Anthony Martial's return has been crucial to Manchester United's recent upturn in form, according to team-mate Daniel James.

France forward Martial missed almost two months of action with a thigh injury before returning off the bench late in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool on October 20. 

The Red Devils have since won five of their six matches since, with a limp 1-0 loss at Bournemouth the only blot in that run.

Martial, James and Marcus Rashford were in scintillating form as Brighton and Hove Albion were swept aside 3-1 on Sunday, a result that left United seventh heading into the international break.

And James, who turned 22 on Sunday, believes Martial's influence has been pivotal to the recent improvement.

"Since he's come back in, we've got that focal point," James said after the Brighton game. 

"He's a great link-up player. He can come short or go in behind. It's been important for me and for Marcus since he's come back into the team to get that interlink.

"Since he's come back, he's got goals and he's got assists and he's been great for us."

James arrived from Championship side Swansea City in a reported £15million deal in June and has taken on a prominent role in the team, appearing in all 12 Premier League fixtures this term.

The Wales winger concedes he did not expect to feature so much but is relishing the opportunity.

"Coming in was always going to be tough and it was going to be different from playing in the Championship," he added. 

"I think I've taken it in my stride, tried to calm myself down a bit and think, 'I'm here for a reason'.

"At the start of the season, I maybe didn't think I would play as much. Every game I've been learning and the gaffer has trusted me and I've really enjoyed it."

Liverpool's unbeaten Premier League season continued in some style as they turned on the style in a 3-1 win over Manchester City, who they have not lost to at Anfield in the top flight since May 2003.

Meanwhile, it was another tough weekend for Premier League fans across North London, with Arsenal and Tottenham both dropping points as the dark clouds continue to gather around both clubs.

Arsenal's defeat at high-flying Leicester City left the Gunners winless in their last four top-flight outings, while Spurs are without a victory in five attempts after their 1-1 draw at home with Sheffield United.

With Arsenal failing to win, Manchester United had the opportunity to narrow the gap between sixth and seventh to just one point and they did just that, bringing Brighton and Hove Albion's two-game winning streak to an end in a 3-1 victory.

All four games produced a feast of milestones and telling stats, the best of which are brought to light below.

DEFEAT LEAVES GUARDIOLA WITH LOWEST CITY POINTS HAUL

Trips to Liverpool have rarely been kind to Pep Guardiola during his time at Manchester City and Sunday's defeat was his fourth during his time in the Premier League.

City have amassed 25 points this season - Guardiola's lowest return after 12 games of a Premier League season - and he is more than three points behind the league leaders for the first time at this stage of a season.

Liverpool sit eight points clear of second-placed Leicester City and only Manchester United in 1993-94 have been further ahead after 12 games in the Premier League era.

The Reds prospered courtesy of goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, the latter scoring at Anfield in the league for the 22nd time since August 2018.

No other top-flight player has scored more at a single venue in the same period.

RASHFORD REVELS IN UNITED'S HOME IMPROVEMENTS

Marcus Rashford gave the Old Trafford crowd a rare moment to savour in a difficult season when his shot ricocheted off the underside of the crossbar to put Manchester United 3-1 up against Brighton.

It was the 22-year-old's 30th goal on home turf for the Red Devils, six of which have come in 2019-20, and he needs three more to equal his best goal return in home matches (nine in 2017-18).

Rashford's form has been key to United's recent upturn in fortunes at Old Trafford, where they are unbeaten in their last four Premier League matches and their last seven across all competitions - their longest run under the same manager since March 2018 (eight unbeaten under Jose Mourinho).

Solskjaer named his youngest Premier League starting line-up of the season, averaging 23 years and 350 days, and his side extended Brighton's miserable run on the road against the top flight's "big six": the Seagulls are winless in 15 such games.

ARSENAL IN WORST START FOR 37 YEARS

Unai Emery might be running out of chances after a 2-0 loss to Leicester City condemned Arsenal to their worst record at this stage of a top-flight season since 1982-83.

The Gunners accumulated 17 points from 12 games in 2014-15, as many as they have now, but could at least lay claim to a positive goal difference of +5 at that time, unlike the -1 that resides next to their disappointing points tally this term.

Saturday's trip to the King Power Stadium marked Emery's 50th Premier League match in charge and his 13th defeat.

