Manchester United have been boosted by the return of trio Luke Shaw, Axel Tuanzebe and Nemanja Matic to full training.

United visit Sheffield United on Sunday following the international break, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men chase back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time since March.

The return of first-choice left-back Shaw comes as a big boost, the England international having been out with a hamstring injury since August.

Tuanzebe was one of the players tasked with filling the void on the left side of the defence but he too is only now back in the frame after a hip injury forced him out of the warm-up before the match against Liverpool last month.

Teenage defender Brandon Williams has impressed at left-back in the meantime.

United could also soon have Matic back involved. He has not played since the start of October but rejoins the fold as midfield colleague Scott McTominay battles an ankle issue.

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.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino said it is "impossible to feel happy" after his side struggled to a 1-1 draw against Sheffield United.

George Baldock cancelled out Son Heung-min's opener 12 minutes from time in Saturday's clash to leave Tottenham winless in the Premier League since September.

Pochettino's men have taken just three points from the last 15 on offer and the Argentine conceded his side did not deserve anything more against their impressive opponents.

"It was an even game, a difficult one for us - they are a very good, organised team," he told BBC Sport. "It was difficult to play in the first half, but second half we were better. Overall, it's a fair result.

"We knew very well how they play - they got a draw in Chelsea and they are playing so well. The most difficult thing for us was to match their energy. In the second half we were much better and matched them. I think they deserve one point.

"I need to look forward and keep working and try to improve. We are not in a good position in the table. Always when you don't win you are disappointed and it’s impossible to feel happy."

A third 1-1 draw in four league matches leaves Tottenham in the bottom half of the table and Pochettino added: "The reality is that for different reasons we are not showing the performances that we expect.

"We try to build confidence, the team is in a period where we are finding the best balance. I need to look forward and keep working and try to improve. We are not in a good position in the table."

Tanguy Ndombele was substituted at half-time due to a groin injury and Pochettino felt his side struggled in the France midfielder's absence.

"We need to assess him. He felt pain in his groin," Pochettino said. "We don't know if it happened before or during the game but he said he was OK to play during the game. 

"Then he came off at half-time and the doctor said to me that can't play. I think it affected the team."

United midfielder Baldock equalised via a mishit cross, 16 minutes after team-mate David McGoldrick had a goal disallowed by VAR for offside against John Lundstram.

The officials took almost four minutes to adjudge that Lundstram, who had earlier hit the post with the sides level, was marginally offside in the build-up to McGoldrick's finish.

Visiting boss Chris Wilder accepted the decision but has questioned why it took so long for play to resume.

"I think in certain things you have to go to the process and have a big look at it in the summer," he said at his post-match press conference.

"It's here to stay and there's no doubt about it. I went to Everton to watch them play Spurs and the amount of time it took was too much. It's changed the game and obviously it's going to create debate.

"The length of the stoppage doesn't do anyone any good. If it's offside then we have to deal with it."

Moussa Sissoko is at a loss to explain Tottenham's lacklustre Premier League form after Mauricio Pochettino's men laboured to a 1-1 draw at home to Sheffield United.

Son Heung-min's 58th-minute opener looked to have been swiftly cancelled out after David McGoldrick netted for the Blades but a marginal VAR call went against John Lundstrum earlier in the move.

Spurs could not make the most of that reprieve as George Baldock netted a deserved 78th-minute leveller, extending the north London club's winless run in the Premier League to five matches.

"In the league we are struggling since the beginning of the season. Why? I don't know because we are trying our best but it is not working," France midfielder Sissoko said.

"We see today it was a difficult game against a good team. We were winning 1-0 but didn't keep the score. We have a lot of frustration but need to keep going.

"We have to stick together, like we said every time, and try to work hard."

It will be almost two months since their previous Premier League victory when Tottenham return from an international break Sissoko hopes will serve as an opportunity to reset.

"Every team can have some difficult moments," he added. "We are struggling in the league and that's football.

"We must keep working, give our best every day until everything turns around

"We will fight until the end. We know we can do better

"Now we are going away with the international teams and we have to come back stronger."

Sheffield United were the recipients of a harsh VAR decision but Chris Wilder's side battled back to draw 1-1 with Tottenham after Son Heung-min's opener on Saturday.

