With football no closer to being resumed as the coronavirus pandemic continues, players across Europe's top-five leagues have lots of time to pore over their performances from this season.

Using Opta data, we have already examined some of the worst attacking numbers from 2019-20, so now it's the turn of those ball-playing technicians: the pass-masters.

We have analysed nine key metrics for outfield players to play in at least 10 league games this season, thereby giving us a good summary of those whose passing could use some improvement. Those metrics are focused on the number of passes (overall, in a player's own half and their opponent's half), the accuracy of those passes, corners and crosses, and losing possession.

As always when it comes to data, context is key. For instance, we have included overall accuracy percentages to give balance to the simple number of passes. A team's playmaker or set-piece taker, for example, is arguably more likely to have a larger number of misplaced passes than team-mates simply because he will be attempting more of them, and often in difficult areas.

It's also worth noting that the number of times possession has been lost excludes 'Hoofs' (which, by their nature, make losing the ball more common), while corner and crossing accuracy is taken only from those to attempt, on average, at least one per game.

That said, the below gives a good indication of some passing figures that need improvement - and there are one or two surprising names...

THE WORST PASSING STATS IN EUROPE'S TOP-FIVE LEAGUES 2019-20:

BUNDESLIGA:

Most passes failed: Robert Andrich (291)
Worst passing accuracy: Anthony Modeste (55.4 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Jamilu Collins (110)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Kai Proger (60.5 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Sebastian Andersson (215)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Anthony Modeste (42.1 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Filip Kostic (199)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Wendell (0 of 22)
Most times possession lost: Filip Kostic (616)

LALIGA:

Most passes failed: Leandro Cabrera (352)
Worst passing accuracy: Enric Gallego (48.6 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Pervis Estupinan (94)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Sergio Leon (57.1 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Joselu (283)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Leandro Cabrera (43.5 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Jesus Navas (134)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Karim Benzema (0 of 19)
Most times possession lost: Pervis Estupinan (534)

LIGUE 1:

Most passes failed: Issiaga Sylla (281)
Worst passing accuracy: Suk Hyun-jun (44.8 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Fabien Centonze (111)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Suk Hyun-jun (50 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Andy Delort (238)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half:  Suk Hyun-jun (44.4 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Mathieu Dossevi (142)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): M'Baye Niang (0 of 11)
Most times possession lost: Angel Di Maria (539)

PREMIER LEAGUE:

Most passes failed: Trent Alexander-Arnold (480)
Worst passing accuracy: Christian Benteke (52.4 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Cesar Azpilicueta (132)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Matej Vydra (50 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half:  Trent Alexander-Arnold (359)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Christian Benteke (48 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed:  Trent Alexander-Arnold (246)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Gabriel Martinelli (0 of 22)
Most times possession lost:  Trent Alexander-Arnold (867)

SERIE A:

Most passes failed: Stefano Sabelli (324)
Worst passing accuracy: Lautaro Martinez (59.5 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Stefano Sabelli (94)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Stefano Sabelli (230)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Florian Aye (58.5 per cent)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Roberto Inglese (54 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Erick Pulgar (134)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Kevin Lasagna (0 from 13)
Most possession lost: Stefano Sabelli (494)

AND THE TOP NINE:

Most passes failed: Trent Alexander-Arnold (480)
Worst passing accuracy: Suk Hyun-jun (44.8 per cent)
Most passes failed, own half: Cesar Azpilicueta (132)
Worst passing accuracy, own half: Suk Hyun-jun and Matej Vydra (50 per cent)
Most passes failed, opposition half: Trent Alexander-Arnold (359)
Worst passing accuracy, opposition half: Anthony Modeste (42.1 per cent)
Most corners/crosses failed: Trent Alexander-Arnold (246)
Worst corners/crosses accuracy (minimum 10): Wendell and Gabriel Martinelli (0 of 22)
Most times possession lost: Trent Alexander-Arnold (867)

As the world continues to battle against the coronavirus pandemic, football fans across the globe face another weekend scratching around for something to fill the void.

