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No wonder Jurgen Klopp wants a holiday – Liverpool's title battle with Man City is agonising

Jurgen Klopp celebrates with the Kop after Liverpool's win over Burnley

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola must wish they could file restraining orders against each other.

The perennial stalkers are at it again, Liverpool and Manchester City resuming their tit-for-tat at the Premier League summit. Where one goes, the other surely follows, Liverpool returning to the top having seen the champions temporarily overtake them.

A point separated the managers in 2019 and 2022. Another photo finish is on the cards in 2024, even if the champions are oozing that familiar calm while their challengers from Merseyside and North London recognise the potentially calamitous consequence of every dropped point.

City’s serenity is a potent weapon. They have a habit of winning while looking unflustered, extreme emotions rarely their energy source.

By contrast, Liverpool and Arsenal’s title hopes are played amid that frenzied ache for victory, which occasionally manifests itself in chaotic, panic-stricken pursuits of a winning goal, or the need for desperate defensive resistance in frantic finales.

Liverpool might have anticipated a home fixture with Burnley to be more routine than this. Instead, the heart monitors on the smartwatches of a record Anfield crowd vibrated in unison during a frenetic, breathlessly entertaining game which was only settled when Darwin Nunez’s 80th minute goal secured an unassailable 3-1 lead.

Liverpool's Darwin Nunez celebrates scoring their side's third goal
Darwin Nunez made the game safe with a second-half header - PA/Peter Byrne

If it is going to be like this for the last 14 league games, it is no wonder Klopp believes he needs a long holiday. He and his senior players are not only fighting City. They are seeking to banish a fatalistic sense of déjà vu that being nearly flawless is not quite enough.

Klopp well remembers how Vincent Kompany denied him his first Liverpool title five years ago, his piledriver for City against Leicester City in the run-in prompting calls for the statue that followed.

Kompany dared to dream of doing his former club a favour here, too. Burnley were unfancied, but they were also unintimidated - and they sensed an opportunity when seeing a team sheet with notable Liverpool absentees.

Alisson and Joe Gomez were ill and Trent Alexander-Arnold had to be withdrawn at half-time with a recurrence of a knee issue, having just given a 45 minute passing masterclass.

Trent Alexander-Arnold in action for Liverpool against Burnley
Trent Alexander-Arnold, playing with strapping on his knee, was substituted at half time - Getty Images/John Powell

Liverpool’s fluency and control was also missing. What got them over the line here was the sheer bloodymindedness that typifies title bids as much as scintillating football.

“I have no problem fighting for the result,” said Klopp.

“I can’t remember the last time we didn’t have to do that. I wanted us to play better and calmer football. But for some obvious, and some less obvious reasons, it was a tricky afternoon.”

Mark this victory as one of those whose importance will be elevated if Liverpool are still top in May. They were missing 12 first teamers in all, playing the second half with Curtis Jones as a makeshift right back.

What enthused Klopp was the determination to find solutions, especially in the application of Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, Wataru Endo and the returning Andy Robertson, whose sharpness increased as the minutes passed and he led many of the cavalry charges.

And then there is Nunez, whose selfless running was finally rewarded when he pounced onto Harvey Elliott’s cross. Naturally the Uruguayan should have had a couple more. It would not be a typical Nunez performance without at least one sitter. That should not undermine how outstanding he was.

Darwin Nunez scores Liverpool's third against Burnley
Nunez made the points safe with a glancing header - PA/Tim Markland

Elliott also enhanced his status as a super sub, crucially crossing for Diaz to restore Liverpool’s lead early in the second half. That triggered a series of opportunities at both ends, Burnley as committed to attack as their hosts.

David Fofana will be mentally replaying his two chances in front of the expanded Anfield Road stand. He was first denied by Caoimhin Kelleher, and then missed the target with the Irish keeper beaten. After the early encouragement of seeing Dara O’Shea cancel out Jota’s opening goal, Kompany had mixed feelings.

Burnley's David Datro Fofana misses a good chance against Liverpool
Burnley's David Datro Fofana missed a glorious chance to equalise in the second half - Getty Images/Alex Dodd

“I have been to this place as a player where we didn’t have as many chances as today,” he said.

“You need a bit of luck on your side and we didn’t have that. And you need to put away your chances. I will take the positives, but I can’t hide that we would have liked a (better) result.”