After Son - who was initially set to be suspended for this match but had his red card for a tackle that led to Andre Gomes' ankle injury overturned in midweek - put Spurs ahead, the Blades looked to have equalised until VAR disallowed David McGoldrick's goal.

However, George Baldock earned a share of the spoils for the Blades 12 minutes from time.

While Spurs are without a win in five league matches, their London rivals Chelsea are having no such issues under Frank Lampard, as they claimed a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Elsewhere, Everton claimed a vital away win at Southampton, Newcastle United saw off Bournemouth 2-1 and Burnley returned to winning ways in style with a 3-0 triumph over struggling West Ham.

 

SON ON TARGET BUT BLADES OVERCOME VAR CONTROVERSY

Much has been made of Son's devastation after his part in Gomes' injury, but he had reason to celebrate after the forward proved his importance to Spurs in what was another impotent display from Mauricio Pochettino's side.

Tottenham successfully appealed Son's red card, and they benefitted from having the forward available when the South Korea international pounced on Enda Stevens' mistake just before the hour.

The Blades thought they had scored a swift equaliser through McGoldrick, only for VAR to come to Spurs' rescue as - after a lengthy VAR check - it was deemed John Lundstram, who also hit the post, was marginally offside.

But VAR would not deny the visitors again - George Baldock's cross-cum-shot looping in to secure a deserved share of the spoils and lift the Blades, for now, into fifth.

ABRAHAM STRIKES AGAIN AS CHELSEA MAKE IT SIX IN A ROW

Chelsea were frustrated by some stubborn Palace defending in the first half at Stamford Bridge, but Lampard's side made the breakthrough courtesy of Tammy Abraham's 10th league goal of the season.

A sublime team move culminated in Willian flicking it around the corner into Abraham, who took a superb first touch before slotting beyond Vicente Guaita.

Three deserved points were wrapped up 11 minutes from time - Christian Pulisic acrobatically firing home as Chelsea won a sixth successive league match and, temporarily at least, moved above Manchester City into second.

EVERTON CLAIM VITAL VICTORY AS BURNLEY CLATTER WEST HAM

Defeat - or even a failure to win - at St Mary's for Everton could have spelled the end for Marco Silva, but the Toffees came away with the points thanks to Richarlison's 75th-minute effort.

Danny Ings' goal five minutes into the second half had cancelled out Tom Davies' early opener, yet Southampton - who have now lost six out of their last seven league matches - could not keep up the momentum, with Richarlison having the final say as Everton held onto their first away win of the season.

Everton sit in 13th, a point behind Burnley, who ended a three-game losing streak by dismantling West Ham, whose boss Manuel Pellegrini may well be under pressure heading into the international break.

Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood - who has scored in all five of his Premier League games against the Hammers - had Burnley in control by the break, before Roberto Jimenez's calamitous own goal wrapped things up at Turf Moor. 

Sheffield United shrugged off being on the sharp end of more VAR controversy to claim a deserved 1-1 draw at Tottenham.

Son Heung-min, back in action after his three-match ban for the tackle that left Everton midfielder Andre Gomes with a badly broken ankle was overturned, gave Spurs the lead against the run of play following an Enda Stevens error in the 58th minute.

David McGoldrick saw an equaliser ruled out after John Lundstram – who hit the post during the first half – was adjudged to be offside during the build-up.

But Chris Wilder's men impressively retained their composure and George Baldock's 78th-minute cross zipping into the far corner was a touch of fortune they richly deserved.

Tottenham's Paulo Gazzaniga was the busier of the two goalkeepers early on, holding a testing low drive from John Fleck after tipping Oliver Norwood's deflected second-minute strike over.

Harry Kane was unable to turn in Serge Aurier's 15th-minute cross at the near post but it proved a rare moment of encouragement for Spurs during an opening half hour that concluded with Lundstram thumping against the upright left footed.

United resumed on the front foot after half-time, Lys Mousset romping into the box and twisting around Davinson Sanchez before pulling his effort agonisingly wide.

Son was increasingly Spurs' lone outlet and gave visiting keeper Dean Henderson his first significant piece of work, arrowing a shot towards the bottom corner after Dele Alli's raking pass.