The domestic calendar in England was halted last week in a bid to reduce social gatherings and the Football Association confirmed its leagues would not return until at least the end of April.

While we cannot say for sure how this weekend's Premier League fixtures would have gone, our friends at Opta have come up with a system to predict the outcomes.

What chance would your team have had? Take a look below.

 

Predictor explainer:

The Opta Predictor estimates the probability of each match outcome (win, draw or loss) given each team's attacking and defensive quality. The team's attacking and defensive qualities are based on four years of historic results, with more weighting given to their most recent results. The model will take into account the quality of the opposition that a team scores or concedes against and reward them accordingly.


 

BURNLEY v WATFORD

Home win: 49 per cent
Draw: 26 per cent
Away win: 25 per cent

Watford may have handed Liverpool their first defeat of the Premier League season, but with just one victory in their past three visits to Turf Moor it is Burnley who are expected to win by the predictor. Sean Dyche's side have gone unbeaten in seven top-flight matches to move into a more comfortable position in the middle of the table.

CHELSEA v MANCHESTER CITY

Home win: 30 per cent
Draw: 24 per cent
Away win: 46 per cent

Manchester City are the pick to prevail at Stamford Bridge, a ground where Pep Guardiola has lost on two of his three Premier League visits. Kevin De Bruyne's winner in September 2017 fired City's charge to a 100-point title romp but goals from N'Golo Kante and David Luiz saw the Blues hand Guardiola's men the first league defeat of their triumphant 2018-19 campaign. Kante and De Bruyne were both on target when the sides met at the Etihad Stadium back in November, before Riyad Mahrez sealed a 2-1 comeback win for the hosts.

LEICESTER CITY v BRIGHTON

Home win: 62 per cent
Draw: 22 per cent
Away win: 16 per cent

Brighton won at Arsenal back in December, but that was just one of two away victories for the Seagulls so far in the Premier League this season, so their prospects at Leicester were inevitably looking bleak. After a worrying slump, Leicester looked to have rediscovered their mojo by the time the league ground to a halt, with Jamie Vardy back on the goal trail following a drought. Leicester’s nine wins at the King Power Stadium this term looked highly likely to become 10.

LIVERPOOL v CRYSTAL PALACE

Home win: 76 per cent win
Draw: 16 per cent
Away win: 8 per cent

A predicted triumph for Liverpool at Anfield is by no means a surprise given they are on a top-flight record of 22 straight home wins. With just an eight per cent chance of winning, Palace had the lowest chance of victory in this round of fixtures. However, with City predicted to come out on top against Chelsea, the Reds' wait to clinch the Premier League title would have continued.

MANCHESTER UNITED v SHEFFIELD UNITED

Home win: 48 per cent
Draw: 30 per cent
Away win: 22 per cent

The halt in football action came at a bad time for Manchester United, who were on a magnificent roll - 11 matches unbeaten with eight victories. The Opta predictor backed the hosts to continue that run, but at 48 per cent, a home win was seen as far from a certainty. Amid an amazing season, Sheffield United are just two points behind Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men and at 30 per cent, it is the most likely contest on the matchday to end in a draw. That was also the outcome in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Bramall Lane in November.

NEWCASTLE UNITED v ASTON VILLA

Home win: 54 per cent
Draw: 24 per cent
Away win: 22 per cent

The predicted win for Newcastle is something Aston Villa – second from bottom and 10 points shy of Steve Bruce's men – could ill afford in reality. Newcastle are unbeaten in five matches at St James' Park, although that run includes three consecutive 0-0 draws. Villa have lost four in succession in the Premier League and only won three times in the top flight since beating the Magpies 2-0 in the corresponding fixture on November 25.

NORWICH CITY v EVERTON

Home win: 28 per cent
Draw: 26 per cent
Away win: 46 per cent

Norwich prop up the Premier League table and the predictor reflects as such, with Everton having a greater chance of victory on the road. The Toffees' last win at Carrow Road came in 2004, though, and Everton were beaten 2-0 at home by Daniel Farke's side back in November, Todd Cantwell and Dennis Srbeny with the goals at Goodison Park.