He has overseen 25 victories and led the club to 87 points, two fewer than Arsene Wenger accrued over his final 50 matches as manager.

The contrast could not be greater to electrifying Leicester, who have now won five successive Premier League home games and boast one more point (26 in total) than they did at this point of their title-winning 2015-16 campaign.

SON SHINING BUT SPURS STILL STUCK IN DARKNESS

If there is some comfort to be found for Arsenal, it is in the malaise affecting north London rivals Tottenham.

Mauricio Pochettino's men could only draw 1-1 with Sheffield United, who became the third promoted side – after Blackburn Rovers (1992-93) and Nottingham Forest (1994-95) – to go unbeaten through their opening six away games of a Premier League season.

George Baldock's goal earned a share of the spoils and means Spurs have dropped a league-high 12 points from winning positions this season.

Worse still, the Champions League finalists have banked only 14 points, their lowest tally after 12 games since 2008-09, a season that cost Juande Ramos his job.

Son Heung-min, scorer of the opener, is one player pulling his weight. The South Korea star has netted five times in his past five appearances in all competitions.

Daniel James was impressed with Manchester United's vibrant attack in Sunday's 3-1 win and was adamant they could have scored eight on another day.

United were massively disappointing in the 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth last weekend, struggling to trouble their hosts' backline.

But it was a completely different story in the Europa League on Thursday as they beat Partizan Belgrade 3-0 and again shone during the visit of Brighton three days later.

Andreas Pereira's deflected effort and a Davy Propper own goal were decisive early on and, although Lewis Dunk pulled one back, Marcus Rashford sealed the points.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of United's dominance, as Rashford went on to miss another couple of presentable chances, while James, Anthony Martial, Brandon Williams and Fred all went close in the latter stages.

"The high press paid off, that's what we have been about all season, playing with energy right from the start," he said.

"We were a little bit edgy when they scored and it was good to score again on the break, but we could have scored also seven or eight goals."

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose side are seventh in the Premier League table, echoed that sentiment, reserving special praise for Martial and Williams, who was making his first top-flight start.

"We should have scored many more goals," Solskjaer told BBC Sport. "It was an excellent performance from the lads, when you see them going forward it is a joy to watch.

"Anthony Martial did not get a goal, but he was outstanding. Brandon Williams was excellent too, he has had some good games already and he seems he wants to be out there and enjoy himself.

"The table does not really matter at the moment: we need to keep improving and keep winning games and see where it takes us."

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were to the fore once again as Manchester United saw off Brighton and Hove Albion 3-1 at Old Trafford to move back into the top half of the Premier League table.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men impressed in Thursday's 3-0 Europa League victory over Partizan Belgrade, which Martial and Rashford both scored in, and the forwards both played crucial roles again as a resilient Brighton were dispatched fairly comfortably.

United looked as though they were going to cruise to victory during the early exchanges, as they found themselves 2-0 up thanks to a couple of fortuitous goals from Andreas Pereira and Davy Propper, who beat his own goalkeeper.

Lewis Dunk pulled one back for Brighton just past the hour, but Rashford - set up by Martial - lashed in soon after to seal the points, though United arguably should have added several more goals, with the England star, Daniel James and Brandon Williams all going close.

United began with real purpose but were extremely fortunate to open the scoring in the 17th minute.

Pereira was guilty of overplaying on the counter and was dispossessed, but the ball came to Martial and he teed the Brazilian up again, with the eventual shot finding the net via a massive deflection.

The hosts were lucky again soon after, as Scott McTominay attempted to bundle over the line and Propper prodded it into his own net.

Chances came at both ends just past the hour – Mat Ryan unconvincingly knocking Fred's long-range effort on to the crossbar, before Dunk lost Pereira at a corner to emphatically head Brighton back into the contest.

Rashford restored the two-goal lead two minutes later, however, crashing an effort in off the crossbar after Martial teed his strike partner up.

An awful miss from Rashford was followed by saves to deny him, Williams and James, but Brighton were unable to make United rue their wastefulness.

A late ankle injury suffered by McTominay, which left the midfielder in considerable pain, was the only significant dampener on an otherwise fine day for the Red Devils.

 

What does it mean? United moving in the right direction

It has not been a straightforward start to the season, but in recent weeks United have shown signs of getting back to the side they were during Solskjaer's days as caretaker manager.

