as Everton’s slump continued in Rafa Benitez’s first Merseyside derby on the Blue side.
    Jordan Henderson and Salah’s angled effort put the third-placed Reds’ 2-0 up inside 19 minutes.
    Demarai Gray cut the deficit on 38 minutes but Salah punished a Seamus Coleman mistake midway through the second period and Diogo Jota bagged Liverpool’s fourth.
    SOUTHAMPTON 2 LEICESTER 2
    Jonny Evans and James Maddison bagged Leicester’s two equalisers in this entertaining Prem draw.
    Jan Bednarek snapped up the Saints’ third-minute opener as they edged the first half.
    Evans’ follow-up shot made it 1-1 on 22 minutes but Che Adams headed Southampton back in front from Nathan Redmond’s centre.
    Maddison drilled a clinical equaliser soon after the break, before Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy almost won it for the Foxes.
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    Chelsea targeting FIVE defenders, Barcelona want Azpilicueta, Liverpool thrash Everton, Barbosa Prem link – updates

    CHELSEA remain top of the Premier League after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Watford at Vicarage Road.But there were worrying scenes from the terraces early in the contest with the match suspended for 35 minutes while a supporter was given CPR.
    In the Merseyside derby, Jurgen Klopp’s side showed no mercy on out-of-form Everton as Liverpool romped to a 4-1 victory over their big rivals.
    And the agent of Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa has shot down rumours linking the Brazilian to the Premier League.
    Arsenal have been linked with the 25-year-old, but the star striker is said to ‘very happy’ in Brazil.

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    Get all the latest football news, updates and transfer gossip below…
    RIVAL-NO
    Brazilian icon Rivaldo believes Lionel Messi was a deserved winner for this year’s hotly debated Ballon d’Or.
    Messi beat Robert Lewandowski to the award by just 33 points, and ex-Barcelona man Rivaldo reckons both would have been worthy winners, as would Karim Benzema.
    Speaking to betfair, Rivaldo said: “He [Messi] deserved the award based on his performances for Argentina as they won the Copa America – a trophy they have coveted for many years – and he was the best player of the tournament.
    “There will always be arguments about the Ballon D’or, as there are so many voters from all over the world and there is so much footballing talent around.
    “I could have made the case for Karim Benzema, along with Lewandowski and Messi, but in the end the award must go to one player.
    “It’s possible the Argentinian’s amazing career also had some influence on those voters who were wavering.”
    ‘FOREVER GRATEFUL’
    Wigan striker Charlie Wyke has revealed Latics boss Leam Richardson saved his life after he had a cardiac arrest during training.
    The forward, 28, was rushed to hospital on November 25 after he collapsed and has credited his boss’ quick reactions for ‘saving his life’.#
    Wyke told Wigan’s website: “First and foremost, I just want to stress my sincere appreciation to the club’s medical staff and the NHS staff who have cared for me after I was taken into hospital last week.
    “In particular, I would like to mention Dr. Rob Cooper from the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital for everything he has done for me over the last week or so.
    “I feel it’s important to tell my story to our supporters and to the wider public, because my life has been saved by the actions of the gaffer [Richardson] and the club doctor Jonathan Tobin, and my story may well save another life.
    “As you are aware, I collapsed during training on Monday.
    “I suffered a cardiac arrest and required CPR, and I am told it was only the quick response of the gaffer to initiate the resuscitation process and then the continuation from the Doc that saved my life.
    “I will be forever grateful that due to their actions – and those of my team-mates and other staff – I am here to talk to about the experience.”
    Read more HERE.

    WELCOME RETURN
    Christian Eriksen is back in training with one of his former clubs, six months after suffering a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.
    The 29-year-old was suspended from playing for Inter in Serie A by the Italian medical authority because the life-saving device fitted to his heart is not allowed in the league.
    Now the former Tottenham man is in training with Danish outfit and one of his former sides Odense Boldklub.
    A spokesperson for the club told Reuters: “Eriksen reached out to us, and he is now training by himself.
    “It’s natural for him since he played here in his youth and lives around the corner. We are very happy to be able to provide training facilities for him.”
    The playmaker is targeting a sensational return to the game in 2022, and has stepped up his rehabilitation by training with his former side.

