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Dele out until March with hamstring strain

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Dele Alli has joined Harry Kane as key Tottenham Hotspur attackers on the shelf until March.

Dele scored in Sunday’s defeat of Fulham, but the match cost him plenty; The lively 22-year-old hurt his hamstring while tumbling past the end line late in the match.

[ MORE: Latest on Emiliano Sala ]

Spurs say he will not return to training until early March, and leading scorer Kane was already sidelined until that month.

This could spur Spurs — pun completely intended — into the transfer market. The club wasn’t expected to spend to make up for Kane’s injury, but this is a big ask.

Look at the fixtures, which are at least home-heavy.

  • Chelsea (A) – EFL Cup – January 24
  • Crystal Palace (A) – FA Cup – January 27
  • Watford (H) – Premier League – January 30
  • Newcastle (H) – Premier League – February 2
  • Leicester (H) – Premier League – February 10
  • Borussia Dortmund (H) – Champions League – February 13
  • Burnley – Premier League (A) – February 23
  • League Cup Final – February 25* if Spurs reach the final
  • Chelsea – Premier League (A) – February 27

The second leg of the UCL tie with Borussia Dortmund is March 5, and it’s difficult to believe Spurs can knock off the German leaders without two of their brightest talents.

As much of an impression as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is making at Old Trafford, imagine how in-demand Mauricio Pochettino will be if he can navigate this mess.

What did we learn from the Premier League? (video)

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What a day in the Premier League.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Saturday saw eight games take place with two seven-goal thrillers, narrow wins for Manchester United and Liverpool, plus 27 goals in what proved to be a seismic day in the relegation battle and top four race.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Below is a look at the key takeaways from an intense, enthralling day across the league.


Arsenal’s hunger breaths new life into their season
Unai Emery‘s Arsenal showed incredible desire from the first whistle to beat a lackluster Chelsea side and the way Alexander Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set the tone in attack was superb. The duo hunted down Chelsea’s defense and stopped Jorginho getting on the ball to set up attacks. Even when Chelsea did penetrate the Arsenal midfield, their defense stood tall with Laurent Koscielny and Sokratis solid in the shutout victory. With Arsenal now just four points behind Chelsea, you have to say that Emery has shown more progression with his Arsenal side than Maurizio Sarri has with Chelsea over the past few months. It has been a big call from Emery to leave Mesut Ozil out, but the way his players have defended as a group suggest that he got it spot on and Arsenal’s philosophy as a team is now clear. Between now and the end of the season, if Arsenal’s defenders stay fit then you’d expect them to overtake Chelsea and be right in the top four race alongside Manchester United and Tottenham. Arsenal simply had to beat Chelsea, and after a few disappointing defeats they showed the hunger and desire required to win a massive London derby.


Sarri under pressure at Chelsea already as false nine falters again
“It would appear that this group of players is extremely difficult to motivate.” Those were the words of Maurizio Sarri after Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal which left them in fourth place but just four points ahead of Arsenal and Manchester United. The Italian coach only arrived in the summer but he is already under pressure at Chelsea and stayed in the locker room for a long time talking to his players after the game, then used a translator (something he doesn’t always do) to answer questions from the media as he wanted to get his message across loud and clear. He certainly did that. Sarri’s persistence to play Eden Hazard as a false nine just isn’t working and Chelsea didn’t have a focal point in attack and were way too easy to defend against for Arsenal. That has become a running theme in recent weeks and with Olivier Giroud on the bench, Alvaro Morata on his way out and Gonzalo Higuain said to be arriving soon, Sarri is pinning all his hopes on Higuain and Hazard to rescue this season. Jorginho has ever ran out of steam or other teams have worked out how to get at the deep-lying playmaker (probably a combo of both) and right now there is no Plan B to Sarri-ball. Maybe Christian Pulisic will have a different manager by the time he arrives at Chelsea in the summer…