Oddly, both Kompany and Klopp were booked - referee Tim Robinson seeing more malice in many of the tackles and coaches protests than the game justified.

“Imagine this game with a blue card. It would have been the wild west,” quipped Klopp.

It was testimony to Burnley’s performance that Klopp evolved his customary celebration, his three fist pumps directed at the revamped Anfield Road and Main Stand as well as the Kop.

After the defeat to Arsenal last weekend, and with City in the midst of one of those winning runs which usually means the eventual champions must collect in excess of 90 points, there is no playing down the significance of the victory.

This was an afternoon when Liverpool had to scrap. Lest there be any doubt, they proved they are still up for the title fight as the Premier League’s Rocky and Apollo Creed go at each other once more.

All the Premier League 3pm kick-offs as they happened:


05:03 PM GMT

FT scores

Fulham 3 Bournemouth
Liverpool 3 Burnley 1 
Luton 1 Sheffield United
Tottenham 2 Brighton
Wolves 0 Brentford 2


05:02 PM GMT

FT: Luton 1 Sheff Utd 3

John Aizlewood reports:

Sheffield United showed qualities we haven’t seen from them this season: defensive cohesion, opportunistic attacking and all-round serenity. Luton unusually sloppy.


05:00 PM GMT

GOAL! Brennan Johnson scores in the 96th minute for Spurs

Spurs have been stung by some late goals but this one has gone in their favour. Brennan Johnson has popped up at the back post to convert a low cross.


04:58 PM GMT

FT: Wolves 0 Brentford 2

Thomas Frank’s team jump above Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest. Norgaard and Toney with the goals. A big victory.

As Tim Nash reports:

It’s the first time in a year that Wolves have failed to score at Molineux in the Premier League. The last time it happened was against Gary O’Neil’s Bournemouth. Two Brentford players give their shirts to fans in the away end.


04:55 PM GMT

Leno survives a scare, reports Tom Prentki

A scare for Fulham there as Leno comes racing off his line and completely misses it. The home side somehow scramble the ball behind for a corner as the Fourth Official indicates seven minutes to be added on.


04:53 PM GMT

A rare unhappy outing for Luton fans, reports John Aizlewood

There’s a rainbow over Kenilworth Road. And probably a metaphor to go with it. United defending in dogged depth. Right now it looks as if the bulk of the 11,338 crammed into this eccentric little stadium will depart unhappily.

Vinicius Souza of Sheffield United celebrates scoring his team's second goal
Vinicius Souza of Sheffield United celebrates scoring his team's second goal

04:50 PM GMT

Wolves fans despondent, reports Tim Nash

It’s now the Brentford fans in full voice, taunting the hosts with chants of “Boring, boring” copying Wolves’ verdict on the Bees’ timewasting. Wolves fans are heading for the exits and gaps are appearing around Molineux.

Mario Lemina is booked for a scissors-type tackle that brings Ethan Pinnock down but wins the ball. Wolves fans sing “Simon Hooper, you’re a w----r” which is the first time I can recall a referee being named in a chant.

Brentford's Ivan Toney celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game with Keane Lewis-Potter
Brentford's Ivan Toney celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game with Keane Lewis-Potter

04:45 PM GMT

Wolves running out of time, reports Tim Nash

Doyle slams a first-time shot wide from Nelson Semedo’s square ball. It turns out to be Semedo’s last action as he is replaced by Matt Doherty a minute later in what looks like a last throw of the dice by Wolves.


04:40 PM GMT

Brighton still counter-punching

Just as you might expect Brighton to be forced to defend against a resurgent Spurs, they have really gone on the attack here. Lamptey, Mitoma, Welbeck have all gone close. Indeed Welbeck should have given Brighton the lead after he was played in by Mitoma’s pinpoint pass.


04:39 PM GMT

Tom Prentki: Fulham now have striking options

Now Muniz is basking in the Craven Cottage applause as he makes his way slowly towards the bench. Chelsea loan striker Armando Broja is on for a home debut. He’d love a first goal in Fulham colours.


04:38 PM GMT

GOAL! Darwin Nunez seals the points for Liverpool

After so many near-misses of late, Nunez buries a back-post header to surely put Burnley away.