    PLAN B
    Antonio Conte is grooming Steven Bergwijn to be Harry Kane’s short-term understudy as a striker at Spurs.
    Even though the Dutchman has scored just four goals in 40 Premier League appearances – and three of those were in his first three home games.
    But new Tottenham boss Conte believes Bergwijn could be the man to get them through their chronic striker shortage during this busy festive period.
    Tonight’s Premier League clash at home to Brentford kicks off Spurs’ run of NINE matches in under a month before the transfer window reopens on January 1 – Conte can bring in some much-needed reinforcements.
    The Italian is well aware Harry Kane is and has long been the club’s only out and out striker.
    Previous Spurs managers Mauricio Pochettino, Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo have opted to play Son Heung-min as a No9 when Kane has been unavailable.

    MEDAL OF HORROR
    Winning the Premier League is no easy task.
    It takes the right manager, a strong mix of players, hard work, dedication, skill…
    No wonder that picking up a winners’ medal in the top-flight is among the most impressive feats in football.
    For every superstar champion there’s a backup player in dreamland, clutching the trophy with a medal around their neck.
    In tribute to them, here’s an XI of those Premier League winners you can be forgiven for having forgotten down the years.

    FA CHARGE
    FA chiefs are braced for a stinging rebuke over their part in the Euro 2020 Final carnage.
    Wembley bosses, under pressure from the Government, appointed Baroness Casey to investigate the shameful scenes that were witnessed before the game with Italy on July 11.
    And the results of the four-month probe will be published on Friday morning with Baroness Casey due to explain her findings.
    England were ordered to play their next home Nations League tie – in June – behind closed doors with Uefa also fining the FA £84,500.
    But the punishment did not close the matter down with the Casey investigation continuing in the background.
    The FA was under pressure to pinpoint the precise reasons for the anarchic scenes which including the families of England squad members being injured by ticketless thugs inside the stadium.
    PERFECT PEP
    Man City’s win against Aston Villa on Wednesday night bought up 150 Premier League victories for Pep Guardiola.
    Guardiola becomes the fastest manager to achieve the landmark, doing so in just 204 Prem games.
    Of the remaining 54 matches he’s lost 29 and drawn 25 – a 74 percent win rate.
    He has Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva to thank for his 150th three points, with the Portuguese duo netting in the 2-1 win against Aston Villa.
    And according to Manchester City’s official website, he’s comfortably the quickest to reach the achievement.

    UM DINGER
    Barcelona fans have not been shy in showing their ill feeling towards Samuel Umtiti by JUMPING in front of the defender’s car.
    As the French World Cup winner left Barcelona training a group of fans stood in the way of his sleek Lamborghini, with one even jumping up on to the bonnet.
    The defender accelerated away before stopping, getting out of the car and marching towards the fans that had gathered.
    And he reportedly said: “Come here. Do you pay for the car? Why do you mess around? Do you know what respect is,” according to Football Espana.
    Fans are unhappy with the defender after he refused to leave in the summer.
    The Barca faithful BOOED him during a 3-0 pre-season victory against Juventus after he stubbornly declined an exit.
    Umtiti has not played a single minute of football for Barcelona this campaign and continues to be linked with an exit from the club.