A more precise ball into the South Korea star's path led to the opener – only it came inadvertently from United defender Stevens, who gave Son an opportunity he was never likely to pass up.

McGoldrick thought he had an instant response but, after a VAR review lasting almost four minutes, Lundstram was shown to be offside by the barest of margins earlier in the move.

Justice was done as another methodical Blades move got wing-back Baldock in position in the right channel, his sliced delivery evading Eric Dier and Gazzaniga to edge Wilder's men up to fifth in the table.

Son Heung-min's two-goal performance in Tottenham's 4-0 win over Red Star Belgrade confirmed his strong psychological state, according to Mauricio Pochettino.

South Korea star Son led Spurs to a convincing Champions League victory in Serbia three days on from his part in the incident that left Everton midfielder Andre Gomes with a fracture dislocation to his right ankle.

Son's challenge contributed to Gomes colliding with Serge Aurier and earned him a red card, which has since been rescinded.

The 27-year-old forward was visibly distressed after witnessing the extent of the sickening injury but held his starting spot and excelled in what was a crucial European encounter for Tottenham.

"He was affected like everyone, during the game and after the game. It is difficult to see a player suffering a massive injury," Pochettino said.

"He was involved, there was a bit of confusion in the action, with the decision to show the red card. He felt responsible, then when we concede with 10 men.

"But he wasn't guilty for the injury, and he showed that he is in a good state and mental level.

"Of course he is sorry about Andre, like everyone, but it was a big relief with the message from Andre on social media, which was good and positive, and Son is now training and recovering well."

Tottenham appear on course to reach the Champions League knockout stages but continue to struggle for form domestically.

Pochettino's men are winless in four Premier League games and sit 11th in the table, 10 points adrift of the top four.

The Spurs boss hopes the midweek taste of success can be the catalyst for a better run of results, beginning with Saturday's home game against Sheffield United.

"I hope yes, hopefully keep in the same way," he said. "It was a difficult game [in Belgrade]. The result, 4-0, looks easy, but in different periods we suffered and nearly conceded.

"They hit the post and there was an unbelievable save from Paulo [Gazzaniga] that could have changed the game.

"Always you need luck to score first and then have the capacity to control. I was happy after Everton and after Red Star, but we need to finish winning. But we know it will be tough against Sheffield."

Tottenham's date with the Blades takes place just over 24 hours before the much-anticipated Anfield showdown between Liverpool and Manchester City, of which Pochettino will be an excited observer.

"Of course. I love football," he said.

"I love different sports - I love tennis, I love paddle tennis, I love golf, but my priority is football and to have the possibility to watch the game on Sunday - I don't know if I will be home or where I will be - but for sure these two hours I will spend watching the game, because my priority is football."

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.

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.

Granit Xhaka lambasted "bulls***" criticism of Arsenal after Patrice Evra called the Gunners "my babies" in the wake of their defeat at Sheffield United.

Unai Emery's side missed out on the chance to go third in the Premier League as Lys Mousset sent Bramall Lane into raptures with the only goal before half-time.

The result prompted familiar discussion of Arsenal's vulnerability to such setbacks, with former France and Manchester United defender Evra suggesting it is a weakness long entrenched at the club.

"I used to call them 'my babies' 10 years ago, and they are still, when I look at them, 'my babies'. That’s the truth,” he said while working as a pundit for Sky Sports.

Xhaka, who made way for Alexandre Lacazette as Arsenal chased an equaliser in vain, was uncompromising in his response.

"We have to stop speaking about mental [issues] or bulls*** like this," he told reporters.

"For me it's the same if you play home or away. You have to win. You have to show big character. You have to show good games and not to find always the same excuse.

"A lot of people speak too much. I hear that the first time he [Evra] speaks something against us. I have a lot of respect about him, because he was a great player. But you have to be careful what you say in those situations as well. 

"It’s not only him it's a lot of people. They speak a lot of bulls*** about us. It's always the same.

"For me it’s strange because they [pundits] were in the same situation as us, they were players as well. 

"Maybe sometimes it was good, sometimes it was not so good. But if you speak every weekend, every game, bulls*** like this they speak, they don't get respect about what they say.

"I tell you the honest [truth]. I'm not interested in what people say and speak. We have to speak in our group to improve things and work hard."