Nunez deserved that goal. This has been an afternoon for Liverpool to scrap and no-one has worked harder than the Uruguayan. And yet another assist for Elliott. That ‘should’ make the final stages less panicky for the Kop. Kompany will be proud of his side, though.

Liverpool's Darwin Nunez celebrates scoring their third goal
Liverpool's Darwin Nunez celebrates scoring their third goal

04:36 PM GMT

GOAL! Ivan Toney scores for Brentford

Brentford now lead 2-0 at Wolves, and this would be a crucial three points for Thomas Frank’s side.

Brentford's Ivan Toney celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game with team-mates
Brentford's Ivan Toney celebrates scoring their side's second goal of the game with team-mates

04:35 PM GMT

GOAL! Surely game over at Kenilworth Road

Souza has scored Sheffield United’s third which should kill off any hopes of a Luton comeback.

As John Aizlewood reports:

Number three for Sheffield United with their first attack of the second half. Beautifully set up by Ben Osborn. Splendidly finished by Vini Souza. An, in common with number one and number two, nobody saw it coming.


04:33 PM GMT

Iraola rolls the dice, reports Tom Pretnki

Deadline day signing Enes Unal is coming on to make his Bournemouth debut. The Turkish international forward is replacing Sinisterra. Dango Ouattara is also on for Tavernier in a double change by Iraola.


04:32 PM GMT

Too close for comfort if you are a Liverpool fan

Could be a goal with every attack. Fofana, Jota and Quansah have all gone close in last few minutes.


04:31 PM GMT

Luton piling the pressure on, reports John Aizlewood

Corner after corner for Luton, but it’s not translating into goals after goal. Luton fans giving Jack Robinson all sorts of stick when he takes a throw-in. He smiles a Delphic smile. Meanwhile, the Sheffield United physio is a busy man, much to the loudly expressed – and, frankly, unsympathetic – views of the home support, who seem to be hinting United’s fallen may be over-stating their pain in order, perhaps, to waste time. Oh and Andros Townsend’s on.

Ross Barkley of Luton Town gestures during the Premier League match between Luton Town and Sheffield United
Ross Barkley of Luton Town gestures during the Premier League match between Luton Town and Sheffield United

04:27 PM GMT

Tom Prentki on a captain's ovation for Tom Cairney

Standing ovation for Fulham captain Cairney who hands the armband to Tim Ream as he is subbed off. Harrison Reed on for him while De Cordova-Reid is replaced by Harry Wilson. Bournemouth swap Alex Scott with Antoine Semenyo.


04:26 PM GMT

What a chance for Burnley to equalise for a second time

Huge moment as Kelleher saves when one-on-one with Fofana. Klopp celebrated as if it was another Liverpool goal. Very tense at Anfield.


04:24 PM GMT

Tom Prentki on an audacious Solanke effort

What an effort from Solanke whose bicycle kick deflects off Issa Diop and onto the roof of the net. Bournemouth are pushing again – cracking game this.


04:24 PM GMT

GOAL! Spurs rewarded for their pressure

Sarr has scored from close-range and Brighton’s resistance is broken. Spurs level. After the goal, Son, Bissouma and Johnson are on in a triple sub.

It was chaotic, it was crazy, but it was coming. Pape Sarr has just equalised for Spurs, slotting home at the end of a magnificent scramble, after Lewis Dunk sliding interception had hit the post. The cheer was almost as big as the one that greeted Son as he came on before Brighton had kicked off.

Tottenham's Pape Matar Sarr celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the English Premier League soccer match
Tottenham's Pape Matar Sarr celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the English Premier League soccer match

04:23 PM GMT

Wolves fans unhappy

Wolves fans chant ‘Premier League, corrupt as f---’ then Flekken kicks the ball away at a Wolves throw-in and is promptly booked. Neto goes to boot the spare ball behind the goal then thinks better of it after losing out in a touchline tussle.


04:19 PM GMT

Wolves fans not happy with time-wasting, reports Tim Nash

Wolves fans are screaming at the timewasting of Brentford players at throw-ins. Ben Mee appears to goad them by pausing his walk to take the first one before carrying on, smiling.


04:17 PM GMT

Son waiting in the wings

The Spurs sub Son Heung Min is being demonstrably energetic as he warms up on the touchline, constantly glancing as he goes about his stretches at his manager. Tottenham have been wasteful thus far. It won’t be long surely before his precision is introduced.