In that period, Rashford and Martial were vital and it is no surprise to see them central to most of what is good about United at the moment. While seventh place is hardly impressive, they are now just a point adrift of Sheffield United and Arsenal.

Fred finding his feet

This was arguably Fred's best performance in a United shirt. His passing was crisp, he moved the ball on quickly and played a role in two of the three goals. Perhaps he is not the dud many claimed he was.

Pereira out of his depth

While he did manage to score a goal, there was little to recommend in Pereira's performance. It remains something of a mystery how he manages to retain a place in the starting XI.

What's next?

United travel to high-flying Sheffield United next Sunday, while Brighton host Leicester City the day before.

Tottenham still expect Hugo Lloris to return to training early next year despite the goalkeeper having to undergo surgery on his left elbow.

Lloris, 32, suffered a dislocated elbow and damaged ligaments following an awkward fall in Spurs' 3-0 Premier League defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion on October 5.

The club initially said an operation was not required, as a period of "rest and rehabilitation under the supervision of our medical staff" beckoned for the France international.

But in a statement released on Thursday, Spurs revealed surgery was "advised after further reviews by specialists found the elbow remained unstable".

Nevertheless, Lloris is still predicted to be back in training in early 2020.

An incredible day of Premier League drama saw both leaders Liverpool and champions Manchester City rescue all three points with late fightbacks.

Liverpool trailed at Aston Villa while City were behind at home to Southampton, although Pep Guardiola's men looked set to profit when they turned their match around as the Reds continued to flounder.

Andrew Robertson and Sadio Mane clinched a stunning away victory, though, and Liverpool remain six points clear of City at the top after both sides won 2-1.

Elsewhere, Bournemouth, Newcastle United, Sheffield United and Brighton and Hove Albion all won, while Wolves held Arsenal.

 

INCREDIBLE DRAMA AT THE TOP

Villa away and Southampton at home - particularly after the Saints' horror show against Leicester City - looked like straightforward enough fixtures for Liverpool and City respectively.

However, it appeared for long spells on Saturday as though both would come away empty-handed.

At Villa Park, Trezeguet netted after 21 minutes and not until the 87th minute did Robertson level matters. Liverpool still appeared set to see their advantage cut, only for Mane to strike deep into stoppage time.

City were also given a scare as Southampton led through James Ward-Prowse early on.

But Sergio Aguero struck with 20 minutes remaining and then Kyle Walker, like Robertson an unlikely scorer, stole victory with just four minutes left on the clock.

 

BOOS FOR EMERY'S ARSENAL AGAIN

At Emirates Stadium, pressure continues to grow on Unai Emery after a third Premier League game without a win.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - captaining the Gunners in Granit Xhaka's absence - put them in front, the striker scoring his 50th Gunners goal in his 78th appearance.

But again Arsenal dropped points despite leading, Raul Jimenez heading home Joao Moutinho's cross with 14 minutes to go to extend Wolves' unbeaten run to six league games.

Although Emery had restored fan favourite Mesut Ozil to the XI, boos rang out at full-time.

 

UNITED BEATEN BY BOURNEMOUTH

An entertaining day of Premier League action had kicked off with Bournemouth beating Manchester United, ending the Red Devils' brief resurgence.

After three straight away wins looked to have turned United's season around, former Old Trafford youngster Joshua King grabbed the only goal of the game at Vitality Stadium.

King turned away from Aaron Wan-Bissaka late in the first half, before slamming past David De Gea acrobatically for what proved to be the decisive strike.

 

NEWCASTLE HOLD ON, BLADES WIN BIG

Even the games on the slate not involving 'big-six' teams were full of thrills and spills.

Newcastle won 3-2 at West Ham, ending the match clinging on after dominating for an hour. They scored through Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez and Jonjo Shelvey, and the Magpies should have netted two or three more before the Hammers mounted something of a fightback, but ultimately fell short.

There was no such response from Burnley, as they went down 3-0 at Sheffield United, with John Lundstram on target twice as all three goals came in the first half.

Brighton ended the day all the way up in eighth after beating Norwich City 2-0.

Everton manager Marco Silva has defended VAR after two decisions went against the Toffees in their 3-2 defeat at Brighton on Saturday.

