Updated: 21:38 EST

Man Utd news: Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba strike to leave side 13 points off top

CRYSTAL PALACE 1-2 MANCHESTER UNITED - SAMI MOKBEL AT SELHURST PARK: It was a repeat of last season's FA Cup final. Even if the goals came in a different order, the outcome was the same, with Crystal Palace putting up a good fight but ultimately falling to defeat against Manchester United. This has not been an ideal season for Jose Mourinho, but form is finally coming as goals from Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic earned them the win.

Chelsea news: Blues extend winning run to 10 Premier League matches

SUNDERLAND 0-1 CHELSEA - CRAIG HOPE AT THE STADIUM OF LIGHT: Cesc Fabregas struck to earn Chelsea a tenth straight victory and maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League table. The Spaniard struck five minutes before half-time to give the Blues the lead as he sidefooted the ball past Black Cats goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Liverpool FC news: Adam Lallana at the double as Jurgen Klopp's side hit top form

MIDDLESBROUGH 0-3 LIVERPOOL - DOMINIC KING AT THE RIVERSIDE STADIUM: So it turns out Jurgen Klopp called this one wrong: Loris Karius could have played and the final result would not have been in any semblance of danger. Klopp decided no good could have come from subjecting the German to an ordeal on the barren banks of the Tees, at a venue where Liverpool historically falter. As it turned out, this became the easiest game of the campaign for any Liverpool goalkeeper.

Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp admits Loris Karius 'not too fine' after being dropped

DOMINIC KING AT THE RIVERSIDE STADIUM: Loris Karius lost his place between the posts to Simon Mignolet for the trip to Middlesbrough and spent the 90 minutes brooding on the bench. He was the only member of the Liverpool party to show any kind of unhappiness after one of their most emphatic displays of the season. Liverpool blitzed Middlesbrough, winning 3-0 thanks to a double from Adam Lallana and another from Divock Origi, and they played with the authority that had been evident before the last international break.

NIK SIMON: Dylan Hartley will not be stripped of the England captaincy after escaping with a six-week ban that leaves him free to play in the RBS Six Nations opener against France.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has admitted he is fearful of being without midfielder Ilkay Gundogan for a 'long time'. Gundogan was forced off during City's 2-0 victory over Watford on Wednesday night.

Antonio Conte's side beat Sunderland 1-0 courtesy of Cesc Fabregas' first half strike and will remain in first place on December 25 having extended their lead at the summit to six points.

Everton are facing a challenge to persuade the England midfielder to commit to new deal following a difficult start to his relationship with manager Ronald Koeman.

The former England international was ready to talk to BBC Radio Manchester listeners during City's clash with Watford until bosses took him off duty at 11am on Wednesday night.

Eric Bailly has had an injury-hit time since joining United in the summer for a fee of £30million. The 22-year-old only made his return to action from an injury against Tottenham Hotspur.

MATT LAWTON: Cardiff City are pursuing a High Court claim for almost £10million in damages against Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and three of the most powerful agents in the game.

West Brom 3-1 Swansea: Salomon Rondon bags 13 minute hat-trick of headers as Baggies go

WEST BROM 3-1 SWANSEA - LAURIE WHITWELL AT THE HAWTHORNS: To allow Salomon Rondon a free header once may be misfortune, twice careless, but three times is the mark of a side in desperate danger of the drop. Swansea discovered as much during a blistering 13-minute spell by the Venezuelan striker, who scored a hat-trick of headers to turn this encounter swiftly in West Bromwich Albion’s favour and leave Bob Bradley furious at his team.

Tottenham news: Christian Eriksen finishes 30-pass move to set Spurs en route to win over

TOTTENHAM 3-0 HULL - MATT BARLOW AT WHITE HART LANE: Eriksen struck twice against Hull and came agonisingly close to a first Spurs hat-trick when his free-kick was touched against a post by goalkeeper David Marshall and dropped for Victor Wanyama to get the third of the night. He has scored five in his last four Premier League games after suffering a subdued start to the campaign and Spurs needed his influence.

MAN CITY 2-0 WATFORD - CHRIS WHEELER AT THE ETIHAD STADIUM: Pablo Zabaleta scored his first Manchester City goal in two years as Pep Guardiola's side eased past Watford.

WEST HAM 1-0 BURNLEY - SAM CUNNINGHAM AT THE LONDON STADIUM: West Ham sealed their first win in the Premier League since October 22 after Mark Noble scored off the rebound of his missed penalty in the first half.

