Meanwhile, the competition features reigning continental champions and champions of the host country. But FIFA has announced its intentions to change the format from June 2025 to feature 32 teams and be held every four years
There are additionally allegations of incorrect records of manager payments between 2009 and 2016, pre-dating Pep Guardiola’s arrival at the club, as well as financial fair play concerns between 2013/14 and 2018/19, and failing to act properly under investigation from 2018/19 until now.
The Premier League has submitted its evidence to an independent commission for a final ruling.
The statement from the club speaks of ‘surprise’ at the Premier League’s allegations, refutes failing to cooperate with and assist the investigation and expresses confidence that the evidence does not point to any financial wrongdoing.
“Manchester City FC is surprised by the issuing of these alleged breaches of the Premier League Rules, particularly given the extensive engagement and vast amount of detailed materials that the EPL has been provided with,” the club have said in response.
Liverpool crashed to a fourth defeat in their last seven games in all competitions when Wolves fired three goals against the Reds in a Premier League encounter on Saturday evening, a miserable run featuring only one win.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are languishing in 10th place, 10 points adrift of the top four amid their worst season of Klopp’s seven-year reign.
With their hectic winter transfer window now closed, Chelsea’s focus is on striking an agreement to extend the contract of midfielder Mason Mount, 90min understands.
Co-owner Todd Boehly made it clear earlier this season tying both Mount and right-back Reece James down to long-term deals was among the club’s top priorities this season, but while the latter put pen to paper on a six-year contract back in September, Mount is yet to sign.
An agreement is yet to be reached with the 24-year-old, but sources have confirmed to 90min Chelsea are now focusing all their efforts on reaching a positive outcome in the coming months.
Chelsea are prepared to make Mount one of the highest-earning players in the squad as a reward for his emergence as a regular starter for both club and country.
Mount’s representatives are aware of interest from other clubs but Mount is understood to be keen to stay at Chelsea and re-establish himself as a key player as part of the Blues’ lofty plans for the coming seasons.
Among Chelsea’s plans is the signing of Mount’s best friend, West Ham midfielder Declan Rice. A former Blues academy player, Rice has attracted significant interest from Arsenal in recent weeks but Chelsea remain keen on a reunion – even after their £106m acquisition of Enzo Fernandez from Benfica.
While tying down Mount to a long-term deal is not essential to Chelsea’s pursuit of Rice, sources close to the situation believe it would help in convincing the West Ham midfielder to join up with his friend at Stamford Bridge.
Thiago Silva is set to sign a new contract in the coming weeks while Chelsea remain in talks with the representatives of injured midfielder N’Golo Kante, whose deal expires at the end of the current season.
Decisions also have to be made on the players whose contracts expire in 2024. Mateo Kovacic, Cesar Azpilicueta, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic all join Mount in entering the final 18 months of their contracts
In January, Rashford netted three goals across four Premier League outings, earning himself the Player of the Month prize for the second time this season and the third time across his career.
He opened the month by netting in a 3-0 victory over Bournemouth, before he famously completed a United comeback in the Manchester derby against Pep Guardiola’s City with an 82nd-minute winner to seal all three points.
After drawing a blank against Crystal Palace, Rashford rounded out January with a screamer of a strike in a 3-2 defeat to Arsenal which was also nominated for the month’s Best Goal award.
Rashford came out on top of a seven-man shortlist that also included Newcastle’s Dan Burn, Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson, City’s Riyad Mahrez, Brighton’s Solly March, Brentford’s David Raya and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.
The hosts had mild penalty appeals when Alejandro Garnacho went down under pressure from Neco Williams and Willy Boly. But nearly half an hour had passed before either side had a clear sight of goal, with a powerful Casemiro header saved by Wayne Hennessey’s outstretched right foot.
Despite chasing an aggregate deficit, Forest had seen very little of the ball but probably should have taken the lead on a rare foray forward. A throw-in gave Brennan Johnson the chance to dribble his way through, but the pacey Welshman’s finish straight at Tom Heaton lacked conviction.
Antony’s cleanly hit strike from outside the box in the closing stages of the first half had Hennessey worried as he flew to his left, seeing the ball just rise over the crossbar.