Xhaka rued Arsenal being undone by a set piece and insisted there were positives in Arsenal's display.

"Of course it's frustrating because it's so easy. It's too easy if you lose the game because of a corner or free-kick," the Switzerland midfielder said.

"We have to improve things. We had good things as well. We were compact in defence. They didn't have a lot of chances. But if you want to be in the top four you have to beat Sheffield.

"I think we did a lot of good things. I think Sheffield had one chance, it was the goal. That's it."

Arsenal host Vitoria Guimaraes in the Europa League on Thursday before preparing for a weekend derby at home to Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

Unai Emery claimed Nicolas Pepe’s miss from six yards was a key moment as Arsenal’s run of eight games unbeaten in all competitions came to an end at Sheffield United.

Lys Mousset’s goal at Bramall Lane gave the Blades a 1-0 win as Arsenal’s poor run against the Blades continued, having never won against them in four Premier League attempts.

Pepe has endured a frustrating start to his career in England having moved from Lille for £72million in the summer with the forward yet to score from open play for the Gunners.  

The defeat means Arsenal miss an opportunity to go third in the league and Emery believes Pepe’s miss is part of a process with improvement and gaining confidence.

"The chance for us, for Pepe, was the key," he told reporters.

"Because if they score the first goal, defensively they’re very strong.

"Pepe is improving I think, but his way with us is little-by-little getting better, and the next step is to score.

"Tonight for example, the best chance is one he is usually going to score, but he didn’t take it with efficiency. He is improving and taking confidence, but it is one process."

Arsenal were denied a "clear penalty" in their 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United and did not deserve to lose the match, according to boss Unai Emery.

Lys Mousset scored the only goal in Monday's Premier League clash at Bramall Lane to earn the hosts a famous victory on his first league start.

The 23-year-old profited from some slack defending from a corner to punish Arsenal, who had previously gone eight matches unbeaten in all competitions.

Defeat for Arsenal cost them the chance to move up to third in the table, but Emery felt his side were denied an obvious penalty for John Egan's shirt pull on Sokratis inside the opening seven minutes.

"We did not deserve to lose and we conceded a lot of corners in the first half and they scored in one action," he told Sky Sports. "Above all, we have to improve by not allowing balls like that. 

"When we have our opportunities to attack, we created more chances than them but did not score today. 

"We deserved more from the game but they have conceded the least goals in the Premier League and it was going to be difficult if they scored first. We tried in the second half, created three good chances to score.

"There were two key moments in the match - one was their goal, and the second was a very clear penalty for us for a foul on Sokratis. It was very clear."

Bukayo Saka was later cautioned for a perceived dive inside the box under pressure from Enda Stevens, five minutes after Mousset's winning goal from close range.

"Saka drives forward but I do not know if it was a penalty," Emery said. "It is a hard action for a yellow card. With VAR, the foul on Sokratis should have been reviewed. It was clear but we have to accept it.

"We did not deserve to lose and we will think about where we can improve. When we were losing 1-0, we controlled the game and defended well but they had a lot of players in their box so it was difficult to achieve attacks."

Arsenal are now winless in four league games away from home since the opening weekend and Emery added: "We have challenges in each match. 

"Tonight we had a big challenge to get the three points. We are playing some young players who are taking experience but the most important thing is to win. The result is one thing, but we can analyse positively."

In over a year at the club, it's difficult to see what impact Unai Emery has actually had on Arsenal.

Even before kick-off at Bramall Lane, there was a certain aura around the contest that had Arsenal's struggles on Monday looking entirely predictable.

Firstly, the Gunners' record in Sheffield – for what it matters – is woeful in the Premier League, having won just once against United or Wednesday and losing six.

While the Blades' pre-match position of 15th was hardly anything to be impressed by, they have been lauded for their defensive solidity, conceding the joint-fewest goals in the division with Liverpool.

If there was a team you could see a mentally fragile Arsenal struggling against in a game many would ordinarily expect them to win, it was the Blades.

The Gunners' display was reassuringly typical.

Much of the build-up play was easy on the eye, yet they were sorely lacking killer instinct and once again appeared feeble at the back. On top of that, it remains a mystery as to what Emery's plan is.