    GREEN LIGHT
    Ralf Rangnick has been granted his work permit to officially take charge of Manchester United – but he won’t be in the dug-out for tonight’s clash with Arsenal.
    The German, 63, was finally confirmed as the new interim manager of the Red Devils earlier this week.
    He will perform that role until the end of the season before then beginning work as a consultant for the club.
    SunSport revealed today that Rangnick has arrived in the UK and will be allowed into the Old Trafford stands providing he continues to test negative for Covid.
    But he needed a work permit to take up his post as interim manager of United.
    Due to his lack of recent coaching experience, Rangnick had to go before an FA panel to obtain the necessary visa to work in the Premier League.
    Read more HERE.
    CAV AT IT
    Edinson Cavani reportedly ‘wants’ a move to Barcelona at the end of the season.
    His current Manchester United deal expires in the summer, and he has ambitions of playing in La Liga before calling time on his career.
    The Uruguay international believes he still has two years left at the top level, and wants to link up with Xavi at Barcelona according to The Times.
    Cavani joined the Red Devils in 2020 and signed a one-year extension in the summer.
    But he seems unlikely to put pen-to-paper on another extension at Old Trafford with a move to Barcelona on the cards.
    And with cash-strapped Barca targeting low-cost transfers, the free signing of Cavani is an attractive prospect.

    BOU RADLEY
    Former Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna has spoken of how injuries ruined Abou Diaby’s career.
    The ex-midfielder was tipped to be the next Patrick Vieira, only for injuries to cruelly rob him of the chance to become a Gunners legend.
    Diaby, 35, suffered a serious ankle injury against Sunderland in May 2006, before then picking up further knocks to his knee, thigh and groin.
    He was limited to just 180 appearances from his nine-year stay in North London, with the player forced to hang up his boots aged 32.
    Discussing the towering central midfielder, Sagna told SunSport: “Abou was amazing.
    “Fearless with a huge amount of talent but his injury finished it off because he dislocated his ankle.
    “Then after that he was compensating from somewhere else, and he never managed to get back to what he was. He became fragile. An unlucky player but he was brilliant.”
    SAUL SHOCKER
    Thomas Tuchel has admitted he ‘doesn’t know’ what’s next for Saul Niguez after another shocking Chelsea showing.
    The deadline day loan signing was gifted a rare appearance against Watford with Jorginho out injured, but was hooked at half time by Tuchel.
    Tuchel said: “I don’t know where he goes from this performance but he was on a yellow card so we had two options.
    “We could have taken Marcos [Alonso] off who also had a yellow card and try Saul as a wing-back.
    “I had this in my mind before the game, if something happened to Marcos.
    “But I thought maybe it was not the right match to try things with new positions so it was [subbing] him to change the shape a little bit and have Thiago on the pitch with his organising.
    “Having Trevoh [Chalobah] on the number six who is more physical – unfortunately Trevoh injured himself and we ended up with Ruben on the single six. But it was a tactical decision.”

    SPURRED ON
    Yaya Toure is spending time at Tottenham’s academy as he works his way towards earning his coaching badges.
    The Manchester City great has previously coached in Russia, but is now back in the UK and in the process of earning his UEFA A-Licence.
    Toure, 38, lives in Hampstead and wanted to find a club close to home to work with, according to the Evening Standard.
    After an induction on Wednesday the former Ivory Coast midfielder will spend a couple of days a week working with Spurs’ youth prospects at their Enfield training ground.
    The three-time Premier League winner is reportedly open to a more formal role with the club though should he be offered one.
    He will not be involved with Antonio Conte and the Tottenham first team who train in a separate part of the training ground.
    Instead he will link up with academy manager Dean Rastrick and head of youth coaching Chris Powell.

    FAN FURY
    Seamus Coleman and several other Everton fans were confronted by an angry pitch invader after they were hammered at home by Liverpool.
    The Blues had a night to forget as Jurgen Klopp’s side ran riot at Goodison Park and beat their Merseyside rivals 4-1.
    That result piled even more pressure on Toffees boss Rafa Benitez with many supporters leaving early as their team crumbled away on the pitch.
    However, seconds after the full-time whistle, one individual who did stay decided to dart past stewards and get onto the grass himself to make his feelings known.
    Midfielder Anthony Gordon, 20, came face-to-face with the male before Seamus Coleman and Abdoulaye Doucoure came over to their young team-mate.
    The man continued to vent his fury at the players for several seconds as other supporters also attempted to encroach on the pitch as stewards eventually managed to restore order.