Wout Weghorst then struck the post right before the interval after an otherwise quiet opening 45 minutes from the Dutchman, while Forest winger Emmanuel Dennis had his head in his hands when his goal-bound effort was inadvertently blocked by teammate Sam Surridge.
United had stronger penalty appeals not long into the second half when Weghorst nicked the ball in front of Forest defender Scott McKenna, whose attempt to clear then upended the forward. It was given the VAR treatment but the on-field decision surprisingly stood.
Tempers flared a little around the hour mark, with tackles flying and Alejandro Garnacho involved in an ongoing fracas with Johnson and Williams on Forest’s right flank. The young Argentine forced Hennessey into a good save at the near post in one of his final acts before Ten Hag made a flurry of changes, including the return of Jadon Sancho after more than three months out.
With United already starting to turn the screw, those changes triggered the second half goals. The first went to Martial, capitalising on a rebound after fellow sub Marcus Rashford had seen an attempt blocked following an initial run by the Frenchman.
Sancho was then involved in the second goal not long after, feeding Bruno Fernandes on the right. The United skipper’s exquisite outside-of-the-foot ball to the far post was then put back across the box by Rashford for Fred to score an easy tap-in.
Heaton still had to have his wits about him late on to preserve his clean sheet, throwing a big hand up to parry a powerful drive from Danilo as Forest searched for a very late consolation. With the goal gaping, Surridge skied his own attempt on the rebound.
Man Utd player ratings (4-2-3-1) GK: Tom Heaton – 6/10 – A deserved opportunity but hardly a busy night until a spectacular late save.
RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 7/10 – Took up an interesting position relatively high up the pitch and often tucked inside that made it difficult for Dennis and made space for Antony.
CB: Lisandro Martinez – 7/10 – Commanded every situation.
CB: Raphael Varane – 7/10 – Always composed and in control.
LB: Luke Shaw – 6/10 – Back after illness and can be satisifed with this performance.
CM: Casemiro – 8/10 – Another fine example of the type of performance that has really driven the whole team’s resurgence this season.
CM: Fred – 7/10 – Has been thriving alongside his fellow countryman and could play an awful lot more now that Christian Eriksen is out for a few months.
RM: Antony – 6/10 – Inches away from a great goal and posed a threat early on.
AM: Bruno Fernandes (c) – 8/10 – Put in a star turn, especially after moving to the right in the seconc half. Went close to a goal of his own late on.
Sancho is yet to consistently perform to those standards in a United shirt since his 2021 transfer from Borussia Dortmund, although he has faith from the boss and time remains on his side.
“He has really high standards,” Ten Hag continued. “He has great capabilities to contribute to our team and the team is improving, we are playing more in the opponent’s half and his capabilities are coming more to the fore. He can act on them more and have more touches on the ball and that gives him the best platform to perform.
“It is always important that players enjoy football because that gives energy and also the motivation to act and to perform.
“The reception from the fans to him was great and that will give him even more a push to continue in the way he is now acting. He has just started again, he is back in Carrington, and hopefully he can keep that and really contribute to the team because when he is in form, he is important to us.”
City remain Arsenal’s biggest challengers at the top of the table and the two sides are still to square off three times this season – firstly in Friday’s FA Cup meeting before league clashes in February and April.
City beat Wolves earlier on Sunday before Arsenal reinstated their five-point lead over Pep Guardiola’s side by beating United. The two sides are the clear frontrunners for the title, though Norway international Odegaard insisted Arsenal are maintaining focus in north London first and foremost.
Asked about City’s presence, Odegaard said: “No, honestly, we don’t care about City or any other team. We expected them to win so that was not a big surprise and we just focused on our game, to come here and win and that’s what we did. The way we won this game gives us a special feeling that will help as well.”
Marcus Rashford had given United the lead with a strike from distance in the 17th minute but Nketiah converted Granit Xhaka’s equaliser before Bukayo Saka struck home brilliantly in the second half.
Frank Lampard is the next manager to have been chewed up and spit out by the poisoned chalice that is Everton Football Club.
Defeat to West Ham on Saturday proved to be the final straw, with the former midfielder receiving his marching orders at the start of this week. By doing so, Lampard has become the sixth boss to depart the blue side of the Mersey in as many years.