The Merseyside club took a 2-1 lead at the weekend when Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored, but the visitors were denied a penalty as Richarlison seemed to be held by his marker at a set-piece.

Brighton went on to score a controversial penalty as Michael Keane was adjudged to have fouled Aaron Connolly, before Lucas Digne put through his own net in stoppage time.

Former Watford and Hull City manager Silva is under pressure at Everton having won just one of his last five Premier League games with the club in 16th place, but defended the technology and was keen to support the referees.

"VAR is in football to stay. Of course, now it is the first season in the Premier League and in some other countries, when they have the first season they have some issues as well," he told reporters.

"Of course we have to support and give big respect to all the referees and the VAR. Unfortunately for us as a football club, the last decisions were really tough against us.

"In the right moment we are here to give our feedback and feelings as manager, not just mine but also those of other managers, our expectations and ways we think it can improve.

"It’s up to us to keep supporting even if in some moments it is difficult to understand, and for us at Everton at the beginning of the season, it has been really tough to understand some of the things.

"It’s here. Unfortunately it hasn’t been good to us so far, but we hope it will be in the future."

A superb second-half display helped Manchester City to a comprehensive 3-0 win over Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.

Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Ilkay Gundogan were all on target after the break as Pep Guardiola's side closed the gap to leaders Liverpool to three points ahead of their game with Tottenham on Sunday.

Christian Pulisic was the star of the show as Chelsea beat Burnley 4-2 at Turf Moor, the American plundering a hat-trick after being recalled to the starting XI by Frank Lampard.

Elsewhere, a stoppage-time own goal by Lucas Digne condemned Everton to a 3-2 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion and Sheffield United came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw at West Ham.

Meanwhile, Watford and Bournemouth played out a 0-0 draw at Vicarage Road.

 

STERLING SHINES AS CITY SEE OFF VILLA

The England forward followed his midweek hat-trick against Atalanta with another strike as City cruised past Villa at the Etihad Stadium.

Sterling latched onto Gabriel Jesus' headed flick-on before squeezing a low effort underneath Tom Heaton to open the scoring just 20 seconds into the second period.

That was followed in the 65th minute by David Silva's strike, the Spaniard's deft touch from Kevin De Bruyne's whipped cross given the green light after a lengthy VAR review.

Ilkay Gundogan then added a third 20 minutes from time, the German sending a fine half-volley past Heaton, before Fernandinho spoiled a fine performance with a second yellow card in the 87th minute.

 

PATIENT PULISIC MAKES HIS MARK

United States international Pulisic has had to be patient this season, with Lampard choosing not to start him in a Premier League since August.

He was chosen ahead of Callum Hudson-Odoi at Turf Moor, though, and repaid his head coach's faith in style as the Blues made it seven consecutive wins in all competitions.

The 21-year-old put his side 2-0 up at the break with a well-taken double before completing his hat-trick 11 minutes after the restart. Willian then made it 4-0 two minutes later with a clinical finish past Nick Pope.

Burnley finished on the front foot, with Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil scoring in the final five minutes, but it was too little, too late for Sean Dyche's side.

 

SEAGULLS LEAVE IT LATE TO OVERCOME TOFFEES

Everton remain in trouble near the foot of the table after Digne's own goal four minutes into stoppage time handed Brighton a 3-2 win at the Amex Stadium.

Pascal Gross had put the hosts ahead with a thunderous free-kick after 15 minutes but an own goal from Adam Webster pulled the Toffees level five minutes later.

Everton looked on course for their first away win of the season when Dominic Calvert-Lewin stroked home with 16 minutes remaining.

However, Neal Maupay levelled from the spot in the 80th minute after VAR adjudged Michael Keane to have fouled Aaron Connolly inside the penalty area, with Everton's misery completed by Digne's unfortunate intervention late on.

MOUSSET THE DIFFERENCE AGAIN FOR BLADES

Lys Mousset's second goal of the week ensured Sheffield United left London with a point.

West Ham had taken the lead shortly before the interval when Robert Snodgrass fired low past Dean Henderson for his first Premier League goal of the campaign.

Mousset – who scored the winner against Arsenal on Monday – had the final say, though, finishing past Hammers goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez just six minutes after coming off the substitutes' bench.