Cracks appearing in Liverpool’s makeshift defense
There is no two ways about it, Jurgen Klopp was a relieved man after Liverpool’s thrilling 4-3 victory against Crystal Palace at Anfield. In the end Liverpool came away with the victory to extend their lead atop the Premier League table to seven points, but they rode their luck and fell behind in the first half against Palace. Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend pulled their full backs all over the place and Liverpool’s makeshift defense were pushed to its limits. Before Saturday they had conceded just three PL goals at home all season long. Palace scored three and could have had more with James Milner — playing out of position at right back due to injuries — sent off after a difficult time trying to lock down Zaha in particular. Mohamed Salah dragged Liverpool over the line again, but there’s no doubt that with Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Trent Alexander-Arnold out injured Klopp will have to get creative with his defensive lineups in the coming weeks. The saving grace for Liverpool is that they are out of both of the domestic cup competitions and that could be key in the title race with Man City.


Solskjaer can do no more as United edge towards top four
Seven wins from seven games in all competitions, what more can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer do as Manchester United’s caretaker boss? They’re back in the top four race and now face Burnley, Leicester and Fulham before a crunch clash with Liverpool next month. United sit just three points off the UEFA Champions League places and if Solskjaer can get them in the top four and go deep in the UCL and FA Cup this season, his chances of getting this job on a permanent basis will increase significantly. The two players who have shone brightest since he replaced Jose Mourinho are two who became the biggest enigmas under the Portuguese coach: Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford. The former has scored five goals and has four assists in the PL since Solskjaer arrived, while Rashford has now scored in five of his six PL games in charge. The latter looks sharp, confident and Solskjaer revealed how he is helping him calm his finishing down in front of goal. At 21 years of age Rashford has the world at his feet and right now he, and Solskjaer, can do no wrong.


Southampton’s resurgence continues
Ralph Hasenhuttl has won more Premier League points than Pep Guardiola since he arrived at Southampton on Dec. 8. Think about that. He took over a team which had won just once in 15 games to start the season and they’ve now beaten Arsenal, Huddersfield, Leicester and Everton in his first eight outings in England. The Austrian coach is fired up on the touchlines and that passion has translated to his players in a very Jurgen Klopp-esque way. Saints beat Everton 2-1 on Saturday and they should have won by four or five goals after hitting the post twice and totally dominating the Toffees. In their next three games they have Crystal Palace, Burnley and Cardiff City and a chance to push themselves up into midtable and away from the relegation battle for the first time this season. It is hard not to believe Hasenhuttl when he says “we have built something up here and I hope we can carry on like this.” Right now, Saints have a clear plan on how they want to play, they’re fitter, hungrier and are full of talented youngsters who are being given the chance to shine. Hasenhuttl’s revolution is built on high-pressing and speed in attack. Defensively Saints are improving and right now they are finally, after two years of standing still, reaching their potential.


Classic PL encounter as Wolves, Leicester slug it out

Wolves and Leicester just went at it at Molineux and the 4-3 win for Wolves will go down as a classic Premier League game. Wolves raced into a 2-0 lead, Leicester fought back to 2-2, they traded another goal each and neither team had control throughout. Wolves’ stoppage time win, which saw Diogo Jota complete his hat trick, left Claude Puel clutching his face in despair and Nuno Espirito Santo running onto the pitch to celebrate with his players. The true end-to-end nature of the Premier League was on display in this Midlands derby which was aided by two teams chasing seventh place and with little to lose. The result was an absorbing clash which was summed up perfectly by Man of the Match Jota: “This is the Premier League.”

Solskjaer after seven-straight wins at Man United: ‘It’s class to be here’

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is loving life at Manchester United. And everyone at the club is delighted to have him back.

United beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 at Old Trafford Saturday to seal a sixth-straight Premier League win since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho and became their caretaker boss. He is the first United manager in history to win his first six league games in charge.

Solskjaer admitted that his team should have seen the game out in a more comfortable manner in the second half as they led 2-0 at half time but allowed Pascal Gross to make it 2-1 in the second half. However, with seven wins from seven in all competitions as United boss, he’s pretty happy.