SOUTHAMPTON v ARSENAL

Home win: 28 per cent
Draw: 24 per cent
Away win: 48 per cent

Southampton’s resurgence during December and January had given way to a worrying patch of form over February and early March. Ralph Hasenhuttl's men did beat Aston Villa at home, but this Arsenal side under Mikel Arteta’s leadership are a different prospect to the team Saints held 2-2 in north London back in November. The Gunners are unbeaten in the Premier League in 2020, and they would have fancied claiming all three points on offer at St Mary's.

TOTTENHAM v WEST HAM

Home win: 70 per cent
Draw: 17 per cent
Away win: 13 per cent

The Hammers were not predicted to fare particularly well at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but they did defy the odds with a 1-0 win at the same venue in April 2019, Michail Antonio scoring the winner. Tottenham were the victors in the reverse fixture this season, a 3-2 triumph in Jose Mourinho's first match in charge.

WOLVES V BOURNEMOUTH

Home win: 58 per cent
Draw: 23 per cent
Away win: 19 per cent

Wolves are unbeaten in all three of their Premier League matches against Bournemouth, including a 2-1 win in the reverse fixture, and the predictor has them as the more likely winners on this matchday. That would come as a welcome relief to Wolves, who have won just one of their last five home top-flight matches, while Eddie Howe's men would be primed for a seventh consecutive away loss.

The Premier League has been suspended until at least April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic, so what does that mean for the rest of the season?

Decisions made by UEFA and CONMEBOL to push back Euro 2020 and the Copa America until 2021 opened the door for domestic competition to continue longer than initially planned.

Upon announcing a four-week extension to the initially planned hiatus on Thursday, the Football Association (FA) revealed it would allow its leagues to continue beyond the June 1 deadline set out in its regulations.

The eventual run-in could prove to be heavily congested. Some Premier League teams are still competing on three fronts, others possess a game in hand, while UEFA is still hoping for a round of international matches in June.

If no games are cut out, we look at how the calendar for English teams could hypothetically shape up if competitions across Europe were able to resume following April 30.

 

May 2/3 - Matchday 30

May 7 - Postponed Europa League last-16 first legs and unplayed matchday 29 games

May 9/10 - Matchday 31

May 12/13/14 - FA Cup quarter-finals

May 16/17 - Matchday 32

May 19/20/21 - Champions League and Europa League last-16 second legs

May 23/24 - Matchday 33

May 26/27/28 - Champions League and Europa League quarter-final first legs

May 30/31 - Matchday 34

June 2/3/4 - Champions League and Europa League quarter-final second legs

June 6/7 - Matchday 35

June 13/14 - International week

June 20/21 - Matchday 36

June 23/24/25 - Champions League and Europa League semi-final first legs

June 27/28 - Matchday 37

June 30/July 1/2 - FA Cup semi-finals

July 4 - Matchday 38

July 7/8/9 - Champions League and Europa League semi-final second legs

July 11 - FA Cup final

July 15 - Europa League final

July 18 - Champions League final

A Manchester City player is self-isolating as a precaution after a member of their family fell ill and was tested for coronavirus.

The player in question was not named by the club, but according to multiple media reports it is first-team left-back Benjamin Mendy.

A club spokesperson said: "The club is aware that a family member of a senior men's team player is in hospital with symptoms of a respiratory illness.

"He has undergone tests at hospital, one of which is for COVID-19. Until the results are known, the player in question is self-isolating as a precaution."

City face Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday and were due to take on Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

However, that match was postponed after Madrid went into quarantine in the wake of one of the club's basketball players testing positive for coronavirus.

The United Kingdom has had 590 confirms cases of COVID-19 infection and 10 deaths from the virus.

Tottenham's injury woes continue to mount after it was revealed Steven Bergwijn had sustained a "significant" left ankle sprain in Premier League action against Burnley on Saturday.

The January signing from PSV, who has scored two goals in seven games in all competitions for Spurs, completed the full 90 minutes in the 1-1 draw at Turf Moor.

