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Top 5 Premier League goals of the day

Pep Guardiola refuses to consider his Manchester City team as champions in waiting.

City appear to be cruising towards the Premier League crown having won 20 of their opening 22 games -- and drawn the other two -- to open up a 15-point lead at the top of the table.

But Guardiola is not taking anything for granted and is not looking too far ahead. The City boss, whose side face Liverpool in an eagerly-anticipated clash on Sunday, said: "In football and in sport, anything can happen.

"Of course we can lose the title because you never know what is going to happen in the next 13 or 14 games you have to play. Of course, if we maintain our level, the consistency and the way we play, then OK, we have a chance. But you never know.

"If we start to go down, and lose confidence, and don't play well regularly, then we will see. Maybe that is going to happen, and I am going to shake the hand of my opponents and congratulate them for being champions.

"But it is simple -- just focus on the next game. That is the best advice I can give to my players."

This weekend's trip to Anfield brings together two of the most entertaining sides in the competition. Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are in good form having gone unbeaten in their last 13 league fixtures.

With the Reds also bolstered this month by the £75 million signing of defender Virgil van Dijk, Guardiola believes the Merseysiders are as exciting as in their 1980s heyday.

He said: "Jurgen Klopp is a master of the counter-attack, so they're a team who can arrive in the finishing area in three or four touches.

"[Mohamed] Salah and [Sadio] Mane are tough guys for us to control, especially when we lose the ball in dangerous positions, because they are so fast, so quick and so clever in the box.

"Of course, [Philippe] Coutinho's not there, in the middle, with the talent that he has, but [Georginio] Wijnaldum and Emre Can are, and [Adam] Lallana's come back. These are guys who have energy, are strong, are good at set-pieces.

"I think Liverpool are playing like Liverpool were in the past, with all their history. The fans are demanding attacking football. Liverpool have to defend their whole history. In the 80s they dominated the world and European football. I think they are trying to respect that.

"We want to do something quite similar. We want to try to be the best."

West Brom forward Jay Rodriguez has been reported to the Football Association for a remark allegedly made to Brighton defender Gaetan Bong during Saturday's Premier League match between the two clubs.

Neither manager would comment on the nature of Rodriguez's alleged comment but it has been reported to the referee and he will be obliged to include in it his report, meaning the matter will be looked into by the FA.

The incident is thought to have taken place during the second half of West Brom's 2-0 victory.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton said: "Gaetan Bong has reported Jay Rodriguez for something that has been said to him. It's been handled in the correct manner by the referee. The referee is aware of what the allegations are and that will go through to the FA.

"I am aware of the allegations. All I can say is it was dealt with in the correct manner and the nature of the allegations the FA will deal with."

Rodriguez denies the claims against him, according to West Brom boss Alan Pardew.

"There's been an allegation made by the Brighton full-back to the referee and that allegation will go to the FA," he said.

"I can only say on my behalf, because I haven't seen the incident, knowing Jay Rodriguez I find it very difficult to understand if I'm honest. Jay Rodriguez claims that the allegation, whatever the allegation is, is untrue."

The incident will overshadow what was a landmark win for West Brom, whose long wait for a Premier League victory finally came to an end.

Jonny Evans' fourth-minute header set them on their way to halting a 20-game run stretching back to August, with fellow defender Craig Dawson heading in a second goal at the start of the second half.

The result will also have been a weight off Pardew's shoulders as it gave him that elusive first league success since he took over as manager nine matches ago at the start of December.

"It is a relief but we've had some really good performances here without getting the three points. I thought the team played extremely well, considering the pressure we were under," said Pardew.

"Our open play was as good as since I've been here so it's ironic we got two set-play goals - but we are strong at set plays.

"Our work this week was reflected on the pitch and that's how it should be. Work hard on the training ground and you get your reward on a Saturday. They've done that for me, I'm really pleased for the players.

"It was easy to say it was a must-win game but it was a very important game in the calendar. We worked hard to achieve the goals we wanted."

MANCHESTER -- Jose Mourinho has left the door open for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to leave Manchester United this month but insists the midfielder is still part of his plans at Old Trafford.

Mkhitaryan has started just two of United's last 15 games and struggled to make the bench for most of November and December.

He last 45 minutes in the 2-0 win over Derby in the FA Cup, although Mourinho said the decision to substitute him at half-time had been "unfair."

The 28-year-old, a £30 million signing from Borussia Dortmund 18 months ago, has been linked with Inter Milan as well as a move to Arsenal as a makeweight in any deal to bring Alexis Sanchez to United.

Mourinho insists every player in his squad, including Mkhitaryan, has his price. But he confirmed the Armenian will be in the squad to face Stoke at Old Trafford on Monday.

Mourinho told the Sunday newspapers: "My approach to players is that every player has a price, doesn't matter who he is, doesn't matter the level, doesn't matter the prestige, the status, I think every player has a price.

"I'm not the kind of blind manager, blind in the sense of this player is untouchable, this player we can never sell, I think every player has a price.

"So when the transfer window is open is also open for any club that is interested in our players. Then it is up to us to make the decision yes or no, is up to us to decide what we think is the right price.

"But Mkhitaryan, he played the last match against Derby and probably will play the next one.

"He is our player, he is a very good player, so he trains, he is selected and Monday he plays."

United have been heavily linked with a move for Sanchez -- both with an without Mkhitaryan as part of the deal -- with sources telling ESPN FC the club will monitor the Chilean's situation this month.