STOKE 0-0 SOUTHAMPTON - MIKE KEEGAN AT THE BET365 STADIUM: Stoke and Southampton showed exactly why there was just one point splitting them prior to the game.

Man United news: Wayne Rooney just a willing dogsbody in side run by Zlatan Ibrahimovic

ADAM CRAFTON AT SELHURST PARK: With a rustling beard and a weary frown, Wayne Rooney returned to the Manchester United team for only his second Premier League start since September 18, when he was wretched in a 3-1 defeat by Watford. He might have hoped for a central role, as a the traditional frontman or perhaps playing in behind a striker. Nowadays, however, Rooney is not in a position to dictate. He can barely get on the pitch in the Premier League, so when he is granted a chance, he will do as he's told.

Manchester United star Zlatan Ibrahimovic refuses to give Paul Pogba motm award

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was just as entertaining after the final whistle as he was on it as he, with the help of Paul Pogba, inspired Manchester United to victory over Crystal Palace. The charismatic Swede provided the assist for the Frenchman's opening goal before latching onto the end of his team-mate's pass to score a late winner for the Red Devils. But his best performance came after the final whistle as he joked around with the BT Sport interviewer

Jose Mourinho's team overcame Crystal Palace 2-1 after goals from Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, with an equaliser from James McArthur sandwiched in between the two goals.

Manchester United turned up for their league clash with Crystal Palace on Wednesday night only an hour before kick-off, the third time they have arrived late for a London game in eight months.

Everton are in talks with United over a possible £24million move for Morgan Schneiderlin after Jose Mourinho said he would not stand in the way of the French midfielder moving in January.

Arsenal stars enjoy night out watching La Soiree as they try to banish the memories of

The stars of Arsenal did their best to forget about the events at Goodison Park as they enjoyed a night out in London on Wednesday night. The players saw their 14-match undefeated run in the Premier League brought to an end by Everton on Tuesday. And the majority of the squad, including Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud, attempted to put the result behind them as they attended a performance of La Soiree.

Wigan 0-2 Newcastle: Goals from Mohamed Diame and Christian Atsu send Rafa Benitez's side

Newcastle moved above Brighton and back to the top of the Championship with a 2-0 victory at Wigan. Rafa Benitez's side took the lead when Mohamed Diame combined with Isaac Hayden before placing the ball in the bottom corner in the 28th minute. The hosts pushed for an equaliser but substitute Christian Atsu sealed three points with a thunderous strike with just 12 minutes left on the clock.

CHARLES SALE - SPORTS AGENDA: The formidable Morris is in conflict with the Football League after being denied access to the details of TV deals he claims could be a lot better.

NOTTINGHAM FOREST 1-1 PRESTON - JANINE SELF AT THE CITY GROUND: The Americans are coming and the word is that Forest coach Philippe Montanier is safe ‘for now’. It has been one step forward, two back.

QPR 0-1 DERBY - ADAM SHERGOLD AT LOFTUS ROAD: Tom Ince’s sixth goal in six matches was enough to return the Rams to the Championship play-off places. It was a sickening blow for Ian Holloway and Rangers.

JOE BERNSTEIN AT THE ETIHAD STADIUM: For Wednesday night's game against Watford, Guardiola axed his most expensive signing John Stones and reverted to a more traditional back four.

The 28-year-old, currently on loan at Stoke City, is suing his former representative Francis Kacou over money allegedly taken without the player's authorisation from his transfer to Swansea.

KIERAN GILL AT WHITE HART LANE: At several points in this tie, it seemed as if Tottenham Hotspur's supporters were aiming their songs at Paris Saint-Germain, telling them to stay away.

Gianfranco Zola has been appointed as the next manager of Birmingham City. Zola joins on a two-and-a-half year deal just hours after Gary Rowett was sacked by the Championship club.

Liverpool fc fans break advertising hoarding as they go wild in celebrating third goal

After seeing their side drop five points from winning positions in their last two games, you could forgive them for celebrating wildly as they went three goals to the good. As Adam Lallana latched onto Divock Origi's cutback to put Liverpool 3-0 up against Middlesbrough on Wednesday night, the away end at the Riverside went spare. And Jurgen Klopp's side weren't going to let this lead slip after throwing it away during a last-gasp 4-3 defeat at Bournemouth and a disappointing 2-2 draw against West Ham.

Anthony Joshua's team: The squad behind the British champion's quest for glory

A big fight demands a big support network and, luckily for Anthony Joshua, the heavyweight world champion has just that as he prepares to face Wladimir Klitschko in the spring. Joshua, who destroyed Eric Molina in three rounds at the Manchester Arena on Saturday to set up the super-bout against former champ Klitschko, will take on the Ukrainian at Wembley Stadium in April. Here, after AJ shared a picture of his backroom team on social media, Sportsmail runs down who will be helping AJ prepare for a career-defining fight...