But head coach Jose Mourinho had earlier bemoaned the workload for his players, who exited the FA Cup last week but are still in the Champions League.

Bergwijn has been forced to play through the middle, along with Dele Alli and Lucas Moura, in the absence of injured attacking stars Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

England captain Kane posted a video update of his return to training on Monday, but he is not expected back in the first team until May.

No estimated return date was given for Bergwijn, meanwhile, with a Tottenham statement adding: "The Netherlands international will now undergo an extended period of rehabilitation where his progress will continue to be assessed."

The 22-year-old will be a big miss for Spurs in their Champions League last-16 second leg at RB Leipzig.

Mourinho's men are 1-0 down following the home leg as they visit the Bundesliga side on Tuesday.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche claimed referee Jonathan Moss "changed his performance" after exchanging words with Tottenham staff at half-time during Burnley's 1-1 draw with Jose Mourinho's side.

The Clarets were leading 1-0 through Chris Wood's 13th-minute goal when, according to Dyche, members of Mourinho's backroom team spoke with Moss, prompting a flurry of second-half cautions.

Burnley received no yellow cards before half-time but had five players booked in the second half, while Spurs received a single booking in the first half and finished the game with four.

Dyche told Sky Sports he felt Moss had been influenced by the visitors, saying: "There were some words at half-time going off the pitch with a few of their staff and the referee, and then the referee changed his performance I thought.

"That sometimes happens. You hope it doesn't, but I thought that second half there was everything seemed to be given for very little.

"I think we had six bookings. I haven't seen every incident but that seems bizarre to me."

The result left Burnley 10th in the table with nine games left to play, two points behind Tottenham in eighth.

Dyche's men are unbeaten in their last five Premier League matches and could yet match or better their best finish since being promoted – seventh place in 2017-18.

But Dyche called for the game's authorities to review refereeing incidents that he feels are spoiling his side's matches, pointing to a penalty claim that fell flat after striker Chris Wood was challenged in the box.

"I think the game has got to be careful at the minute and the powers that be need to take a look at what's going on," said Dyche.

"You can't not get a decision because you're trying to play the game correctly. I don't think you can do that. That's wrong. We all know that.

"So they've got to look at that, and today was a good example of that. Chris Wood, fouled in the box, definite foul - if that's anywhere else on the pitch it's given as a foul - and yet it's not, in the box today."

Jose Mourinho was scathing in his assessment of Tanguy Ndombele's display in the 1-1 draw against Burnley on Saturday and warned the Tottenham midfielder he is running out of patience.

Club-record signing Ndombele started alongside Oliver Skipp in midfield at Turf Moor, and Spurs were severely lacking in ingenuity as they went into half-time behind to Chris Wood's strike.

A tactical shift away from a three-man defence for the second half saw Skipp and Ndombele make way for Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso, the latter playing a key role in the equaliser.

Lo Celso drove forward in midfield and fed Erik Lamela, who was sent to ground by Ben Mee, and Dele Alli converted the resulting spot-kick for his 50th Premier League goal.

Mourinho has been tough on Ndombele during the France international's first season in England and effectively blamed him for their sluggish start against Burnley.

"I think the quality and dynamic of Lucas and Lo Celso made a difference, and I don't – I want to say but I cannot say," Mourinho told Sky Sports after Spurs' winless run extended to five games.

"We had something in the first half that we didn't have in the second half, so in the second half we improved a lot."

Pushed for more, he said: "I think fatigue is fatigue, Lucas had it and Lo Celso had it and [Steven] Bergwijn had it and Dele Alli had it and they gave what you saw. I don't ask much more than that.

"I was expecting players not tired to give more to the team and I think somebody [Ndombele] has to realise this is the Premier League.

"I think this is probably a new experience, the first time he comes to Burnley, and I hope next season he can be fantastic, because until now isn't enough.

"I hope that he uses every minute on the pitch and every minute knowing what the Premier League is to improve. Many fantastic players in their first season in a new country, for different reasons, they struggle. There are many, many examples of that.

"He's a player with great talent and has to know he has to do much better and know I cannot keep giving him opportunities to play because the team is much more important than the players, and the players must be on the pitch as a consequence of their performance. This is performance-level football."