It was always going to be a challenge for a man that’s yet to prove himself as a head coach, and his tenure was laden with drab performances and even worse results.
Here are some of the worst defeats Lampard suffered as Everton boss.
Tottenham 5-0 Everton – 7 March, 2021/22
The Toffees had shown plenty of fight the week prior in a 1-0 home defeat to Manchester City, and Lampard’s stellar record against Tottenham as both a player and manager meant some supporters were optimistic that Everton could upset the odds in this Monday night clash.
The visitors, however, were nothing short of a dire and a Spurs side on the come-up under Antonio Conte took full advantage. Michael Keane set the tone when he booted one into his own net to give the hosts the lead before Jordan Pickford let a rather tame Son Heung-min effort squeeze underneath him.
Harry Kane tripled Spurs’ advantage before half-time and by the 55th minute, they were 5-0 ahead before taking pity on their woeful visitors.
Crystal Palace 4-0 Everton – 20 March, 2021/22
We all remember Lampard’s primitive summary of Everton’s FA Cup defeat at Selhurst Park, right?
According to the already under-the-cosh Everton boss, the Toffees had been dismantled in the cup due to a bunch of weak goals.
“Allow a goal from a corner…allow another average goal…then a fluke goal…then another average goal. Take responsibility.”
This was a big chance for the Merseysiders to play in a Wembley semi-final and offer their fans a hint of joy amid a bleak campaign. But, they failed to show up in south London as they were thumped 4-0.
Burnley 3-2 Everton – 6 April, 2021/22
This was billed as a mammoth relegation six-pointer. Everton had won just once since their drubbing at Spurs and, alongside Burnley, were fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table.
A Richarlison brace from the penalty spot overturned an early deficit in the first-half as the visitors matched their physical hosts in testing conditions. Everton proceeded to enjoy much of the second-half after they were pegged back by Jay Rodriguez just before the hour, but a pair of errors from Pickford and Ben Godfrey allowed Maxwel Cornet to snatch a seemingly crucial winner five minutes from time.
This was the night that many realised Everton were not too big to go down. Relegation was a very real prospect.
AFC Bournemouth 3-0 Everton – 12 November, 2022/23
After eventually clinching survival, Lampard sought to turn things around at Goodison Park at the beginning of the 2022/23 season. However, the Toffees enjoyed a winless start to the new campaign before a goalless draw in the Merseyside derby on matchday 6 ignited a mini-resurgence.
However, the dark clouds were forming over Lampard’s tenure just before the World Cup as they suffered back-to-back humiliations on the south coast. Bournemouth beat Everton 4-1 in the Carabao Cup just days before they thrashed them 3-0 in the league.
The feeble visitors were bullied by an over-performing Cherries outfit at the Vitality Stadium and the travelling supporters made their feelings very clear at the final whistle as a despondent group of players walked over in appreciation of their support.
There had been little to suggest that Lampard was the right man to lead Everton forward either side of the World Cup, but a well-earned point at the Etihad at least offered a glimmer of hope. Still, the Toffees were winless in six games when a dynamic Brighton side came to town and put four past them in a chastening home defeat.
Goodison Park is meant to be one of the toughest places to go and win in the Premier League, but the Seagulls made the challenge look worryingly simple. Everton inexcusably conceded three goals in six second-half minutes to put the game beyond them as a powerless Lampard watched on in the home dugout.
A spectator has been charged with assaulting Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale following last weekend’s north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur, the Metropolitan Police said Tuesday.
Joseph Watts, 35, has been accused of assault by beating, going onto an area adjacent to the playing area and throwing a missile onto a football playing area at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium following Premier League leaders Arsenal’s 2-0 win.
Manchester United fought back for a dramatic 2-1 win against Manchester City that left their arch-rivals fuming over a controversial VAR decision to allow Bruno Fernandes’ equaliser, while troubled Liverpool crashed to a shock 3-0 defeat at Brighton on Saturday.
From the AMEX – Solly March scored a double as Brighton embarrassed Liverpool to move up to seventh in the Premier League, further harming the injury-stricken visitors’ Champions League qualification hopes with a 3-0 victory.
