Newcastle 2-1 Bournemouth: Magpies pick apart the Cherries
LONDON -- Arsenal coach Unai Emery says Danny Welbeck's injury won't necessarily force the club to sign a new forward in January, and that academy product Eddie Nketiah could be ready to step up instead.
Arsenal are still waiting to find out exactly how long Welbeck will be sidelined for, but there are fears that he will be out for the rest of the season if Emery's initial prognosis of a broken ankle is confirmed.
Welbeck was injured during Thursday's Europa League game against Sporting Lisbon, and had to be given oxygen on the pitch before he was carried off on a stretcher.
His injury leaves Emery with no senior back-up to strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but the Spanish coach said he would rather find a solution inside the club than dip into the January market.
"The first [choice] is to look inside, and we have one striker also who is working well with the under-23s and is improving also, Eddie Nketiah, and he could have chances," Emery said ahead of Sunday's Premier League meeting with Wolves. "But I think it's early for speaking about the possibility [of making signings] in January."
The 19-year-old Nketiah has been pouring in goals for Arsenal's academy for the last couple of seasons, and has six in seven games with the U-23s this campaign. He was given his first-team debut by Arsene Wenger last year, and came off the bench to score twice in a 2-1 extra-time win over Norwich in the Carabao Cup.
He has yet to make an appearance under Emery, but was about to come off the bench against Lisbon when an injury to right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner forced Emery to change his mind and bring on Ainsley Maitland-Niles instead.
Arsenal have been linked with a move for Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, while there may also be an option to recall 18-year-old attacking midfielder Reiss Nelson from his loan spell at Hoffenheim.
Nelson netted his sixth Bundesliga goal in seven games for the German club on Saturday after a very impressive start to the season, but Emery said before the Lisbon game that he wouldn't discuss the possibility of ending his loan spell early in January.
"At the moment we don't speak about that," Emery said then. "With Reiss, we are very happy with him at the moment. We follow him every match. We are thinking about how he can help us in the future.
"It is our idea with him [to let him get regular playing time in Germany]. He can take responsibility, minutes and confidence in a team where he can play more. Then the objective is to come back with us and grow with this experience."
MANCHESTER, England -- Pep Guardiola believes the criticism of Raheem Sterling is unfair, particularly after the fallout following Manchester City's controversial penalty in the Champions League.
Referee Victor Kassai pointed to the spot in City's 6-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday when Sterling tripped himself up, kicking the floor trying to chip the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper.
But Sterling was criticised by some pundits, including former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand for not telling the referee that he should not award the penalty.
"I think in this time I realised that it is unfair because I don't know why you should criticise Raheem," Guardiola told a news conference ahead of Sunday's Manchester derby. "He was not diving. He wanted to make a chip and it was a mistake. People say it is ridiculous and he provoked a penalty. It was a bad decision from the referee. He didn't do that.
"He is an incredible nice guy with incredible love from the locker room."
It's not the first that time that Sterling, 23, has been the subject of media criticism with the England forward targeted for everything from buying sausage rolls to having a dirty car.
But Guardiola is delighted with his progress on the pitch, which has seen him earn a new five-year deal, making him one of the best paid players at the club.
"It will make him stronger," Guardiola added. "He is stronger than that -- than he was when we met each other in the first year. Now he can control these kinds of emotions much better.
"We cannot forget, he is 23-years-old, when you are 23, you are not a full person or a full player. Sometimes we ask for, or we demand a lot from our players when they are so still young, but it is okay."
City have the chance to extend the gap over United to 12 points with a win at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. Guardiola will once again come up against Jose Mourinho and the Catalan says his old rival has shown his fighting spirit after United's tough start to the season.
"I know I will be in the same position sooner or later," Guardiola said. "I admire how the managers react in the tough moments, when you lose games.
"We are both in a similar position, in that the expectation on us is so high. We either win or we fail, always. We have to win all the titles we play for. It's happened. We are quite similar in that situation. We keep going and keep going.
"The thing about football is that you always have another opportunity in the next game. If you are stable and you know what you have to do, always the success and the good games are coming. Always. Especially at the good clubs.
"Jose and myself are lucky as we have had success because we had exceptional players at exceptional clubs."
Tottenham Hotspur ended a testing period featuring five matches in 13 days with a fourth successive victory, moving within two points of Premier League leaders Manchester City. Spurs struggled to create clear-cut chances in a typical London derby against Crystal Palace played in driving rain, but Juan Foyth headed in decisively in the 66th minute.
The north Londoners needed some help from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who made two late saves, but they held on to secure yet another victory and go into the international break on a high.
Spurs were without Davinson Sanchez due to a hamstring problem and then lost Kieran Trippier early in the match, while Harry Winks was given a much-needed rest, entering the fray only late on. Yet despite the absence of those players -- plus Mousa Dembele, Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen -- the north Londoners again found a way to win. They have shown real mental strength in the last fortnight.
The same is true of Foyth, who bounced back after conceding two penalties at Wolves in his previous outing and was the match-winner this time. Lloris also proved his worth. While the Frenchman has made some costly errors in Europe, he has also played a key role in a few of these narrow, top-flight victories.