Watford, meanwhile, remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League after they were held to a goalless draw at home by Bournemouth.

A superb second-half display helped Manchester City to a comprehensive 3-0 win over Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.

Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Ilkay Gundogan were all on target after the break as Pep Guardiola's side closed the gap to leaders Liverpool to three points ahead of their game with Tottenham on Sunday.

A stoppage-time own goal by Lucas Digne condemned Everton to a 3-2 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion and Sheffield United came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw at West Ham.

Meanwhile, Watford and Bournemouth played out a 0-0 draw at Vicarage Road.

 

STERLING SHINES AS CITY SEE OFF VILLA

The England forward followed his midweek hat-trick against Atalanta with another strike as City cruised past Villa at the Etihad Stadium.

Sterling latched onto Gabriel Jesus' headed flick-on before squeezing a low effort underneath Tom Heaton to open the scoring just 20 seconds into the second period.

That was followed in the 65th minute by David Silva's strike, the Spaniard's deft touch from Kevin De Bruyne's whipped cross given the green light after a lengthy VAR review.

Ilkay Gundogan then added a third 20 minutes from time, the German sending a fine half-volley past Heaton, before Fernandinho spoiled a fine performance with a second yellow card in the 87th minute.

SEAGULLS LEAVE IT LATE TO OVERCOME TOFFEES

Everton remain in trouble near the foot of the table after Digne's own goal four minutes into stoppage time handed Brighton a 3-2 win at the Amex Stadium.

Pascal Gross had put the hosts ahead with a thunderous free-kick after 15 minutes but an own goal from Adam Webster pulled the Toffees level five minutes later.

Everton looked on course for their first away win of the season when Dominic Calvert-Lewin stroked home with 16 minutes remaining.

However, Neal Maupay levelled from the spot in the 80th minute after VAR adjudged Michael Keane to have fouled Aaron Connolly inside the penalty area, with Everton's misery completed by Digne's unfortunate intervention late on.

MOUSSET THE DIFFERENCE AGAIN FOR BLADES

Lys Mousset's second goal of the week ensured Sheffield United left London with a point.

West Ham had taken the lead shortly before the interval when Robert Snodgrass fired low past Dean Henderson for his first Premier League goal of the campaign.

Mousset – who scored the winner against Arsenal on Monday – had the final say, though, finishing past Hammers goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez just six minutes after coming off the substitutes' bench.

Watford, meanwhile, remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League after they were held to a goalless draw at home by Bournemouth.

Tottenham were rescued by a late equaliser as Dele Alli salvaged a 1-1 draw at home to the Premier League's bottom club Watford.

Having gone into the international break on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion, which followed on from their 7-2 capitulation to Bayern Munich, Spurs looked set to become the first team to lose to Watford in the league this term until a mix-up between Ben Foster and Kiko Femenia presented Alli with the chance to sweep in a late equaliser.

Chelsea claimed a fifth successive win in all competitions by beating Newcastle United 1-0 as Frank Lampard's side temporarily moved up to third, a place behind Leicester City, who came from behind to beat Burnley 2-1 thanks to goals from Jamie Vardy and Youri Tielemans.

Leicester and Chelsea were then overtaken by Manchester City, however, as the defending champions – who started with Rodri and Fernandinho in the centre of defence – beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park.

Aston Villa overcame 10-man Brighton 2-1, courtesy of a late effort from Matt Targett, who had been picked out by the excellent Jack Grealish, while Bournemouth shared the points with struggling Norwich City and Raul Jimenez's penalty earned Wolves a point against Southampton.

In the early kick-off, Everton claimed a much-needed 2-0 victory over West Ham at Goodison Park to hand under-pressure Marco Silva a lifeline.

WATFORD MIX-UP RELIEVES THE PRESSURE ON POCHETTINO

It looked to be going from bad to worse for Spurs, who fell behind early on at home when Abdoulaye Doucoure swept home from Daryl Janmaat's cross to increase the pressure on boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Tottenham dominated throughout, though Watford will point to what appeared to be a valid penalty appeal which was turned down by both the referee and VAR after Jan Vertonghen had slid into Gerard Deulofeu.

Foster made a terrific save to tip Son Heung-min's strike onto the crossbar early in the second half, but confusion between Watford's goalkeeper and Femenia ensured Alli salvaged a point.