Tottenham were held to a 1-1 draw at Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday to make it five games without a win in all competitions for Jose Mourinho's men.

Spurs headed to Turf Moor after four straight defeats, the most recent being a penalty shoot-out loss to Norwich City in the FA Cup that was followed by Eric Dier confronting a supporter in the stands, and slipped to their worst run since November 2016.

Chris Wood put Burnley ahead in the 13th minute, though Mourinho may wonder why the goal stood when the ball clearly struck Dwight McNeil on the arm in the build-up.

Tottenham lacked ingenuity in the first half and a tactical switch from Mourinho saw them offer a greater threat after the break, but a penalty from Dele Alli – his 50th Premier League goal for club – was all they could muster.

Burnley took the lead when Hugo Lloris diverted Jay Rodriguez's shot straight to Wood, who tucked home.

Tottenham appeared to be lacking ideas when going forward and Wood should have doubled Burnley's advantage in the 43rd minute, but he was unable to turn James Tarkowski's knock-down on target from inside the six-yard box.

Phil Bardsley saw an acrobatic effort sail narrowly over in stoppage time and Mourinho responded by changing to a four-man defence and sending on Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso for the second half.

Lo Celso made a quick impact by driving forward and releasing Lamela, who was felled by Mee in the box and Alli sent the resulting penalty into the bottom-right corner.

Burnley felt they should have had a penalty when Davinson Sanchez sent Wood to ground in the 55th minute, but referee Jon Moss saw nothing wrong with the challenge and the VAR did not intervene.

The closest Spurs got to snatching a winner came when Lo Celso bent a wonderful effort from 18 yards narrowly wide, while a good save from Lloris in the 84th minute stopped Matej Vydra consigning them to defeat.

Liverpool came from behind to beat Bournemouth 2-1 and set a record for the most consecutive home wins in England's top-flight history.

Jurgen Klopp's side edged closer to a first Premier League title thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, after Callum Wilson had put the Cherries ahead at Anfield.

Arsenal were given a tough time by West Ham before Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench to drag them closer to the Champions League places, but Wolves slipped up against Brighton and Hove Albion.

At the foot of the table, Norwich City are beginning to look a lost cause, but Newcastle United gave their own survival hopes a real boost.

LACAZETTE KEEPS CHAMPIONS LEAGUE HOPES ALIVE

Arsenal are now five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and three adrift of Wolves in fifth after battling to a 1-0 win over West Ham.

David Moyes' side managed 14 shots to the Gunners' nine, hit the post through Jarrod Bowen and were thwarted more than once by Bernd Leno, but they were undone by substitute Lacazette with 12 minutes to play.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's shot deflected to Mesut Ozil, who headed the ball to Lacazette to allow the striker to lash home the winner, the goal awarded after a VAR check overturned the initial offside call.

Wolves are only three ahead of Mikel Arteta's side, having missed out on the chance to move into the top four after failing to break down Brighton in a 0-0 draw at Molineux.

 

CENTURION SALAH GETS REDS BACK ON TRACK

Having lost three of their past four games across all competitions, Liverpool's Anfield home was not exactly in good spirits when Wilson tapped in Jefferson Lerma's cross to give Bournemouth a ninth-minute lead.

Bournemouth, though, are a team who had lost their previous five league games against Liverpool by an aggregate score of 17-0, so banking on them keeping the leaders at bay was always a long shot.

Unfortunately for Eddie Howe, Bournemouth rather gifted Liverpool their goals. Salah scored his 70th Liverpool goal in his 100th league appearance after Jack Simpson carelessly lost the ball to Mane, and it was 2-1 before the break when the visitors gave up possession in midfield and Virgil van Dijk played Mane in to score.

It was not a vintage display, but it did give Liverpool a record 22nd top-flight home victory in a row and put them 25 points clear at the top. Bournemouth remain 18th, behind Watford on goal difference, the Hornets having lost 1-0 at Crystal Palace.