    GIFT OF THE GAB
    The agent of Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa has shot down rumours linking the Brazilian to the Premier League.
    Arsenal have been linked with the 25-year-old, but journalist Jorge Nicola has seemingly put those rumours to bed after speaking to Gabigol’s agent Junior Pedroso.
    Pedroso said: “Only us from 4ComM and Gabriel’s father can speak on behalf of the athlete. And there is absolutely nothing with Premier League or any other league at the moment.
    “He is focused solely on playing for Flamengo, because he is very happy at the club.”
    ROO BEAUTY
    Chelsea are competing with some of Europe’s top clubs to land Copenhagen wonderkid Roony Bardghji, according to reports.
    The Swedish winger, 16, is on the Blues’ radar after already breaking into his side’s first-team.
    But Thomas Tuchel’s men will have stiff competition.
    According to reporter Ekrem Konur, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Ajax are also interested in signing Bardghji.
    The wing wizard began the season playing for Copenhagen’s Under-19 side.
    But after four goals in nine appearances, he was promoted to the first-team.

    PEP TALK
    Man City boss Pep Guardiola has claimed Bernardo Silva is the best player in the Premier League after his stunning goal against Aston Villa.
    The Portuguese maestro put his side 2-0 up at Villa Park with a sumptuous volley on the stroke of half-time.
    Asked if his attacking midfielder is among the league’s best performers, he purred: “The best. When we made 98 points two or three years ago, he was the best, too. Take the videos and you will see.
    “It was an incredible finish. The goal was good, it was quick. To beat them was an incredible step for us.
    “The performance, 90 minutes, it was exceptional, the way we start the game. Villa have everything and the way we behaved today was really really good.
    “Villa are a top side with an incredible players and the manager on the touchline.”
    PROGRESS
    Man Utd have announced the make-up of their Fans Advisory Board in the wake of protests at Old Trafford last season.
    There are seven fan representatives in the group which will be co-chaired by barrister and lifelong United fans Christopher Saad and the club’s Group Managing Director Richard Arnold.
    The group was set up to ensure better fan representation with major decisions made by the club.
    The attempt to breakaway into a European Super League caused mass protests last season which saw the club’s home game with Liverpool last May postponed.
    Two members of the already established Fans’ Forum, Ian Stirling and Rick McGagh, have been appointed to the board along with Manchester United Supporters Trust Chair Jonathan Deitch and it’s Chief Executive Duncan Drasdo.
    The other fan places will be taken by Deborah Henry, Chair of the Manchester United Women’s Supporters’ Club, and communications consultant Oli Winton.
    Dave Pennington, a retired senior civil servant and another MUST board member has been named as special advisor to the co-Chairs.
    OVERNIGHT ROUND-UP
    Michael Carrick will take charge of Manchester United for a third huge game in a row tonight as new interim boss Ralf Rangnick waits for his visa issues to be resolved.
    Cristiano Ronaldo is tipped for a recall as ninth-placed United host on-fire Arsenal, while Tottenham entertain Brentford in this evening’s other match.Prem top three Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool all won away last night.
    Mason Mount hit the opener and teed up sub  Hakim Ziyech ‘s  winner as Chelsea beat Watford 2-1 in a game halted for 32 minutes by a medical emergency in the crowd.
    Ruben Dias and a sensational volley from Bernardo Silva sealed Steven Gerrard’s first defeat as Aston Villa boss as City also triumphed 2-1.
    And Mo Salah’s double led Liverpool’s 4-1 win to continue Everton’s slump with Rafa Benitez’s first Merseyside loss on the Toffees’ side.
    Elsewhere, Neal Maupay’s spectacular late overhead kick rescued a 1-1 draw for ten-man Brighton at West Ham.
    Leicester twice came from behind in a 2-2 stalemate at Southampton.
    And Burnley stopped Wolves moving fifth with a stubborn 0-0 draw at Molineux.
    Off the pitch, Barcelona are reportedly ready to swoop for Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta.
    And it’s claimed the Blues could target FIVE defenders – Jules Kounde, Attila Szalai, Marquinhos, Niklas Sule and Pau Torres.
    CONTE: MY TOUGHEST JOB
    Antonio Conte says managing Tottenham is the biggest challenge of his career.
    The Italian insists Spurs are having to start again as the team they have now is at a “medium level”.
    Conte and his players are still reeling from last Thursday’s embarrassing Europa Conference League loss away to Slovenian minnows NS Mura.