04:16 PM GMT

GOAL! Muniz has his second for Fulham

Bournemouth were not back in the game for long...Muniz has restored Fulham’s two-goal lead.

Tom Prentki on an a whirlwind start to the half at Craven Cottage:

Football eh! What a few minutes as Fulham hit straight back. Great work from Tom Cairney and Willian once more. This time the Brazilian cross deep for his fellow countryman Muniz to grab his second and Fulham’s third. The pair of them celebrate together with a sport of samba dancing.

Fulham's Rodrigo Muniz scores their third goal past AFC Bournemouth's Neto
Fulham's Rodrigo Muniz scores their third goal past AFC Bournemouth's Neto

04:15 PM GMT

GOAL! Senesi pulls one back for Bournemouth

Just like at Luton, Bournemouth have scored an early goal to get back to 2-1.


04:14 PM GMT

GOAL! Morris scores penalty to reduce the deficit

Another handball penalty at Kenilworth Road, and Luton are within one again.

As John Aizlewood reports:

Another VAR check, this time for a Luton penalty. And VAR says’ yes’. Carlton Morris does the slotting in business.

Luton Town's Carlton Morris celebrates scoring their first goal
Luton Town's Carlton Morris celebrates scoring their first goal

04:12 PM GMT

Wolves goal chalked off for tight offside

The latest from Tim Nash:

Wolves think they have equalised after Dawson glances home Neto’s cross after Flekken punches clear a corner. But after VAR intervene, replays appear to show Dawson’s left foot is marginally offside.

Craig Dawson of Wolverhampton Wanderers scores their sides goal which is later ruled offside by VAR during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brentford
Craig Dawson of Wolverhampton Wanderers scores their sides goal which is later ruled offside by VAR during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brentford

04:11 PM GMT

GOAL! Luis Diaz restores Liverpool's lead

Burnley fail to clear their lines and Diaz punishes them. That will settle nerves after the loss of Alexander-Arnold.

After a long VAR check, Diaz has put Liverpool ahead and Kompany has ensured both managers have been booked. The Burnley manager thought there was a foul by Mac Allister in the build-up. Harvey Elliott’s assist is maintaining his supersub reputation. It is a manic game. Expect more goals.


04:06 PM GMT

Alexander-Arnold substituted at half time

Alexander-Arnold - Liverpool’s outstanding player in the first half - has not made it to the second. He must be injured. Liverpool will need to scrap their way back to the top this afternoon. It has become a tricky fixture. Curtis Jones is now right back in a Liverpool line-up which could now be described as ‘makeshift’.


04:00 PM GMT

Tom Prentki on Willian being reborn at Fulham

Fulham look comfortable at half-time and Willian, in particular, has been brilliant. The Brazilian is a huge threat down the Fulham left, giving Adam Smith a torrid time. The first half ends with him laying on a chance for Antonee Robinson – well saved by Neto – before Willian curls just wide of the far post.

Fulham's Rodrigo Muniz celebrates scoring their second goal with Antonee Robinson and Willian
Fulham's Rodrigo Muniz celebrates scoring their second goal with Antonee Robinson and Willian

03:55 PM GMT

An entertaining first half at Spurs

These two sides shared six goals at the Amex earlier in the season. The surprise here is that this time they only have one between them. It was a superbly entertaining opening half, full of pace, effort and endeavour. Plus mistakes. Lots of them. Indeed it was an error by James Maddison, losing the possession to the relentless press of Brighton’s Pascal Gross, that led to the only goal.

Danny Welbeck - who has led the Brighton line in the kind of imaginative, skilful way that makes you wonder who it was at Manchester United thought Anthony Martial to be a better bet than him - was fouled by Micky ven der Ven. Gross scored the ensuing penalty.

But Spurs have not stopped pushing for the equaliser. Richarlison and Maddison have been particularly forceful. Brighton’s Jason Steele has made a trio of excellent saves to prevent the home side getting back in it. It does not take an act of over-excited speculation to suggest there will be a lot more goals to come in the second half.

Dejan Kulusevski of Tottenham Hotspur has a shot saved by Jason Steele of Brighton & Hove Albion
Dejan Kulusevski of Tottenham Hotspur has a shot saved by Jason Steele of Brighton & Hove Albion

03:54 PM GMT

John Aizlewood on a turn up at Kenilworth Road

Anyone who saw that coming before the 30th minute may not be telling the whole truth. Or they’re the prophet we should all be listening to. Rob Edwards has a face like thunder as he strides off. Chris Wilder looks like that all the time, but he’s probably quite pleased.