JEFF POWELL: If Anthony Joshua loses his stratospheric world title fight in front of a 90,000 crowd at Wembley Stadium he will have not only himself but his heavyweight compatriot Tyson Fury to blame.

The Argentine is training again with his boyhood club Estudiantes after promising to return for the 2017 Copa Libertadores if fans bought 65 per cent of boxes at the club's new stadium.

Sportsmail understands that the Anfield side had been targeted by Chinese investors with state backing. China Everbright are keen to do business with Fenway Sports Group for the £800m-valued club.

Neville will be joined by the Daily Mail's Martin Samuel Chief Sports Writer, the Mail on Sunday's Chief Sports Writer Oliver Holt and Henry Winter of The Times.

You may not know much about Shanghai SIPG, but the chances are when Oscar joins them from Chelsea this summer their squad will be worth more than the team you support.

Sunderland fan Bradley Lowery scores penalty past Chelsea keeper Asmir Begovic

Bradley Lowery was treated to the night of his life on Wednesday when he got to lead out his beloved Sunderland at the Stadium of Light before their game against Chelsea. The five-year​ old has endeared himself to the heart of a nation after his tragic story saw thousands donate to help fight the rare form of cancer he suffers from. Young Bradley is fighting the spreading disease for a second time and a low immune system means he will not be able to mix with people in the coming weeks.

Man United news: Anthony Martial shops after being left out of squad to face Crystal

Anthony Martial went shopping on Wednesday afternoon as Manchester United travelled to face Crystal Palace in the Premier League. The Frenchman was not present as the Red Devils made the trip to south London and instead spent the afternoon.

Cristiano Ronaldo believes he would have won more Ballon d'Or than Lionel Messi if they played on the same side. The Real Madrid star was named the player of the year for the fourth time.

KIERAN GILL: It’s safe to say some supporters weren’t impressed by Arsenal’s best-paid player after the 2-1 loss at Everton, and they queued up to criticise.

Lawyers for Jess Varnish have written to British Cycling demanding the release of all emails and text messages which refer to her during the 13 years she spent on their programmes.

Kylian Mbappe hits a hat-trick for Monaco as 'new Thierry Henry' helps hosts to a 7-0 win

COUPE DE LA LIGUE ROUND-UP:Teenage forward Kylian Mbappe scored a hat trick as Monaco continued their astonishing scoring form with a 7-0 home win against Rennes to qualify for the French League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday. The electrifyingly fast and skillful 17-year-old Mbappe is the rising star of French football, and helped France win the Under-19 European championship in July, scoring five goals.

Cristiano Ronaldo proudly unveils latest Ballon d’Or award at his museum

Cristiano Ronaldo has never been shy of showing off his many trophies and achievements - to the extent of founding a museum in his own honour on his home island of Madeira. Now he has a new centrepiece for the museum - his fourth Ballon D'Or, won on Monday night after an exceptional 2016. Ronaldo has placed the golden ball on a special pedestal.

EXCLUSIVE: Scotland's reigning PDC World Champion Gary Anderson has an answer to that age-old debate in darts, the one about whether it is a sport or not.

Everton defender Ashley Williams admits the players had to do a lot of soul-searching as they looked for a solution to their slump in form.

Julian Draxler finds himself at the centre of a media storm after his efforts to leave Wolfsburg in January. But will the £30m-rated star find a new club that is big enough for him?

All previous attempts to get two of the biggest names in British boxing in a ring have stalled in recent years, but there is renewed optimism of finally staging a bout next spring.

Chelsea are set to pursue their interest in Hoffenheim defender Niklas Sule when the transfer market opens next month. The Blues had a bid rejected for the German youngster back in August.

'From champion to legend overnight': Joshua eyes heavyweight glory as he faces up to 'obsessed' Klitschko at Wembley

Anthony Joshua believes his fight against Wladimir Klitschko on April 29 next year will make him a 'legend overnight'. The dominant IBF champion shared a stage with the veteran Ukrainian as both men afforded one another respect in the pre-fight press conference. Joshua is under no illusion that fighting Klitschko will be a step up in class and is preparing accordingly. 

LAWRENCE BOOTH IN CHENNAI: Ben Stokes has called for consistency from the ICC officials, reflecting a feeling in the England dressing-room that India's players have been given more leeway.