Brighton dominated the Reds and made the breakthrough at the start of the second half when March touched Kauro Mitoma’s cross past Alisson.
The winger scored a stunning second minutes later to give Roberto De Zerbi’s side victory, with Jurgen Klopp’s visitors failing to conjure any moments of attacking quality.
Substitute Danny Welbeck came on to net a brilliant third, gathering March’s flick before powering his shot into the back of the net.
The home side started on the front foot and zipped passes around, with Trent Alexander-Arnold clearing March’s off-target shot just over the bar. A header from Alexis Mac Allister – making his first club start since the World Cup – from the subsequent corner was held by Allison.
Liverpool were penned in for the majority of the opening 25 minutes, only booting the ball into space for attackers Mohamed Salah and Cody Gakpo to chase. Their first proper sighter fell for Gakpo, whose fiercely-struck shot was charged down.
Brighton continued to recycle possession, constantly finding routes through the middle of Liverpool’s midfield before going wide to Mitoma and March.
It was March who appeared to win his side a penalty after going through and being brought down by Alisson, but the video assistant referee spotted his offside run in the build-up.
Liverpool’s midfield trio of Fabinho, Thiago and Jordan Henderson failed to exert any control on proceedings and Brighton got the lead they deserved when March tapped in.
The brilliant Mitoma again worked his way into the box and scuffed the ball across goal to March, who had the simple task of poking past Alisson for the game’s opener. It was his first strike at home in the league since 2020, but he didn’t have to wait much longer for his second.
The 28-year-old has hit his best run of Premier League form ever and his second strike took him to four goals in his last three top flight appearances. He was played through by emerging striker Evan Ferguson before arrowing a left-footed strike into the far corner.
A host of changes from the visitors did produce decent openings for Gakpo and Harvey Elliott, but the points were wrapped up with a third from home substitute Danny Welbeck. March flicked on a throw into Welbeck, who beat both Konate and Joe Gomez before firing in the third.
Brighton are now up to seventh thanks to their fifth win in seven league games, while Liverpool slip to eighth.
Brighton player ratings GK: Robert Sanchez – 6/10 – On alert a few times to come out of his box and clean up, but not a busy day.
RB: Pascal Gross – 7/10 – Tucked infield pretty regularly and helped Brighton play through Liverpool’s lacking press.
CB: Lewis Dunk – 7/10 – Brought down Gakpo for a yellow card. Rarely had Liverpool attackers running in behind and used the ball well.
CB: Levi Colwill – 6/10 – Cool and calm when briefly put in tough spots in the first half.
LB: Pervis Estupinan – 7/10 – Bombed forward to provide Mitoma with more options in atack.
CM: Moises Caicedo – 7/10 – Constantly picked up loose possession and quickly asserted himself against Liverpool’s ageing midfield.
CM: Alexis Mac Allister – 7/10 – Combative, played cheeky passes around the corner and in tight spaces. Straight back into the flow on his first start since the World Cup.
RW: Solly March – 9/10 – Has hit form in recent weeks but this was an all-time career best performance from March. He gambled to get into the middle for his first strike and produced a brilliant finish to seal the points. Assisted Welbeck later with a header.
AM: Adam Lallana – 7/10 – Liverpool’s centre backs couldn’t decide who should pick up Lallana and he made use of the space, playing passes around the box to keep Brighton’s attacks flowing.
LW: Kaoro Mitoma – 8/10 – Slowed down and sped up out wide, constantly keeping Alexander-Arnold guessing. Deserved the assist for March, even if it was slightly scuffed.
ST: Evan Ferguson – 7/10 – Provided a physical contest Liverpool’s defence struggled with. Good pass played in March for his second.
Substitutes Joel Veltman (66′ for Lallana) – 6/10 – A more conservative switch which paid off.
Danny Welbeck (66′ for Ferguson) – 8/10 – Added pace to Brighton’s counter attacks and sealed the win with a brilliant effort after collecting March’s header.