Nicolas Pepe's performance was his Arsenal career in a microcosm. The Ivory Coast international showed some nice flashes and, in fairness, was arguably the visitors' most creative player, delivering 12 crosses – five of them accurate – and crafting a glorious chance for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

But then came the moment of horror. With Sead Kolasinac's low cross played right across the face of goal, Pepe was there to tap in from about two yards out, only he barely touched the ball and he was left with his head in his hands.

United capitalised and exploited Arsenal's defensive frailty with 30 minutes on the clock. Oliver Norwood's corner found Jack O'Connell unmarked at the back post and his header was diverted home by the similarly unattended Lys Mousset in the middle of the six-yard box.

It was the 22nd goal Arsenal have conceded from a set-piece in the Premier League since the start of last season, the third worst after Everton (24) and Watford (25).

As such, Arsenal have now kept just two clean sheets in their past 14 league games.

They were the dominant force after the interval, spending much of it in the Blades' half, but it was still unclear how they planned to find a way through.

Dani Ceballos' introduction at least saw a competent ball-player enter the fray, though he didn't offer much drive or incisiveness, rather spending most of his time spraying long-range passes out to the right flank.

It's the same old story; Arsenal possess talent but lack character.

Even in Arsene Wenger's latter days one could see an identity, but now that's less clear. Emery's general system resembles that of a counter-attacking team, though most weeks they look almost unrecognisable to the last.

Of course, part of that comes down to the players being used, but at the same time that suggests Emery regularly squeezes players into roles they aren't suitable for.

As their desperation grew on Monday, Arsenal's plan B seemed to be based on hooking hopeful balls into the penalty area and that never looked like working against this Sheffield United defence.

Arsenal's lack of inspiration and ingenuity meant defeat was entirely deserved, but most alarming is how predictable their gutless performance was. It was entirely in keeping with their away record under Emery, having won just eight of 24 Premier League games on the road since he took over, recording two clean sheets.

Until Emery fixes that spinlessness, he is doomed to leave Arsenal having changed nothing.

Arsenal missed out on the chance to move up to third place in the Premier League as they fell to a 1-0 defeat against Sheffield United on Monday.

Unai Emery's men entered the match unbeaten in eight matches, including five in the top flight, but came unstuck at Bramall Lane.

The only goal of the game was scored by Lys Mousset half an hour in, coming shortly after Nicolas Pepe had failed to round off a swift counter.

Arsenal had a strong penalty appeal turned down and ultimately could not find a way through, leaving them fifth in the table and winless in four league visits to this ground.

The visitors were punished for Pepe's close-range miss by Mousset's opener eight minutes later.

Jack O'Connell headed down a corner into the six-yard box, where Mousset was waiting to pounce to double his tally for the season.

The visitors were further frustrated when Bukayo Saka was cautioned for simulation when he went down in the box, despite arguing that contact was made by Enda Stevens.

Granit Xhaka had a long-range drive pushed aside by Dean Henderson and the same player glanced over just before half-time.

Pepe was also denied by Henderson from a free-kick and Sead Kolasinac headed over from a good position, but Arsenal were unable to find an equaliser on another day of frustration for Emery.

What does it mean? Away-day blues costing Arsenal

Arsenal are now winless in four Premier League away games since beating Newcastle United on the opening weekend, losing two and drawing two - an issue Unai Emery quickly needs to rectify.

The Gunners have also kept only two clean sheets in 24 top-flight matches on their travels, with this latest setback denying them the chance to move into the Champions League places.

Norwood takes control

Oliver Norwood has impressed during the early stages of the season and produced another composed display here.

He completed 34 passes - more than any other home player - and nobody could better his five tackles.

Pepe's miss proves costly

Arsenal's defence will understandably be criticised after conceding from another set-piece - only Watford and Everton have conceded more from those situations since the start of last season - but their attack also needs sorting.

Pepe squandered a glaring opportunity to put the visitors in front shortly before Mousset's opener and managed just one shot on target all match.

What's next?

Arsenal take on Vitoria Guimaraes in the Europa League on Thursday, before returning to league action with a home match against Crystal Palace on Sunday. Sheffield United have a five-day break prior to facing West Ham.

Page 1 of 4
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.