MAGPIES ON THE UP BUT CANARIES ARE IN TROUBLE

Newcastle's run of five league games without a win - and four without a goal - came to an end with a 1-0 defeat of Southampton on the south coast.

Matt Ritchie, who signed a new contract at Newcastle this week, saw a penalty saved in the first half, not long after Moussa Djenepo had been sent off in a separate incident for a reckless challenge on Isaac Hayden, but Allan Saint-Maximin struck 79 minutes in to lift the Magpies eight points above the bottom three.

Norwich, though, are still six points from safety after a Billy Sharp goal and another fine performance from Dean Henderson saw them lose 1-0 at Sheffield United, who sit sixth.

Jose Mourinho believes the atmosphere during Tottenham's FA Cup defeat to Norwich City was "fantastic" and "an example of what football should be" despite the match being marred by an incident involving Eric Dier and a fan.

Spurs lost 3-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra-time on Wednesday, with Dier one of the two who successfully converted his spot-kick.

But after the match, photos and videos began circulating on social media showing Dier marching into the stands at full-time to confront a supporter, with Mourinho later confirming the midfielder had gone into the crowd to deal with an incident involving his brother.

One of the videos showed the England international being restrained by a group of people made up of fans and stewards, with the situation appearing to be diffused before an altercation occurred.

And Mourinho ignored the incident when asked about the crowd atmosphere on Wednesday, insisting he "didn't see any negativity".

"I think the atmosphere on Wednesday was fantastic," Mourinho told reporters on Friday. "It was an example of what football has to be and should be – 9,000 away fans [from Norwich]. Fantastic.

"I think, independent of their happiness at the result, they [Norwich fans] came to enjoy and it was great. Great respect from the Tottenham fans to them. I don't know one single incident that happened.

"Tottenham fans were supporting the team from minute one until the last penalty we missed. Fantastic support from our fans. I didn't see any negativity.

"If somebody had a little incident in the end, I prefer to focus on the beautiful things in the game and to praise fans from both clubs for such a fantastic support.

"Wednesday night, cold rainy night, but a huge, completely full stadium, great atmosphere, big fight but no incidents between players.

"Two or three yellow cards by normal actions. Great relations between the two benches. We have a fantastic relationship between the staffs. Good referees and the only thing apart from that incident I didn't like was that in the penalty shoot-out, the assistant on the line and the VAR they were sleeping.

"They were sleeping because if they were not then every penalty that [Tim] Krul saved should be repeated. So, they were a bit tired, it was too late and they were sleeping."

Mourinho also confirmed on Friday he sees no reason not to play Dier in Saturday's Premier League meeting with Burnley.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho feels Eric Dier "has to play" against Burnley on Saturday, insisting the incident which saw him run into the stands was "almost nothing".

Dier is under scrutiny from a Football Association investigation after he entered the crowd to confront a supporter following Tottenham's FA Cup fifth-round loss to Norwich City on Wednesday.

The England international climbed over rows of seats to approach a fan who was involved in an incident with his brother at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after Spurs' penalty shoot-out defeat. 

Mourinho does not feel the incident has impacted his player's frame of mind ahead of the trip to Turf Moor.

"What happened was clear, almost nothing happened," Mourinho said to Sky Sports. 

"He is ready and I think he has to play." 

Mourinho added at his pre-match news conference: "It was exactly my feeling and my reaction.

"I'm much older than Eric and have more years in football and I was born a footballer's son and grew up as a footballer's manager. If I saw something happening with my son I'd do the same. I wouldn't think two seconds about doing the same.

"As professionals, sometimes we have to go through difficult situations. And we have to try to cope with it, be a little bit lucky that it will not happen the same way as it happened with Eric. 

"But I think everybody understands what happened. Everybody has an opinion. I'm happy that the football family understands what happened. Let's move on.

"About Eric being in the right frame of mind to play, of course. The only thing that matters is: first of all, that nothing really big happened. And secondly he played so, so well in the last two matches that of course he is going to play.

"He played two fantastic matches [at centre-back], showed me things that I couldn’t imagine. I know what he can do in this position."