    The former Chelsea boss took over at Tottenham last month but he has warned he will not be able to turn the North Londoners around overnight.
    Ahead of Spurs Premier League clash at home to Brentford tonight, he said: “This is a big challenge for me.
    “This is a big challenge for the club. And this is a big challenge for the players. For everybody.
    “The club, in the last years, has been slipping.
    “If I compare Tottenham to when I was in Chelsea, Tottenham were very very competitive, a really really strong team.
    Conte and his players are still reeling from last Thursday’s embarrassing Europa Conference League loss away to Slovenian minnows NS Mura.
    The former Chelsea boss took over at Tottenham last month but he has warned he will not be able to turn the North Londoners around overnight.
    Ahead of Spurs Premier League clash at home to Brentford tonight, he said: “This is a big challenge for me.
    “This is a big challenge for the club. And this is a big challenge for the players. For everybody.
    “The club, in the last years, has been slipping.
    “If I compare Tottenham to when I was in Chelsea, Tottenham were very very competitive, a really really strong team.”
    ASTON VILLA 1 MAN CITY 2
    Bernardo Silva sealed Steven Gerrard’s first defeat as Villa boss with a sensational volley as City stayed a point clear of third-placed Liverpool with their fourth successive victory.
    Ruben Dias curled City’s stylish opener before Silva sidefooted Gabriel Jesus’ dropping cross high into the net on 43 minutes.
    Ollie Watkins replied deftly soon after the break but defeat left Villa 13th.
    WATFORD 1 CHELSEA 2
    Mason Mount hit the opener and set up the winner as leaders Chelsea stayed a point clear of Man City in a game delayed by 32 minutes by a medical emergency in the crowd.
    England midfielder Mount rounded off a sweet move just before the half-hour mark – after the players had resumed action.
    Emmanuel Dennis fired a deflected equaliser after Ruben Loftus-Cheek lost the ball.
    But Mount teed up sub Hakim Ziyech to seal Chelsea’s victory on 72 minutes.
    EVERTON 1 LIVERPOOL 4
    Mo Salah’s double spearheaded Liverpool’s convincing win as Everton’s slump continued in Rafa Benitez’s first Merseyside derby on the Blue side.
    Jordan Henderson and Salah’s angled effort put the third-placed Reds’ 2-0 up inside 19 minutes.
    Demarai Gray cut the deficit on 38 minutes but Salah punished a Seamus Coleman mistake midway through the second period and Diogo Jota bagged Liverpool’s fourth.
    SOUTHAMPTON 2 LEICESTER 2
    Jonny Evans and James Maddison bagged Leicester’s two equalisers in this entertaining Prem draw.
    Jan Bednarek snapped up the Saints’ third-minute opener as they edged the first half.
    Evans’ follow-up shot made it 1-1 on 22 minutes but Che Adams headed Southampton back in front from Nathan Redmond’s centre.
    Maddison drilled a clinical equaliser soon after the break, before Harvey Barnes and Jamie Vardy almost won it for the Foxes.
    WOLVES 0 BURNLEY 0
    Burnley’s dogged defending stopped Wolves going fifth.
    Ft-again winger Adama Traore, in his first game since October 23, fired against the Clarets’ bar.
    And Nick Pope tipped a Traore shot wide in Wolves’ only second-half effort on target as third-bottom Burnley made it five draws from their past seven matches.
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    Everton 1 Liverpool 4 LIVE REACTION: Salah, Jota and Henderson on target as Reds humiliate Toffees in one-sided derby