Tottenham seemed to be finding their rhythm in the final third after scoring three goals in successive matches against West Ham and Wolves and then having 30 shots during Tuesday's 2-1 victory over PSV Eindhoven. However, they were less threatening at Selhurst Park, managing only two shots on target. Trippier and Sanchez's injuries are also unfortunate -- injuries have been a constant theme this term. At least there is an international break now.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Mauricio Pochettino could have chosen to play Eric Dier as a centre-back, assuming he was fit enough to start after returning to training this week, but he trusted Foyth, and that faith was rewarded. The Argentinian's decision not to risk Winks and pair Moussa Sissoko and Victor Wanyama together in central midfield also paid off.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Hugo Lloris, 8 -- Dealt capably with the high balls that came into his box in the wet and windy conditions while making two vital saves late on from Jordan Ayew and Alexander Sorloth.
DF Kieran Trippier, NR -- Limped off after 24 minutes.
DF Juan Foyth, 9 -- There were no obvious mental scars from the two penalties conceded against Wolves. The youngster defended well, always sought to be positive in possession and scored the decisive goal, wanting the ball more than Ayew.
DF Toby Alderweireld, 7 -- Read the game well and positioned himself astutely to block plenty of crosses.
DF Ben Davies, 7 -- One of his better performances this season. The left-back was reliable at the back and set up a first-half chance for Dele Alli with a cross.
MF Victor Wanyama, 7 -- Fought strongly and carried the ball forward whenever possible, easing some of the fears that his partnership with Moussa Sissoko would lack thrust and incision.
MF Moussa Sissoko, 8 -- Hared all over the pitch to get on the ball and halt Palace attacks. The Frenchman nearly scored an excellent goal after muscling past three players and cutting inside James Tomkins to get a shot off, and he created a late chance for Son Heung-Min.
MF Erik Lamela, 6 -- Struggled to unlock the Palace defence but did his bit defensively and had to be withdrawn after suffering a cut to the head.
MF Dele Alli, 6 -- Still building up his fitness and doesn't look as sharp as he is at his best. He worked hard but could have done better with a first-half header, which he sent wide, and he was a little slow on the ball at times.
MF Lucas Moura, 6 -- Missed the target with a header when Alli seemed better placed, but made an important intervention at the other end, stopping a James McArthur header from reaching Cheikhou Kouyate in front of goal.
FW Harry Kane, 6 -- Found it difficult to get into the game but created a chance out of nothing when he pounced on a loose ball, beat Luka Milivojevic and tested Wayne Hennessey from outside the box, while his blocked header produced Foyth's winner.
DF Serge Aurier, 7 -- Replaced Trippier midway through the first half and put in a couple of dangerous crosses for Lucas while playing his part in the clean sheet.
MF Son Heung-Min, NR -- Could have made more of a late chance when Sissoko left him one-on-one with a defender.
MF Harry Winks, NR -- Got stuck in. Indeed, he was booked soon after his 83rd-minute introduction.
Mauricio Pochettino hailed Juan Foyth's mental strength after his winning goal at Crystal Palace and stated that his young countryman has the potential to be one of the best centre-backs in Europe.
The 20-year-old conceded two penalties on his Premier League debut against Wolverhampton Wanderers last Saturday. But, one week on, he was the hero at Selhurst Park as his second-half header secured a 1-0 victory.
"Today he showed great personality and he played so well, like one week ago," said Pochettino. "I'm happy for him because it's a massive victory and for him to feel that he's a Premier League player and help the team to win, I think it's a massive feeling.
"Now, waiting to share the international break with the national team in Argentina, it's a fantastic moment for him.
"Of course he was very disappointed [last week] because he felt responsible, but that's our job -- the coaching staff and the people around. We have experience in this type of situation, we were players.
"With experience he's going to improve and not make mistakes -- or less mistakes. But that happens with 30-year-olds or 20-year-olds.
"That was the problem -- it was his debut, his first game in the Premier League, and that situation is difficult to accept, but he's so clever. He moved on the day after and of course we all helped for him to forget it and compete freely like today.
"He's intelligent, smart. He's so mature. I think he's a player who, for me, has all the potential with experience of games to one day be one of the best centre-backs in Europe."
Pochettino lost Kieran Trippier to a groin injury in the first half at Palace, and Erik Lamela then had to be withdrawn after suffering a cut to the head.
"[With Kieran] I hope it's not a big issue," said Pochettino. "We don't know [if he can go away with England]. The doctors and medical staff will assess him and then the medical staff of England, and they will see if he's going to be involved or not. "[With Erik], he has some stitches above the eye."
Pochettino, chairman Daniel Levy and members of Spurs' staff visited the club's new stadium this week and the manager was hugely impressed.
"We were stunned," he said. "You expect that you are going to find a good, nice stadium but when I saw the stadium it's like 'wow.'
"Your face, it's difficult to [describe] because it's beautiful, amazing. I think it will be an amazing place to enjoy football for our players and fans.
"I'm a little bit jealous of our players because to play and be in a changing room like this or be in a place like this is amazing, massive.
"I would like to be 20 and be a player that Tottenham offer a contract to because it will be amazing. Again I say to our fans 'patience' because it's going to be the best stadium in Europe."