Cameron Archer of Sheffield United celebrates scoring his team's first goal
Cameron Archer of Sheffield United celebrates scoring his team's first goal

03:53 PM GMT

Half-time scores

Fulham 2 Bournemouth 0
Liverpool 1 Burnley 1
Luton 0 Sheffield United 2
Tottenham 0 Brighton 1
Wolves 0 Brentford 1


03:50 PM GMT

Tim Nash on Wolves pushing for the equaliser

Ait-Nouri has the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand with a neat turn and pirouette that takes him away from two Brentford players.

Wolves have become more of a force to be reckoned with as half-time approaches but have been second best to Brentford, who have failed to beat Gary O’Neil’s side in three attempts in the last 45 days.


03:46 PM GMT

Tim Nash on Wolves' response to going behind

Wolves’ best chance to date as Pedro Neto’s far post header is smothered on the line by goalkeeper Mark Flekken, who somehow flicks it onto the post via his knee then left hand following Pablo Sarabia’s cross.


03:45 PM GMT

GOAL! Burnley level at Anfield

Brownhill with an outswinging corner and O’Shea is there to power a header past Kelleher.

Brownhill corner, O’Shea header and a goal that many will suggest would not have beaten Alisson, who is absent today. Liverpool had taken control without being fluent, but Burnley will feel they deserve that equaliser.

Burnley's Dara O'Shea scores their first goal
Burnley's Dara O'Shea scores their first goal

03:42 PM GMT

Alexander-Arnold finding his range

Alexander-Arnold is delivering one of his passing masterclasses, although Burnley are giving him far too much time on the ball. Meanwhile, there have been five bookings so far, the latest to Jurgen Klopp. Would not bet against a red later. Referee Tim Robinson is a bit Draconian.


03:41 PM GMT

Maddison booked

James Maddison has just been booked for a foul on Tariq Lamptey. Though it might have been for the magnificent mime of pained innocence he produced as the referee reached for his pocket.


03:38 PM GMT

GOAL! Sheffield United now 2-0 up at Luton

James McAtee has scored from the penalty spot and Luton are going to need another comeback.

The penalty was given after VAR review as John Aizlewood reports:

Reece Burke meets ball with arm in the penalty area. VAR spots it. James McAtee sends Thomas Kaminski the wrong way from the spot.


03:37 PM GMT

GOAL! Fulham now two up against Bournemouth

Muniz has scored Fulham’s second and Bournemouth have a mountain to climb at Craven Cottage.

As Tom Prentki reports:

And that’s two for Fulham! A deep cross from Willian, headed into the six-yard box by Decordova-Reid and Rodrigo Muniz nips in ahead of Illya Zabarnyi to score. Iraola is back in his seat.

Fulham's Rodrigo Muniz scores their second goal past AFC Bournemouth's Net
Fulham's Rodrigo Muniz scores their second goal past AFC Bournemouth's Net

03:36 PM GMT

GOAL! Norgaard gives Brentford the lead at Wolves

Thomas Frank’s team have endured a difficult run of results but deserve their lead given to them by their skipper Norgaard.

As Tim Nash reports:

Brentford take the lead as Christian Nørgaard heads home from three yards out from Sergio Reguilón’s inswinging corner after spinning off the back of Craig Dawson.


03:36 PM GMT

Tim Nash on a cruel blow for Wolves

Cunha is forced off for Wolves – a bitter blow for the home side after his hat-trick in the 4-2 win at Chelsea last week. He seemed to roll his ankle running onto a pass and can’t continue after lengthy treatment.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matheus Cunha reacts after sustaining an injury as referee
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matheus Cunha reacts after sustaining an injury as referee

03:33 PM GMT

Tom Prentki on Bournemouth carrying a threat for the first time

Finally, Bernd Leno is called into action in the Fulham goal, strongly punching Sinisterra’s shot clear with Dominic Solanke firing just over from the resulting corner. Those are the first times Bournemouth have threatened and Andoni Iraola is a picture of frustration on the touchline.


03:31 PM GMT

GOAL! Liverpool find the breakthrough

Diogo Jota heads home from close range and there is relief at Anfield after a sluggish start.

