LiveScore Daily: City boss Pep talks up Villa's title chances
LiveScore Daily is here to deliver all the big talking points from the world of football throughout the day. Keep refreshing this page for the latest stories in bite-sized chunks.
Pep talks up Villa's chances
Pep Guardiola insists Aston Villa are title contenders after seeing Manchester City dominated in a 1-0 defeat at Villa Park.
Leon Bailey's deflected 74th-minute strike earned a deserved victory over the Treble winners, with Unai Emery's men leapfrogging them into third place.
While the Villa boss was keen to play down talk of the Midlands outfit challenging for the title, Guardiola feels they have all the tools necessary.
Asked if they will be among the teams in the race, the City boss said: "Yeah, definitely.
"For the way they are playing, when you are there and see the physicality, the tempo, the speed, the bench, the organisation from Unai Emery.
"The set-pieces and high pressing in medium block, how incredible they defend the back four, the goalkeeper. Absolutely."
Happy as Alli
Dele Alli is close to resuming full training with Everton as he looks to revive his Premier League career, according to manager Sean Dyche.
Alli, 27, has not featured for the Toffees this season, last playing a competitive match in February before a hip problem curtailed his loan spell with Besiktas.
Over the summer, the midfielder opened up about his childhood trauma and also revealed he had a sleeping pill addiction — but is now targeting a return to top-flight action in the new year.
Dyche said: "He is back on the grass with the sports science/fitness side, going through football-related drills, but the actual freedom to join in with us is not there yet.
"Hopefully over the next week he will start blending in.
"He still has a bit to go because he has been out for a long time, he needs a game programme, but to get him back with us would be really pleasing for him because he has been so unlucky.
"The last time, 12-13 weeks ago when he was going to join in, he was so unlucky with the damage that was done. But the good news is that everything is settling down and he is feeling good. I saw him earlier and he said: 'I'm feeling great'."
Use the pain
John Stones says out-of-form Manchester City must use the pain of their defeat in the West Midlands as fuel to get their Premier League title pursuit back on track.
Pep Guardiola's Citizens are without a win in their last four league games and are now six points off leaders Arsenal.
The defender told the club website: "We have to use the hurt and the pain that is within us, our stomachs, our brains, wherever it might be, as motivation and fuel to put things right.
"I think everyone has that desire.
"We've been in these positions in previous seasons. I don't think we or everyone should be hyping what is going to happen.
"I think we have to stay calm as a team, which we will do tomorrow once we've analysed it and settled down emotionally."
Poch not worried
Mauricio Pochettino admitted Chelsea were second best in their 2-1 defeat at Manchester United but said he is not worried.
Scott McTominay scored twice either side of a Cole Palmer effort to consign the Blues to their sixth loss of the season with just 15 games played.
But rather than criticise his side — like he did after their 4-1 drubbing by Newcastle last month — the Argentine was sympathetic to his players after a quick turnaround from Sunday's win over Brighton.
Pochettino, 51 said: "I'm not worried because there's too many circumstances which need to explain why we didn't perform.
"To play with Brighton with one less for so long may have affected the energy, and we need to recover too many players from injury, to have different options and be more competitive.
"Manchester United had a day more to prepare, and we had many young players on our bench. It's not an excuse, but that's the reality.
Dortmund crash out
Borussia Dortmund's hopes of DFB-Pokal success this season are over after being dumped out by Stuttgart last night.
Striker Serhou Guirassy — who has attracted interest from the Premier League — and Silas Katompa Mvumpa were on target as Stuttgart progressed to the quarter-finals of the competition.
It comes as another blow for Edin Terzic's men, who are already 10 points adrift from the Bundesliga summit.
Santos drop down
One of Brazilian football's most exciting club seasons concluded last night with superstar Endrick leading Palmeiras to the title, while Santos were relegated for the first time ever.
The wonderkid, 18, who will join Real Madrid in 2025, scored his 11th goal of the campaign in a 1-1 draw with Cruzeiro to crown his team Brasileirao champions.
But the biggest surprise came at the opposite end of the division as Santos — home to legendary late Brazilian Pele — dropped down to the second tier.
Santos were one of three ever-presents in the Brazilian Serie A but a woeful run of three straight defeats saw them finish 17th with 43 points.