CHARLES SALE: The difficulty of keeping 20 Premier League clubs united behind a collective TV agreement, despite the £8.3bn value of the current deal, became apparent at the last summit.

The Rugby Football Union has announced games against Argentina on November 11, Australia seven days later, and then Samoa on November 25.

Treading on hot coals? Groundsmen use ingenious method to prepare pitch for final test

The groundsmen at Chennai are using every method possible to get the pitch ready for the fifth test between India and England, including hot coals to dry the surface.  Chennai has been hit by a cyclone, leaving ground staff at the Chepauk Stadium with a race against time to get the pitch in a fit state for the final test match of the series. The video, shared by Sky Sports on their Twitter page, shows the groundsmen rolling trays of coals up and down the pitch, with wooden poles underneath to stop the surface from burning.



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Zinedine Zidane lavishes praise on Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo

Real are in Japan looking to win the Club World Cup for a second time, having claimed the 2014 title in Morocco, and must beat Mexican giants Club America to book their place in the final. Speaking ahead of the game, Zidane was full of praise for his player and believes Ronaldo is capable of further honours.

Chapecoense plane crash survivors Alan Ruschel and Rafael Henzel return to Brazil

Two of the Chapecoense players who survived the air crash in Colombia last month has returned home to Brazil. Doctors say that goalkeeper Jackson Follmann is well enough to undergo surgery on his back when he gets back to Sao Paulo. Follman, one of just six survivors from the crash that killed 71 people, including 19 players, had part of his right leg amputated in Medellin, Colombia following the crash on November 28.

Arsenal and Everton players have to be separated at half-time... by legendary Goodison

Former Everton player Duncan Ferguson was forced to step in as tensions between the Toffees and visitors Arsenal threatened to boil over during the Premier League clash on Tuesday night. The tussle began between midfielder James McCarthy and German playmaker Mesut Ozil and quickly escalated as both teams made their way down the narrow tunnel at half-time. Legendary hardman Ferguson, who is now a coach at the club, was quick to play peacemaker between the heated pair, much to the surprise of those watching.

The club are optimistic of keeping star midfielder Ozil, who recently bought a house in London. They expect to tie the German midfielder to a five-year contract worth £200,000 a week.

Ajax 15-year-old Daishawn Redan has arrived at Manchester United's training ground today ahead of his proposed move.

Paco Alcacer got a chance to impress in Tuesday's friendly clash with Qatari club Al Ahli in Doha, though, and he took it as he nodded in a header at the near post during a 5-3 victory.

SAMI MOKBEL: Yet another high-profile player is taking the plunge, with talented Chelsea midfielder Oscar swapping the spotlight of the Premier League for the unknown in China.

Jack Wilshere was sent on loan by Arsene Wenger to finally nail down a first-team place and get some playing time in the Premier League.

Stuart Pearce spent six years in charge of the Under-21s from 2007 to 2013, the highlight of his reign was taking England to the final of Euro 2009 in Sweden, which they lost to Germany.

Everton players bring Christmas joy to Alder Hey Children's Hospital

Everton players sacrificed a rare break from training on Wednesday to bring some Christmas cheer to Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool. The Toffees certainly deserved to put their feet up after a hard-fought win over Arsenal at Goodison Park on Tuesday evening, but instead got together to help those who won't be able to spend Christmas in the comfort of their own homes.

Arsenal were poor against Everton, but they can still win the title

Arsenal's defeat by Everton on Tuesday night was both unexpected and a wake-up call to those feeling increasingly optimistic about the Gunners' title prospects. The defeat, and the performance, should both be cause for concern for the Gunners, but the fact remains that they went into Tuesday's game unbeaten in League and Europe since August, and come out of it still second in the table.

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski signs extension to 2021 

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has extended his contract with the club until June 2021. The Bundesliga leaders have said that the 28-year-old Poland captain signed the agreement on Tuesday. After putting pen to paper, Lewandowski said: 'I'm delighted that the discussions came to a positive outcome and that I'm staying attached to Bayern for another few years. 

The Royals' playing style has been likened to that of Catalan giants 'Barcelona' since Stam took over in the summer and now they have outdone the Spanish club. But not in the way they might have liked.

SHEFF WED 2-0 BARNSLEY: Sheffield Wednesday rode their luck to take the spoils in this South Yorkshire derby against 10-man Barnsley. The Owls took the lead through an own goal.

BURTON ALBION 0-1 HUDDERSFIELD TOWN: Nahki Wells emerged as Huddersfield’s match-winner for the second time in three days to give the Terriers' promotion challenge momentum.