A moment to forget for Burnley keeper James Trafford, who collided with Dara O’Shea after Alexander-Arnold’s corner, allowing Jota the easiest header to open the scoring. Liverpool were finally building some pressure and Burnley’s ambitious start had made way for increasingly desperate defending. Mac Allister - in a more advanced midfield role - is becoming influential.

Diogo Jota of Liverpool scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League match between Liverpool and Burnley
Diogo Jota of Liverpool scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League match between Liverpool and Burnley

03:31 PM GMT

GOAL! Sheffield United now lead at Luton

Cameron Archer has given Sheffield United what I think we can call a shock lead at Luton.

As John Aizlewood puts it:

United have had an attack. And Cameron Archer has scored. The gods of mischief are working hard today.


03:30 PM GMT

The latest from John Aizlewood at Kenilworth Road

2-0 to United. Alas for them, yellow cards are not goals. This time it’s Gustavo Hamer on Ross Barkley, who’s running everything like an especially cruel but gifted despot. We’re still eagerly awaiting the first United attack.

Sheffield United's James McAtee (right) attempts a shot on goal during the Premier League match at Kenilworth Road
Sheffield United's James McAtee (right) attempts a shot on goal during the Premier League match at Kenilworth Road

03:28 PM GMT

Spurs knocking on the door

Again, Spurs come close. Maddison receives a pass from Richarlison, moves forward and curls a delightful shot just beyond Steele in the Brighton goal. Sadly for Spurs supporters, it was beyond the post too. You sense there will be plenty more goals in this.


03:26 PM GMT

The latest from Tom Prentki at Craven Cottage

It’s Bournemouth supporters making all the noise here, though they haven’t really seen anything to shout about from their players. They’ve just had a promising counter-attack but it ended with Luis Sinisterra shooting limply wide of the near post.


03:26 PM GMT

Spurs go close

Nearly an equaliser for Spurs. Richarlison was played in behind the Brighton defence, and shot with his right foot quickly and precisely. But Jason Steele, spreading himself, was out quickly to smother. The ball bounced to Timo Werner, whose follow up shot hit the first defender.


03:23 PM GMT

A struggle for Liverpool so far

Liverpool have no rhythm so far - Klopp’s enforced changes having a negative impact. But Nunez and Alexander-Arnold look lively.


03:23 PM GMT

An injury blow for Wolves...

Matheus Cunha has limped off with injury.

Some famous faces in the crowd at Molineux as Tim Nash reports:

We’ve seen a couple of images of Wolves chairman Jeff Shi appearing on our screen. He’s in a large Puffa jacket to protect him from the cold, sitting next to the club’s sporting director Matt Hobbs. Now there’s a shot of rock legend Robert Plant, a lifelong Wolves fan and club director.


03:21 PM GMT

Caoimhin Kelleher makes an early save for Liverpool against Burnley

Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher saves a shot from Burnley's Zeki Amdouni during the Premier League match
Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher saves a shot from Burnley's Zeki Amdouni during the Premier League match

03:19 PM GMT

The latest from Tom Prentki at Craven Cottage

Tom Cairney is down receiving treatment after blocking Alex Scott’s free-kick full in the face. Lively start at the Cottage.


03:17 PM GMT

GOAL! Gross gives Brighton the lead from the spot

Welbeck fouled by Van de Ven in the build up, and Brighton lead at Spurs. They were 4-2 winners when the teams played at the Amex earlier this season.

Penalty to Brighton. Van der Ven is having all sorts of problems with Danny Welbeck. After Maddison lost the ball on the edge of the Spurs area, Brighton attacked in numbers. The ball arrived at Welbeck’s feet and Van der Ven clipped his heel. The referee Sam Barrott was certain, VAR agreed and Pascal Gross scored from the spot.

Pascal Gross of Brighton & Hove Albion scores his team's first goal
Pascal Gross of Brighton & Hove Albion scores his team's first goal

03:14 PM GMT

Son starting from the bench at Spurs

The television camera has just picked out Son Heung-Min on the bench. He looks a little bemused. As you would expect when Timo Werner has been picked ahead of him. Intriguingly the chair he is sitting on carries the logo of Ineos. Now Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s company has taken control of footballing matters at Old Trafford, you wonder how long that commercial association will last.

Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker #07 Son Heung-Min warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton and Hove
Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker #07 Son Heung-Min warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton and Hove

03:13 PM GMT

Bright start from Burnley at Anfield

Burnley have started on the front foot. Gone close twice through Fofana and Amdouni. Liverpool are having to play on the counter attack at the moment.

Liverpool's Luis Diaz, left, duels for the ball with Burnley's Aaron Ramsey
Liverpool's Luis Diaz, left, duels for the ball with Burnley's Aaron Ramsey

03:09 PM GMT

Tom Prentki on that Fulham opening goal

Fulham take an early lead at home to Bournemouth, scoring with the first attack of the game after Lewis Cook slipped to leave Bobby De Cordova-Reid free to fire into the bottom corner.

Bournemouth had scored more goals in the first five minutes of games than any other Premier League side since the start of last season but could already be two down as Neto makes a great save from Willian.

Fulham's Bobby De Cordova-Reid (centre, obscured) scores the first goal of the game
Fulham's Bobby De Cordova-Reid (centre, obscured) scores the first goal of the game

03:08 PM GMT

The latest from John Aizlewood at Kenilworth Road

And, here we go at the “home of football” according to the in-no-way biased announcer.  Just the five changes for Sheffield United, who’re playing in an all lemon kit – the same colour as the ball - and just the one for Luton. Luton are hot favourites for a Premier League game. Who’d have thought that back in August?


03:06 PM GMT

GOAL! Fulham 1 Bournemouth 0

Bobby De Cordova-Reid has given Fulham an early lead at Craven Cottage. That game always had the look of a contest that would produce chances.


03:05 PM GMT

Bad news for Sheffield United fans...

Norrington-Davies is leaving the pitch in tears with an injury. He pulled up with no player near him, so this must have been a problem he was carrying into the game.

As John Aizlewood describes it from Kenilworth Road:

Off goes Rhys United’s Norrington-Davies after just four minutes. The erstwhile Luton loanee tangled with the pitchside hoardings. The hoardings won.


03:03 PM GMT

We are under way in all the games...

In the first minute at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Vicario produced a superb save to deny Brighton taking a very early lead.

Brighton almost take the lead with a superb effort from Danny Welbeck. He picked up the ball as Micky Van der Ven stumbled, tore towards the box, rounded Van der Ven again with a smart check inside and unleashed a shot which Vicario saved.

Tottenham Hotspur's Micky van de Ven in action with Brighton & Hove Albion's Danny Welbeck
Tottenham Hotspur's Micky van de Ven in action with Brighton & Hove Albion's Danny Welbeck

03:02 PM GMT

Anfield's 14 new heads and 17 new handles....

Should be louder than ever in Anfield today. The new Anfield Road stand is finally complete, and an anticipated attendance of just under 62,000 will be the highest in the stadium’s history. Admittedly, there is a touch of ‘Trigger’s Broom’ about the venue these days given every stand has now been redeveloped since the early 1990s. Nevertheless, a record breaking day is guaranteed on Merseyside.

Liverpool fans wait for the start of the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Burnley
Liverpool fans wait for the start of the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Burnley

03:00 PM GMT

No mascot blame game at Anfield

First bit of good news from Anfield. After Chelsea’s confusion about the pre-match etiquette in the last game here, Burnley skipper Josh Brownhill is looking after the visiting team’s mascot and introducing him to all his teammates in the warm-up. Relief.


02:52 PM GMT

No knee slides for De Zerbi today (you would think)

The celebration police will be disappointed that Roberto de Zerbi is serving a touchline ban. Not for the first time this season, the Brighton boss will be up in the stands, thus depriving us all of his exuberant running up and down the touchline whenever his team scores. His assistant Andrea Maldera will be in the technical area in his stead. He will need to up his celebration game if he is to keep up with the boss.