Sanchez has been linked with a move to Manchester City, who have so far refused to meet Arsenal's £35 million asking price for a player who will be available for free in the summer.

Mourinho admits the January market is not usually the right time to buy. But he revealed -- without naming Sanchez specifically -- that United would be ready to take advantage of a "fantastic opportunity" should one arise.

He said: "Our squad was built not to have new players in January, we build a squad with this idea, with this philosophy that I share with Mr Woodward and the owners, normally the investment is to be made in the summer.

"But sometimes can happen or can appear on the table, a fantastic opportunity and then you fight for that fantastic opportunity.

"If it happens, happens, if it doesn't happen then it doesn't happen but I like my squad, I like my players, the more time I spend with them this week was also good to be sure of that.

"We like out squad, we believe in our squad, it is just about improving our squad in a balanced way, so if we do something now, it has to be something we believe is the right thing to do for the team, and is something that will stop us to do in the summer.

"If we do something now we don't need to do in the summer again."

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.

An emphatic 4-0 victory put Spurs level on points and goal difference with Liverpool in fourth place in the Premier League. Tottenham initially struggled to break down an Everton who had come to Wembley principally to defend, and at the break, only a single goal separated the two sides.

The second half, though, was a different story, with Spurs utterly dominant. Harry Kane doubled the score after a breathtaking run and cross from Son Heung-min and added a third from close range shortly after. The final goal, following a sweeping break culminating in a Dele Alli flick and a Christian Eriksen shot, was the icing on the cake.


The second half saw Spurs back to their very best -- sharp, incisive breaks at pace rather than the more patient, laboured build-up play that has characterised so many of their performances this season. Kane went past Teddy Sheringham's record of 97 Premier League goals for Spurs, but it was Son's performance that really caught the eye. It was also good to see Mousa Dembele take charge of the midfield.


None worthy of mention. This was a complete performance with no weak links. Being picky, Spurs should probably have made their dominance count still further by adding a couple of more goals, but no one can complain at a 4-0 scoreline.

Manager rating out of 10

8 -- Spurs looked a much more organised and penetrative unit without Moussa Sissoko in the starting lineup. Hopefully, Mauricio Pochettino has finally gotten the message that the French international is not the answer, whatever the question. There were also encouraging signs that Pochettino is learning how best to break down teams that have come intent on putting 10 men behind the ball. Rather than playing a series of short passes through the middle, Spurs unpicked Everton by switching play with quick diagonal balls out to the wings.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Hugo Lloris, 7 -- A quiet afternoon, especially in the second half, when he wasn't required to make a single save. His distribution is still wayward all too often.

DF Serge Aurier, 7 -- Generally secure in defence and showed much promise going forward. Created the first goal with a pinpoint pass to Son. Looks as if he is developing into the real deal.

DF Davinson Sanchez, 7 -- Was given a tough first half by Everton's new signing Cenk Tosun, but generally held his own. An easy second half as the visitors capitulated.

DF Jan Vertonghen, 8 -- Didn't put a foot wrong all afternoon in defence and even made a couple of runs forward. A measure of the control he exerted over Wayne Rooney was that the Everton player resorted to a bad foul on him that brought a deserved yellow card.

DF Ben Davies, 7 -- Another accomplished all-round performance. Though he seldom catches the eye, nor does he often put a foot wrong. There is a nice understanding developing between him and Vertonghen.

MF Eric Dier, 8 -- Relished the opportunity to play in a more advanced role and showed some skilful and delicate touches. Created Kane's second goal with a perfectly weighted cross and allowed Everton little chance to play in midfield.

MF Mousa Dembele, 8 -- His best performance of the season so far, and Spurs look to be a far more effective unit when he is in the starting XI. His strength on the ball and ability to drift past defenders is a joy to behold. His refusal to take on a shot at goal continues to frustrate.

MF Christian Eriksen, 7 -- Helped set up the first goal with a drilled pass across the field out to the unmarked Aurier. Still tends to drift out of the game for long periods and sometimes drifts too deep. But when he does come alive, he is unstoppable and has the knack of ghosting late into the box.

MF Dele Alli, 7 -- Almost back to his very best. But not quite. All too often his final ball is not as precise as it needs to be, and he appears to be lacking confidence in front of a goal. He snatched at one clear chance and sent it straight to the keeper. But he is still capable of the sublime, and his flick to set up Eriksen was world class.

MF Son Heung-min, 9 -- The South Korean is the gift that keeps on giving for Spurs' man of the match. His opening tap-in goal was his fifth in five Wembley outings, but that only tells half the story. His trickery and pace to set up Kane's first was reminiscent of Gareth Bale. Thereafter, he was unstoppable, and the Everton defence visibly panicked whenever he got the ball. Only the post denied him a second goal.

FW Harry Kane, 8 -- Another day, another couple of goals. Kane looked far from his sharpest in the first half, but a measure of his talent is that he doesn't let these things bother him and backs himself to be in the right place at the right time when it counts. His passing game has also reached a new level.


MF Victor Wanyama, NR -- Seems to be back to full match fitness and used his limited time on the pitch to make a compelling case for a place in the starting XI with a commanding midfield display.

MF Moussa Sissoko, NR -- Made a couple of nice breaks but, as all too frequently this season, he failed to play the right final pass when spoiled for options.

MF Erik Lamela, NR -- A late replacement for Eriksen and had no time to make an impact.

John Crace is one of ESPN FC's Tottenham bloggers. Follow him on Twitter @JohnJCrace.