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben has taken a shot at Arsenal after his team were drawn to face the Gunners in the Champions League for the fourth in four seasons.

The Southend United striker is accused of targeting a vulnerable person in a telephone banking scam in February last year.

Manchester City vs Arsenal looks like being one of the most stylish clashes of the season as the classy, possession-based teams of Pep Guardiola and Arsene Wenger go head-to-head.

Former football coach Barry Bennell appears in court charged with sex attacks on boy

The 62-year-old was remanded in custody after appearing at South Cheshire Magistrates' Court this morning. He is accused of eight offences of sexual assault against a boy aged 11 in the early 1980s. He is said to have attacked the boy at a Butlins holiday camp and in his car.

MIKE KEEGAN: Four Premier League clubs in London have been named to police investigating historical sex abuse in football. The Metropolitan Police have received 106 allegations of abuse.

Mr Johnson, 57, who was paid £50,000 hush money by Chelsea, went on the break to Bognor with a friend two years before he fell into the clutches of chief scout Eddie Heath.

EXCLUSIVE by JACK GAUGHAN: Paul Stewart has accused the FA of burying their heads in the sand and lacking leadership over the sex abuse scandal which has engulfed football.

Olympic hero Maddie Hinch keeps a low profile during the day job... Great Britain's

INTERVIEW BY MIKE DICKSON: The Ian Wooldridge Award, established to honour the memory of our late chief sports writer who died nine years ago, is voted for by you, our readers. It celebrates that elusive blend of sporting genius and Corinthian spirit — and in this case Olympian spirit — that ‘Woolers’ loved and admired. Nominated by Mike Dickson, this year’s very deserving winner is our hockey goalkeeper Maddie Hinch, who outsmarted the Dutch in a nailbiting penalty shootout to steer Team GB’s women to Olympic gold.

Amir Khan vows he's the 'next guy to smash Kell Brook's face'

If Kell Brook is still waking up in cold sweats from the memory of Gennady Golovkin's triumph, he will not have enjoyed Amir Kahn's latest Instagram update. Kahn posted a picture with GGG and called out Brook, vowing to be the next man to 'smash' the Sheffield fighter's face.

Manny Pacquiao poses with controversial Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte who

Manny Pacquiao has courted controversy with his choice of political ally in the Philippines. The boxing veteran posted a picture on his Instagram page with Rodrigo Duterte, Filipino President, a man with divisive views who previously likened himself to Adolf Hitler.

White, 54, continued his encouraging recent form with a 4-0 victory over Ryan Day, while O'Sullivan defeated Polish amateur Adam Stefanow 4-1.

EXCLUSIVE - SAM PETERS and NIK SIMON: Richard Cockerill's future as Leicester director of rugby is 'hanging by a thread' after his side's 38-0 European Champions Cup defeat by Munster.

The 27-year-old, who burst onto the scene at this year's Open Championship, has accepted an unusual triathlon after the challenge was laid down by a fellow tour pro.

Alastair Cook partially left himself a hostage to fortune when he spoke of a final stage in his international career in which he could play purely as a batsman without the strains of leadership.

PAUL NEWMAN: Bairstow needs 62 in the final Test to usurp Vaughan's record of 1,481 runs. He has already scored more runs and taken more dismissals in a year than any other wicketkeeper.

Cris Cyborg is widely considered the most deadly female fighter on the planet but has been overlooked for inaugural female featherweight title bout which will take place at UFC 208. 

Sportsmail's racing expert Robin Goodfellow dishes out his best tips ahead of Thursday's meetings at Exeter, Chelmsford City, Towcester and Newcastle.

Connections of Thistlecrack have still yet to decide whether to pitch the exciting prospect into the 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Malky Mackay close to football return with SFA - but should he be allowed?

The debate is raging in Scotland over the suitability of Malky Mackay's potential appointment as the Scottish Football Association's new performance director. The former Cardiff City manager left his position at the Championship club under a cloud almost three years ago after being embroiled in a racism and sexism scandal. With the controversial 44-year-old now set to replace Brian McClair, Sportsmail's STEPHEN MCGOWAN and LORNE GARDNER weigh up the case for and against bringing him back into the fold.

Cristiano Ronaldo hit back in the eternal debate over who is the greatest footballer on the planet when he claimed his fourth Ballon d'Or on Monday.

MATT BARLOW: When Antonio Conte secured the Chelsea job and glanced at the players he would inherit he was far from convinced about controversial Spanish striker Diego Costa.

Only Alastair Cook will know if he's still got the hunger and appetite to carry on as England captain, and the energy to drive the team forward.