    LIVERPOOL have the Merseyside derby bragging rights after a thumping victory over Everton at Goodison Park. It was a dream start for Jurgen Klopp’s side, with Jordan Henderson and Mo Salah firing them into an early two-goal lead.
    But the Toffees got back in the tie thanks to Demarai Gray, who beat Alisson one-on-one.
    Rafa Benitez’s pushed for a leveller, but Salah restored the two-goal lead on the break before Jota hammered in a terrific fourth.
    Everton fans voted with their feet following that goal, with barely a few thousand left in the ground at full time.

    Final score: Everton 1-4 Liverpool

    Follow ALL the latest with our live blog below…

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    GOODNIGHT FROM GOODISON
    Less than a mile separates Anfield and Goodison Park, but Merseyside’s two clubs could not be further apart at this moment in time.
    Another four-midable performance from Liverpool, their biggest win at Everton for 39 years, had the Reds roaring with delight. Glory and silverware surely beckon for Jurgen Klopp’s men led by the irresistible Mo Salah.
    On the other side of Stanley Park, the Blues are feeling just that. Eight games without a win, an unwanted manager under pressure, and fans revolting against the board. The Toffees are currently closer to the Championship than the Champions League.
    Liverpool will continue to cruise, but more upheaval is expected at Everton before things can improve. Whether that happens before Monday’s game with Arsenal remains to be seen, but whatever the case we’ll be here with the news as it breaks.
    Thanks for following tonight’s game with us, goodbye.
    TIGHT AT THE TOP
    Two points continue to separate the top three teams in the Premier League after Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool all registered wins on Wednesday evening. It is shaping up to be some title race.
    Not pictured: Everton.

    TOXIC TOFFEES
    The atmosphere at Goodison Park this evening has been described as “toxic” by many in attendance.
    Boos at full time, and chants of “sack the board!”, there doesn’t seem to be an immediate fix for the problems that have arisen at the club.
    A fortune spent on average players, questionable ownership and six different managers in six years has left the Merseysiders bereft of identity.
    Supporters are demanding that something has to change.

    CATCH MO IF YOU CAN
    Two more goals for Mohamed Salah this evening took hit tally to 19 for the season in all competitions.
    In doing so, he also became the first Liverpool player to register goal involvement in seven consecutive away games.
    In fact, the only Premier League match that Salah has neither scored or assisted this season is Burnley at home.
    Speaking afterwards, the Egyptian insisted he had no personal goals for the campaign, just targets with his team.
    My first target is to win something with the club. The Premier League? The Champions League? Maybe both.Mo SalahPrime Video

    RAFA OUT?
    It’s now eight games without a win for Everton, their worst run of form this century. As a result, bookmaker Paddy Power are paying out on Rafael Benitez to be the next Premier League manager to leave his job.
    Other less attention-hungry bookies are as short as 1/6 about the Spaniard leaving his post imminently.