Hugo Lloris is back in training after a groin injury and Mourinho hopes he will be able to bring his captain back into the line-up.

He added: "Decision to be made after training. If you ask whether I am expecting him to play I say yes but I cannot confirm."

Marcos Alonso's 85th-minute equaliser earned Chelsea a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth as Frank Lampard's men missed the chance to go six points clear in fourth.

The Blues would have put some breathing room between themselves and Manchester United, who travel to Everton on Sunday, but they only claimed a share of the spoils as Alonso's brace was sandwiched between goals from Jefferson Lerma and Joshua King.

West Ham moved out of the bottom three as they beat Southampton 3-1, Jarrod Bowen marking his first start for the Hammers with a goal.

Jordan Ayew's strike earned Crystal Palace a 1-0 success at out-of-sorts Brighton and Hove Albion, while Newcastle United's home clash with Burnley ended goalless.

 

ALONSO'S ACTION-PACKED WEEK CONTINUES

Chelsea were looking to bounce back from their 3-0 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich on Tuesday, a game in which Alonso was sent off seven minutes from time.

The full-back retained his place at Bournemouth and scored for the second successive Premier League game to put Chelsea ahead only for Lerma and King to net within three minutes of each other in the second half.

Alonso headed in a late equaliser, though, as Chelsea moved four points clear of United and five above Tottenham and Sheffield United, all of whom have a game in hand.

BOWEN'S HOME BOW LEAVES HAMMERS HAPPY

David Moyes' West Ham won for the first time in eight Premier League games to climb above Aston Villa and Bournemouth up into 16th.

Bowen, who moved to London Stadium from Hull City for a reported £20million in January, scored the opening goal.

Although Michael Obafemi levelled, Sebastien Haller restored the hosts' lead before half-time and Michail Antonio made sure of the points.

EAGLES MARK HODGSON'S CENTURY WITH WIN

Croydon-born Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson took charge of his 100th top-flight game with the club at Brighton.

Ayew's second-half winner ensured Hodgson had extra cause to celebrate as they got one over their rivals.

Defeat for the Seagulls extended their winless run to eight Premier League games and they remain without a top-flight victory in 2020.

After dominating European football for over a decade, could Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo shelve their rivalry and come together as team-mates?

David Beckham might be the man to make it happen.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder appears to have ambitious plans for his new MLS franchise.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI, RONALDO WANTED AT INTER MIAMI

Barcelona captain Messi, 32, and Juventus talisman Ronaldo, 35, will end their careers on the same side if Inter Miami co-owner Beckham gets his wish, according to the Mirror.

The newspaper claims the new MLS outfit are "already thinking big" and could look to lure football's two biggest superstars to the United States.

LA Galaxy have also been linked with a move for Messi but Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath believes Beckham's pulling power has the potential to create a dream attacking duo.

“For Ronaldo and Messi, the two obvious destinations if they came to the MLS would be Los Angeles and Miami," Heath told the Mirror.

"And, with his links to both players and the plan Beckham and his backers have in place, I can really only see them going to Miami."

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United are set to launch a £50million bid for Wolves forward Diogo Jota, scorer of a Europa League hat-trick on Thursday, reports the Express.

- United have also been linked with Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham but the Red Devils are set to face competition from Liverpool, according to the Daily Star.

- Serie A leaders Juventus are at the front of the queue for Paul Pogba but Paris Saint-Germain also hope to land the French star, reports Le10 Sport.

- PSG, meanwhile, are planning for life after Thomas Tuchel, who is said to be in talks with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. L'Equipe claims the Ligue 1 champions could look to replace him with either Massimiliano Allegri or Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi.

- Premier League clubs Sheffield United, Wolves and Burnley are showing interest in Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, suggests the Sun.

Frank Lampard once again got the better of his former manager Jose Mourinho as Chelsea beat Tottenham 2-1 to boost their top-four hopes.

Ex-Blues midfielder Lampard saw his side complete a Premier League double over Spurs at Stamford Bridge in Saturday's early kick-off.

In the late game, Manchester City put seven points between themselves and third-placed Leicester City with a 1-0 win at the King Power Stadium.