Having raced out to claim a cross, Foster appeared to hesitate, only managing to bundle into Femenia, who headed directly to Alli, who lashed in from a tight angle - VAR confirming the goal.

CHELSEA AND LEICESTER INTO THE TOP FOUR

The Blues are hitting their stride under Lampard, though they looked set to be frustrated by Newcastle until Marcos Alonso's second-half winner.

With Tammy Abraham and Willian having squandered great chances, Newcastle's resolve was broken when their goalkeeper Martin Dubravka failed to keep hold of Alonso's strike.

Chelsea are level on points with Leicester, who bounced back from their defeat at Anfield last time out with a hard-fought victory over Burnley.

The Foxes restored parity through Vardy - who cancelled out Chris Wood's opener - before Tielemans hammered home with 16 minutes remaining. The Clarets thought they had snatched a draw late on, only for Jonny Evans' own goal to be contentiously disallowed.

CITY CLOSE THE GAP

Liverpool's lead at the top has, temporarily at least, been reduced to five points as City eased to a 2-0 win over Palace through goals from Gabriel Jesus and David Silva.

With Nicolas Otamendi injured and John Stones deemed not ready to start, Pep Guardiola opted to go with Rodri and Fernandinho at the back, though Palace could not test the makeshift pairing before Jesus headed City in front.

Silva added another with a sublime volley before the break, with City going for the jugular in the second half – though they were denied a penalty, Kevin De Bruyne hit the post and Raheem Sterling missed a golden chance to wrap up the points.

Ederson was called into action twice late on, but City were not made to pay for their profligacy as they returned to winning ways and edged closer to Liverpool, who face Manchester United on Sunday.

SILVA EASES THE PRESSURE

Everton entered Saturday's early match on the back of four successive league defeats, but the Toffees handed Silva a boost with a dominant display against West Ham - Bernard putting them ahead with a cute finish after some sublime footwork got him through a crowd of defenders.

Silva's side could easily have extended their lead, with Richarlison and Theo Walcott hitting the post and crossbar respectively while Everton also had two goals disallowed.

West Ham might have snatched an unlikely point if not for Jordan Pickford's save from Angelo Ogbonna's close-range effort, but the points were wrapped up when Gylfi Sigurdsson arrowed in his first league goal of the season in stoppage time as Everton ended their dismal run.

Tottenham were rescued by a late equaliser as Dele Alli salvaged a 1-1 draw at home to the Premier League's bottom club Watford. 

Having gone into the international break on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion, which followed on from their 7-2 capitulation to Bayern Munich, Spurs looked set to become the first team to lose to Watford in the league this term until a mix-up between Ben Foster and Kiko Femenia presented Alli with the chance to sweep in a late equaliser.

Chelsea claimed a fifth successive win in all competitions by beating Newcastle United 1-0 as Frank Lampard's side temporarily moved up to third, a place behind Leicester City, who came from behind to beat Burnley 2-1 thanks to goals from Jamie Vardy and Youri Tielemans. 

Aston Villa overcame 10-man Brighton 2-1, courtesy of a late effort from Matt Targett, who had been picked out by the excellent Jack Grealish, while Bournemouth shared the points with struggling Norwich City and Raul Jimenez's penalty earned Wolves a point against Southampton.

In the early kick-off, Everton claimed a much-needed 2-0 victory over West Ham at Goodison Park to hand under-pressure Marco Silva a lifeline.

WATFORD MIX UP RELIEVES THE PRESSURE ON POCHETTINO

It looked to be going from bad to worse for Spurs, who fell behind early on at home when Abdoulaye Doucoure swept home from Daryl Janmaat's cross to increase the pressure on boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Tottenham dominated throughout, though Watford will point to what appeared to be a valid penalty appeal which was turned down by both the referee and VAR after Jan Vertonghen had slid into Gerard Deulofeu.

Foster made a terrific save to tip Son Heung-min's strike onto the crossbar early in the second half, but confusion between Watford's goalkeeper and Femenia ensured Alli salvaged a point.

Having raced out to claim a cross, Foster appeared to hesitate, only managing to bundle into Femenia, who headed directly to Alli, who lashed in from a tight angle - VAR confirming the goal.