02:42 PM GMT

Wolves vs Fulham team news

Wolves XI: Jose Sa, Kilman, Dawson, Gomes, Nelson Semedo, Mario Lemina, Joao Gomes, Ait Nouri, Sarabia, Matheus Cunha, Pedro Neto

Subs: Doherty, Santiago Bueno, Traore, Hugo Bueno, Doyle, Bentley, Bellegarde, Chirewa, Fraser

Brentford XI: Flekken, Collins, Pinnock, Mee, Roerslev, Jensen, Norgaard, Janelt, Reguilon, Toney, Maupay. Subs: Jorgensen, Ghoddos, Ajer, Strakosha, Lewis-Potter, Damsgaard, Baptiste, Yarmolyuk, Brierley


02:32 PM GMT

Luton vs Sheffield United team news


02:29 PM GMT

Jim White reports from the Tottenham Stadium

The hands of both Ange Postecoglu and Roberto de Zerbi are greatly strengthened today by returnees from the Asian and African Cups. De Zerbi - who will be serving yet another suspension up in the stands - will at least be able to watch his principal attacking force Kaoru Mitoma back in action.

Postecoglou immediately restores Pape Matar Sarr to his starting line-up after his return from duty with Senegal. The other African performer Yves Bissouma is on the bench against his old club. But most Spurs fans will be relieved to see Son Heung-Min’s name among the subs. The ovation when Spurs’ main goal threat comes on - probably to replace Timo Werner - will test the new stadium’s superstructure.


02:26 PM GMT

Fulham vs Bournemouth team news

Two changes each for Fulham and Bournemouth. Here’s how they line up


02:22 PM GMT

Fancy a flutter?

Having a bet on today’s match? First take a look at these free bets and betting offers.


02:21 PM GMT

Alisson and Gomez out for Liverpool

A little more on the Anfield team news front with confirmation that keeper Alisson misses out, as does defender Joe Gomez. Five change in total by Klopp.

Liverpool XI: Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold, Quansah, van Dijk, Robertson, Mac Allister, Endo, Jones, Jota, Nunez, Diaz.

Substitutes: Adrian, Gakpo, Elliott, Tsimikas, Gravenberch, Clark, McConnell, Koumas, Mrozek.

David Datro Fofana starts for Burnley after scoring twice in the 2-2 draw with Fulham last week.

Burnley XI: Trafford, Assignon, O’Shea, Esteve, Delcroix, Brownhill, Berge, Ramsey, Odobert, Fofana, Amdouni.

Substitutes: Cork, Rodriguez, Benson, Ekdal, Vitinho, Cullen, Bruun Larsen, Massengo, Muric.


02:15 PM GMT

Totttenham vs Brighton team news

Two changes by Ange Postecoglou to the team which drew 2-2 with Everton last weekend. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Brennan Johnson drop down to the bench and are replaced by Pape Matar Sarr and Dejan Kulusevski. Tottenham fans will no doubt be delighted to see captain Son Heung-min back on the bench after returning from Asian Cup duty with South Korea.

Brighton, meanwhile, make five changes with manager Roberto de Zerbi also suspended. Kaoru Mitoma, like Son, back from the Asian Cup with Japan but straight back into the starting XI.


02:02 PM GMT

Busy afternoon of Premier League action

Hello and welcome to today’s blog taking in the five 3pm kick-offs. First up Liverpool vs Burnley.

Having had virtually a full squad a few weeks ago, Jurgen Klopp suddenly has personnel issues before his side’s home game with Burnley.

Thiago Alcantara is out with a hamstring injury - although Klopp confirmed he could yet return in a few weeks - while a flu bug has affected the squad this week.

After defeat at Arsenal - Liverpool’s second in the Premier League this season - Klopp knows there can be no more slips given Manchester City’s menacing presence.

“We have a tool box full of the right tools, we just have to use them and we didn’t do that properly at Arsenal. We just have to admit that,” said Klopp.

“That is why on top of the pure defeat, that we couldn’t do that that day was really painful. But now that was long ago and we have to try again.

“That is how defeats are. Before we played Arsenal, they were more or less out of form, out of the race, out of everything. They win the game and everything is great.

“We beat Chelsea a few days before it really looked like, ‘Wow, Liverpool really goes for it this year’. The last game is the least important, if you want, and the only thing you can use it for is to react. To maintain, to do it again or to change it and with us it is always a little bit, with the general shape we’re in, we need to do both.”

Liverpool midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai faces a race to be fit for the Carabao Cup final with Jurgen Klopp unsure when he will be back in action.

Szoboszlai missed last weekend’s trip to Arsenal with a recurrence of the tendon injury which ruled him out for most of January.

Although the Hungary skipper is pain-free, Klopp says the damage is such that care must be taken before he plays again.

By Chris Bascombe

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