    FT: EVERTON 1-4 LIVERPOOL
    Boos ring out from the remaining home fans at full time as Everton crash to their heaviest home defeat in a Merseyside derby for 39 years. Local rivals Liverpool were superb once again, and it means the pressure increases on their former hero Rafa Benitez. Goals from Jordan Henderson, Diogo Jota and a double from Mohamed Salah were too much for the Toffees, who only had Demarai Gray’s effort amid half hour of hope to show for their efforts.
    PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!THE FINAL WHISTLE IS BLOWN!
    EVERTON 1-4 LIVERPOOL
    90. “You’ll Never Walk Alone” rings around Goodison Park as the fourth official signals an additional three minutes of playing time.
    It’s been a miserable night for Evertonians. It’s been business as usual for Liverpool.
    EVERTON 1-4 LIVERPOOL
    88. Off goes Diogo Jota. On comes Takumi Minamino.
    EVERTON 1-4 LIVERPOOL
    85. The Everton players want the final whistle. The Everon fans that have stayed want the final whistle.
    I’m not sure Cenk Tosun wants any part of this, but he’s on for a first Premier League appearance of the season. He replaces Demarai Gray.
    EVERTON 1-4 LIVERPOOL
    84. Jordan Henderson has put in a superb shift this evening, and his reward is an early finish.
    The Liverpool captain departs having opened the scoring, and is replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
    EVERTON 1-4 LIVERPOOL
    83. Rafa Benitez is once again being serenaded by the Liverpool fans, perhaps with a more mocking tone than the earlier affection.
    It could be a difficult week for the Spanish coach.
    EVERTON 1-4 LIVERPOOL
    81. Van Dijk becomes the seventh player to be booked this evening. The centre-back is penalised for a mismatched challenge on Gordon.
    EVERTON 1-4 LIVERPOOL
    79. Diogo Jota gets in on the act!
    It’s a brilliant piece of skill from the Portuguese forward, but the defending sums up Everton’s performance tonight – and perhaps sums up their season too.
    Andy Robertson’s pass into the middle is slightly behind Jota, but he takes an exquisite touch to spin away from a flatfooted Allan before slamming an effort into the roof of the net from an acute angle.
    The Reds are running riot.

    GOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL!!DIOGO JOTA WITH A SENSATIONAL STRIKE!!
    EVERTON 1-3 LIVERPOOL
    77. Liverpool sense more as their away fans bellow out the Christmas hits.
    EVERTON 1-3 LIVERPOOL
    75. A beaming Jurgen Klopp makes his first switch of the night, introducing veteran James Milner for Thiago.
    The 35-year-old has quarter of an hour to get in on the action.
    EVERTON 1-3 LIVERPOOL
    73. It’s another Everton change. Rafa decides to shore up the midfield now the game is out of reach, and replaces Andros Townsend with Fabian Delph.
    EVERTON 1-3 LIVERPOOL
    71. Mo Salah’s double tonight now mean that he’s either scored or assisted in every Premier League away game this season. That’s nine goals and five assists.
    On current form, no player in world football comes close (although I will accept Fulham’s Neeskens Kebano).
    EVERTON 1-3 LIVERPOOL
    69. Want to know how confident these Liverpool players are at the moment?
    Jordan Henderson is out on the far touchline, performing tricks to move beyond Digne. Mad tekkers, as the kids say (in 2009).
    EVERTON 1-3 LIVERPOOL
    65. Is there a better player in world football than Mohamed Salah?
    It’s certainly not Seamus Coleman, who – it has to be said – is at fault for this goal.
    The Everton captain fails to deal with a loose pass back to him from Demarai Gray, and his hesitation allowed Salah to poke play past him and rush clear.
    Head down, the Egyptian burst through from the halfway line and cooly slipped a delicate effort past Jordan Pickford and into the bottom corner.
    It’s two for Salah, three for Liverpool, and the points are heading back to Anfield.

    GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAALLLLL!!MO SALAH AT THE DOUBLE!!
    EVERTON 1-2 LIVERPOOL
    64. Townsend goes for the goal with the free-kick! Deflected wide for a corner!
    EVERTON 1-2 LIVERPOOL
    63. Gordon gets to a bouncing ball ahead of Robertson, pokes it past the defender and hits the deck.
    Paul Tierney points for a free-kick, produces a yellow card for Liverpool’s left-back and the Everton roar with approval at a decision finally going their way.
    Replays, however, show that contact was minimal, and Gordon could have arguably been the third home player booked for diving.
    EVERTON 1-2 LIVERPOOL
    61. Liverpool test the Everton defence with a succession of corners, but Keane and then Pickford manage to repel the danger.
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