CHELSEA AND LEICESTER INTO THE TOP THREE

The Blues are hitting their stride under Lampard, though they looked set to be frustrated by Newcastle until Marcos Alonso's second-half winner.

With Tammy Abraham and Willian having squandered great chances, Newcastle's resolve was broken when their goalkeeper Martin Dubravka failed to keep hold of Alonso's strike.

Chelsea are level on points with Leicester, who bounced back from their defeat at Anfield last time out with a hard-fought victory over Burnley.

The Foxes restored parity through Vardy - who cancelled out Chris Wood's opener - before Tielemans hammered home with 16 minutes remaining. The Clarets thought they had snatched a draw late on, only for Jonny Evans' own goal to be contentiously disallowed.

SILVA EASES THE PRESSURE

Everton entered Saturday's early match on the back of four successive league defeats, but the Toffees handed Silva a boost with a dominant display against West Ham - Bernard putting them ahead with a cute finish after some sublime footwork got him through a crowd of defenders.

Silva's side could easily have extended their lead, with Richarlison and Theo Walcott hitting the post and crossbar respectively while Everton also had two goals disallowed.

West Ham might have snatched an unlikely point if not for Jordan Pickford's save from Angelo Ogbonna's close-range effort, but the points were wrapped up when Gylfi Sigurdsson arrowed in his first league goal of the season in stoppage time as Everton ended their dismal run.

Mauricio Pochettino's spirits were lifted during the international break, having felt "dead" after Tottenham's defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.

A difficult season for Spurs plunged new depths when they followed up a 7-2 humiliation at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on October 1 by losing 3-0 at Brighton in the Premier League four days later.

Pochettino was downbeat at the start of the international break, during which he travelled to the Aspire Global Summit in Qatar and addressed several ex-professionals.

But ahead of hosting Watford on Saturday, the former Southampton boss was able to consider a more positive outlook.

"We had an offer a few months ago to go to Aspire," he told a news conference. "I was talking there for one and a half hours, in front of 100 people, 50 clubs.

"All the big clubs in the world were there, ex-team-mates like [Santiago] Solari, Hernan Crespo, people I met like Tim Cahill - now I have a very good view of him, it was amazing to spend time with him.

"It was like a medicine. We flew at 8am on Sunday [after Brighton on the Saturday] and I was dead. Jesus [Perez, his assistant], too.

"We arrived and it was difficult to find the energy and then to talk about Tottenham and our ideas and philosophy and football. It was most difficult thing, but we found the energy.

"It was a football drama, not a life drama. We lose a few games. Most important is to not go away, most important is to face the problems and find a solution."

Despite a poor run that has left Tottenham ninth, Pochettino insists his faith in his players is unwavering.

"In this type of situation, the most important thing is to be all together and show a strong face to the problems," he said.

"Face the problems and talk a lot because the most important thing is that players feel support and trust from the manager. That belief is important.

"I trust 200 per cent in them and believe that they have the capacity and potential to win the games and turn this situation around. This type of situation happens at all clubs sooner or later.

"We have confidence that we have the quality. It is only a matter of time to make things clear. We need to help them perform because they are the principal actors on the pitch who will provide the victories."

Could we have seen a potentially decisive weekend in the Premier League title race?

Liverpool opened an eight-point lead over Manchester City at the summit as James Milner's last-gasp penalty secured a precious 2-1 win over Leicester City on Saturday.

The Reds moved eight points clear with the last-gasp triumph – and City were unable to cut into it as they slipped to a shock 2-0 defeat at home to Wolves on Sunday.

As for Manchester United, their torrid recent form continued with a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United, while struggling Tottenham were on the end of a resounding 3-0 loss at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Our Premier League Data Diary sheds some light on the detail behind the big stories of this weekend's top games.

 

REDS LEAVE IT LATE TO MAINTAIN PERFECT START

Victory over Leicester means Liverpool have now won their past 17 Premier League games, just one short of Manchester City's top-flight record of 18.

They have also become just the seventh side in history to win each of their opening eight matches in an English top-flight season.

The Reds forged ahead through Sadio Mane's 50th league goal for the club in what was his 100th appearance in the competition for Jurgen Klopp's side.

James Maddison gave the Foxes hope of a point, though, with their first and only shot on target.