It was a good day elsewhere for fourth-placed Chelsea too, as Sheffield United dropped points at home, drawing 1-1 with Brighton and Hove Albion.

Struggling Aston Villa and Bournemouth both suffered away defeats but Crystal Palace moved above Newcastle United with a 1-0 success at Selhurst Park.

 

LONDON DERBY DELIGHT FOR CHELSEA

Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso rewarded Lampard's faith in them by marking their returns to the starting line-up with goals.

Striker Giroud scored his first club goal since August before Alonso doubled the lead prior to the break, with Chelsea hanging on despite a late own goal from Antonio Rudiger.

In leading his side to home and away Premier League victories over Tottenham in 2019-20, Lampard became the first boss to beat a team managed by Mourinho in both league fixtures in a single season.

Chelsea moved four points clear of both Spurs and Sheffield United, who were held by Brighton at Bramall Lane as Enda Stevens' opener was cancelled out by Neal Maupay.

JESUS CITY'S SAVIOUR AFTER AGUERO’S PENALTY MISS

Sergio Aguero became the latest City player to miss a penalty before Gabriel Jesus scored a late winner in a 1-0 victory at Leicester.

Aguero's second-half spot-kick was saved by Kasper Schmeichel, with four different City players having failed to convert their last four Premier League penalties.

Yet Jesus, brought on for Aguero, slotted past Schmeichel 10 minutes from time to move City seven points clear of third-placed Leicester.

SAINTS AND EAGLES BOOST SURVIVAL HOPES

Southampton moved 10 points clear of the bottom three thanks to goals 87 minutes apart from Shane Long and Stuart Armstrong in a 2-0 triumph over Villa.

Roy Hodgson's Palace claimed their first victory of 2020 as Patrick van Aanholt's free-kick on the stroke of half-time proved enough to beat Newcastle, who lost Valentino Lazaro to a late red card.

Bournemouth were unable to put some distance between themselves and the bottom three, however, as they went down 3-0 at Turf Moor.

The Cherries had two goals disallowed in the defeat to Burnley, who moved up to eighth thanks to second-half goals from Matej Vydra, Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil.

Frank Lampard once again got the better of his former manager Jose Mourinho as Chelsea beat Tottenham 2-1 to boost their top-four hopes.

Ex-Blues midfielder Lampard saw his side complete a Premier League double over Spurs at Stamford Bridge in Saturday's early kick-off.

It was a good day elsewhere for fourth-placed Chelsea too, as Sheffield United dropped points at home, drawing 1-1 with Brighton and Hove Albion.

Struggling Aston Villa and Bournemouth both suffered away defeats but Crystal Palace moved above Newcastle United with a 1-0 success at Selhurst Park.

 

LONDON DERBY DELIGHT FOR CHELSEA

Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso rewarded Lampard's faith in them by marking their returns to the starting line-up with goals.

Striker Giroud scored his first club goal since August before Alonso doubled the lead prior to the break, with Chelsea hanging on despite a late own goal from Antonio Rudiger.

In leading his side to home and away Premier League victories over Tottenham in 2019-20, Lampard became the first boss to beat a team managed by Mourinho in both league fixtures in a single season.

Chelsea moved four points clear of both Spurs and Sheffield United, who were held by Brighton at Bramall Lane as Enda Stevens' opener was cancelled out by Neal Maupay.

 

SAINTS AND EAGLES BOOST SURVIVAL HOPES

Southampton moved 10 points clear of the bottom three thanks to goals 87 minutes apart from Shane Long and Stuart Armstrong in a 2-0 triumph over Villa.

Roy Hodgson's Palace claimed their first victory of 2020 as Patrick van Aanholt's free-kick on the stroke of half-time proved enough to beat Newcastle, who lost Valentino Lazaro to a late red card.

Bournemouth were unable to put some distance between themselves and the bottom three, however, as they went down 3-0 at Turf Moor.

The Cherries had two goals disallowed in the defeat to Burnley, who moved up to eighth thanks to second-half goals from Matej Vydra, Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil.

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