“I can’t complain can I? I am smiling and this is one of these things I will remember for the rest of my life. It’s been a roller coaster and it’s class to be here,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports.

The main men behind Solskjaer’s stunning start to life in charge at United have been Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba. And they were at it again.

Both scored in the first half against Brighton, with Rashford now grabbing five goals in his last six PL outings, plus Pogba has five goals and four assists in that span.

Asked about Rashford’s fine finish for United’s second goal, Solskjaer raved about the 21-year-old Englishman.

“Marcus Rashford has been top class,” Solskjaer said.”You start with work rate. He has that, works like no one else, runs channels, holds the ball up. He has now calmed down in front of goal and he’s assured and is practising all the time. Now he’s confident.”

Rashford has been sublime and Pogba, Anthony Martial and Jesse Linagrd have supported him admirably in attack. All four dazzled against Brighton, especially in the first half, and United should have won by a bigger margin.

Brighton didn’t threaten too much beside their goal, but Solskjaer will be keen to tell his stars to be more ruthless in the games coming up. With their next three PL matches against Burnley, Leicester and Fulham, they have a real chance to hunt down Chelsea in fourth place.

Solskjaer is doing everything he can to convince the United board he should take the job on a permanent basis at the end of the season when his caretaker spell is due to end.

Seven in a row! Man United stay hot, beat Brighton (video)

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  • Rashford scores fifth goal in last six PL games
  • 7 wins from 7 for Solskjaer
  • 6 consecutive PL wins for United
  • 1 win in 8 for Brighton 

Manchester United beat Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 at Old Trafford, as goals from Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford gave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a seventh-straight win to open up his time in charge of the Red Devils.

He becomes the first Man United manager in history to win their first six league games in charge.

Pogba won and scored a penalty kick for the opener, while Marcus Rashford made it 2-0 before half time with superb goal. Brighton improved in the second half and Pascal Gross got them back in the game, but United held on for a sixth-straight Premier League victory under Solskjaer.

With the win United momentarily move up to fifth place and have 44 points, just three points off the top four. Brighton are in 13th and have 26 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

United started brightly with Rashford going close after clever play from Ander Herrera and Ashley Young, while Pogba then had an overhead kick deflected wide and Victor Lindelof went close with a header.

Pogba then won a penalty kick as Gaetan Bong pushed him into Davy Propper, and United were 1-0 up with the Frenchman finishing the spot kick off following his trademark run up.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

United should have been 2-0 up as Lindelof played a great ball to Anthony Martial but he was denied brilliantly by David Button. At the other end Glenn Murray missed a glorious chance after being played in by Solly March as he shanked his volley wide.

Rashford then doubled United’s lead in style. Diogo Dalot (a late addition to the starting lineup after Luke Shaw felt ill in the warm up) played in the England striker and he skipped past two Brighton defenders and curled home into the far top corner. 2-0.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Early in the second half Jesse Lingard got on the end of Rashford’s cross and his shot went just wide as United cranked through the gears.

Brighton, to their credit, kept plugging away and they made things interesting late on. Propper sent in a lovely cross with the outside of his foot and Gross finished well at the back post to make it 2-1 and set up a nervous finish for United.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Late on Rashford was caught in a challenge with Montoya and was moving gingerly, but United held on for yet another win under their caretaker manager.

VIDEO: Rashford stays red hot, scores stunner

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Marcus Rashford is on fire.

Manchester United’s 21-year-old striker has now scored five goals in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s first six Premier League games in charge and Rashford is flourishing under the Norwegian coach.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

His latest goal came at Old Trafford against Brighton, as Rashford doubled United’s lead in style.

Diogo Dalot (a late addition to the starting lineup after Luke Shaw felt ill in the warm up) played in the England striker and he skipped past two Brighton defenders and curled home into the far top corner.

Watch the amazing goal in the video above.