However, Milner stepped up deep into added time to seal yet another win for the hosts. It marked the 34th time they have scored a winning goal in a Premier League match in or after the 90th minute, which is at least nine more than any other team

TRAORE DOUBLE DOWNS INSIPID CITY

City were failed to respond to Liverpool's victory, slipping to just a fourth home league defeat in 61 matches under Pep Guardiola.

It was the first time they have lost a Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium without scoring since March 2016, when they were beaten 1-0 by neighbours Manchester United.

Wolves were indebted to a superb double from Adama Traore inside the final 10 minutes to claim their second league win of the season. Remarkably, he had failed to score in his previous 32 Premier League matches.

The result marked the first time Wolves have beaten City away from home in a top-flight fixture since December 1979.

LONGSTAFF PILES MISERY ON SOLSKJAER

United's woeful start to the season reached a new low on Sunday. The sorry defeat at Newcastle means they have won a mere nine points from their opening eight games – their lowest total at this stage since the 1989-90 campaign.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's beleaguered squad are now winless in their last eight away league games – their longest such run in the top flight since September 1989, when they went 11 games without victory.

Under-pressure Newcastle boss Steve Bruce, meanwhile, can celebrate after registering his first ever win as a manager against the club he served as a player, doing so at the 23rd attempt.

Victory came courtesy of Matty Longstaff's drilled effort 18 minutes from time, the 19-year-old becoming the youngest player to score on his Premier League debut for Newcastle.

SEAGULLS SWOOP TO TAKE ADVANTAGE

Tottenham's defeat at Brighton means they have now lost 17 games in all competitions in 2019 – more than any other top-flight side.

Brighton went ahead after just three minutes, Neal Maupay nodding in after Hugo Lloris fumbled a cross - injuring himself in the process. Only Asmir Begovic (21) has made more errors leading to goals than Lloris (18) in the Premier League since his debut in the competition in October 2012.

Nineteen-year-old Aaron Connolly then added two more either side of the interval to seal a memorable win for the hosts. The Irishman is the first teenager to start a Premier League game for Brighton and also the first to score in the league for the Seagulls since Jake Forster-Caskey in April 2014.

The win equalled Brighton's biggest margin of victory in a top-flight game and meant they scored more than once in a league home game for the first time in 16 matches.

Brighton and Hove Albion forward Aaron Connolly has been added to the Republic of Ireland squad after scoring his first Premier League goals in a 3-0 win over Tottenham.

The Galway-born 19-year-old was handed his first start as Brighton went in search of their first Premier League win in six games at Amex Stadium, where Neal Maupay put the hosts in front.

Connolly then struck twice in 33 minutes as Graham Potter's side earned a memorable victory, and the teenager's performance caught the eye of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy.

Along with Blackburn Rovers defender Derrick Williams, Connolly has been added to the squad for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Georgia and Switzerland.

McCarthy explained the addition of the pair came after Portsmouth's Ronan Curtis and Blackburn Rovers duo Greg Cunningham and Darragh Lenihan suffered injuries.

"Aaron and Derrick will join up with the squad on Sunday after injuries to Ronan, Greg and Darragh," said McCarthy.

"I have spoken to Aaron and Derrick and they are looking forward to meeting up with us. Aaron enjoyed his full debut for Brighton and we have been keeping a close eye on his progress this season.

"Derrick was in the extended 41-man squad for these games and playing regularly for Blackburn so this is his chance now."

Connolly, who has represented Ireland at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level, will travel to Tbilisi with the senior squad on Thursday ahead of Saturday's clash with Georgia.

Tottenham have confirmed goalkeeper Hugo Lloris dislocated his elbow during Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion after he was assessed at a nearby hospital.

The France international fell awkwardly after Neal Maupay headed Brighton into the lead three minutes into the match at Amex Stadium and had to be taken off on a stretcher.

Lloris was replaced by Paulo Gazzaniga, who conceded twice more as Aaron Connolly's brace ensured a comfortable win for Brighton.

A statement on Tottenham's official website said: "We can confirm that Hugo Lloris sustained a dislocated elbow during Saturday's match against Brighton.

"Our club captain was stretchered off as a result of the injury and will return to London after being assessed at a local hospital.

"Assessment will continue in the coming week to ascertain the full extent of the injury and the length of time he will require to undergo rehabilitation."

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