Jeremy Sarmiento (83′ for Mac Allister) – N/A
Tariq Lamptey (90′ for Mitoma) – N/A
Adam Webster (90′ for Dunk) – N/A
Manager Roberto De Zerbi – 8/10 – Got his set-up spot on, exposing Liverpool’s ageing players and targeting their weaknesses out wide.
Liverpool player ratings (4-3-3) GK: Alisson – 5/10 – Almost conceded a penalty but saved by VAR intervention. A couple of saves but not at his intimidating best.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 3/10 – Cleared a shot going wide over the bar. Saw Mitoma run past him again and again and Liverpool were eventually made to pay for it.
CB: Joel Matip – 3/10 – Slid in hard on Mitoma for a booking. Sloppy pass led to March’s opener.
CB: Ibrahima Konate – 4/10 – Slightly more composed than Matip but looked similarly at sea with Ferguson at times. Lost March for the third.
LB: Andy Robertson – 5/10 – Was high up the pitch when Matip gave the ball away, allowing March to exploit his absence. Probably the best of Liverpool’s defenders but hardly a standout performance.
CM: Jordan Henderson – 3/10 – Frustrated late tackle on Caicedo saw him booked. Off the pace.
CM: Fabinho – 2/10 – Couldn’t stop Brighton playing straight through Liverpool’s midfield and was positionally unaware throughout the contest.
CM: Thiago – 3/10 – Liverpool only started getting more of the ball late on, by which time is was a little late for Thiago to make an impact.
RW: Mohamed Salah – 4/10 – Had to chase long balls from the outset and didn’t get many scoring opportunities. Cut a frustrated figure.
ST: Cody Gakpo – 4/10 – First Premier League appearance and will hope for much improvement. Scarcely involved except for one blocked shot.
LW: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 3/10 – Only playing because of the injury crisis across Liverpool’s front three.
Substitutes Ben Doak (68′ for Oxlade-Chamberlain) – 6/10 – Showed some vigour but the result had already been sealed.
Naby Keita (68′ for Fabinho) – 5/10 – Struggled similarly to Fabinho.
Harvey Elliott (69′ for Henderson) – 5/10 – Dragged one good opening wide when well placed.
Joe Gomez (69′ for Matip) – 5/10 – Couldn’t help clean up Liverpool’s poor defending.
Manager Jurgen Klopp – 4/10 – Needed a more dynamic presence in midfield from the outset and saw his players overrun. Hands are tied a fair bit by injury but this defeat felt bleak.
Marcus Rashford scored the winner as Manchester United came from behind to beat Manchester City 2-1 in a thrilling match at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Both United goals came in the final 12 minutes as Erik ten Hag’s side moved to within one point of their local rivals in the Premier League table after inflicting a damaging blow to City’s hopes of retaining the title.
Pep Guardiola’s men looked to be heading to victory when Jack Grealish came off the bench to head the visitors into the lead.
But Bruno Fernandes’ controversial equaliser turned the game and four minutes later Rashford netted for the ninth consecutive match at Old Trafford.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says his players are in a “really good emotional state” ahead of Sunday’s north London derby as they aim to avenge last season’s painful defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
“Obviously the way we have performed and the results that we have got confidence-wise puts us in a good position,” he said.
“But then it’s something that you have to show in every single match, every opponent and especially every away game brings big challenges and this is no different. We have to prove that we are good enough to go there, play our way and win the match.”
Reports say a big-money deal for the 22-year-old is close.
“We cannot talk about any other players,” said Arteta. “There is some interest in things we’d like to do to improve the team, because we are a bit short in certain areas with the injuries we’ve (picked up).
“We are trying as a club. We are determined to try to improve the team in every window and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix has joined Chelsea on loan for the rest of the season, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old will bolster the attacking options for manager Graham Potter, whose squad is currently hard-hit by injuries and languishing in 10th spot in the table.
Chelsea described the Portugal international as a “skilful and stylish attacker” who is best in a fluid forward role.
“Chelsea is one of the great teams in the world and I hope to help the team reach their objectives, so I am very, very happy to be here and very excited to play at Stamford Bridge,” Felix said in a club statement.
Atletico said Felix had extended his contract with the Spanish club for one more season, until June 2027.
“From Atletico de Madrid we wish Joao Felix every success in this new professional stage,” the club said