Montella thankful for Milan faith

Milan head coach Vincenzo Montella has thanked the club's hierarchy for placing their faith in his abilities amid inconsistent results in Serie A.

Saturday's 2-1 reverse to league leaders Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo was the Rossoneri's sixth defeat of the season in 13 games, which has left them in seventh place.

Alessio Romagnoli's 90th-minute goal was nothing more than a consolation as the hosts opened up a two-goal advantage through Lorenzo Insigne and Piotr Zielinski.

After a transfer outlay of close to €200 million during the off-season, the expectations at Milan had significantly risen but the club's Chinese owners have placed their faith in Montella to turn around results in the coming weeks.

"I thank the club for giving me this support and confidence," he told Mediaset Premium after dropping 11 points off the Champions League qualification spots.

"I struggle to look at the table, but from now on we'll have a simpler fixture list and hopefully this type of performance will see us in good stead.

"Our last two defeats were against Juventus and Napoli, so of course they are ahead of us, but despite the results, we were in the games. We showed character, we are growing and it's a growth process.

"As I said, I am proud of the performances [in defeat] against Napoli, Juve, Roma and Inter, because to get to their level we need patience."

Emery calls for consistency from PSG

Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery says his side cannot afford to allow complacency to creep in after an emphatic 4-1 win over high-flying Nantes.

Javier Pastore, Angel Di Maria and Edison Cavani (brace) were all on target for Les Parisiens to put a dent in Les Canaris' impressive campaign and move sic points clear of the chasing pack in Ligue 1.

Prejuce Nakoulma's goal on the hour mark proved to be a mere consolation for Claudio Ranieri's side as PSG romped to victory at Parc des Princes, and Emery believes it was the perfect result ahead of their clash with title rivals Monaco next week.

"Nantes are a very competitive side. They like to play a slow game and that was the biggest problem for us. That and their very solid defence,"  the Spaniard said after the game.

"That's why we are very happy with the 4-1 victory. It's an excellent result and we were very good today. We created the first chances in the opening 10 minutes and finished the first half very well and with two goals. 

"The second half didn't start as well, but after Nantes scored, we fought back again to win 4-1. It's important to keep up the good work and play matches at our pace.

"Next week will be a big match away to Monaco. They are an excellent team, but we have a good lead in the standings now. We want to play with confidence and character."

Unsworth impressed by dedicated Niasse

Everton forward Oumar Niasse won the praise of his manager for a tireless showing in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

The Senegal international scored the equaliser just before halftime at Selhurst Park to rescue a point for the Toffees against the Premier League’s worst-off side.

"Oumar has desire, determination, and that willingness to run and run until you drop," Unsworth told EvertonTv.

"That is a prerequisite for how I want every single player to go about their job. He is a great guy as well.

"I have had the privilege of working alongside him and now all his hard work is paying off in performances and goals.

"He is a handful because he never stops running. His fitness is so good, he works tirelessly for the team – he is a team-player and that is what this Club has been built on."

Despite the points picked up in London, the Toffees are still just three points above the drop zone having won only once in their last six matches, and three times all season.

They take on Italian side Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday, and face Southampton away in the Premier League next weekend.

Conte chuffed with Chelsea's Hawthorns display

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was delighted with the performance in Saturday’s 4-0 win over West Brom at the Hawthorns.

Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso found the net, as did Eden Hazard twice, to move above Tottenham into third place in the standings.

"We must be pleased because the performance was positive, it was very good," Conte told Sky Sports. "From the start of the game we showed great focus and great concentration.

"Do not forget that [although] this game became easy, last season we struggled a lot in both games against West Bromwich. I have watched a lot of games of West Bromwich this season and I think they deserved more points, but today I think we outplayed West Bromwich."

The match saw Conte tinker with his formation to play Hazard alongside Morata in a front two, to devastating effect against the Baggies.

"I would like to speak about the performance of the whole team because today we showed great compactness and great focus," Conte added.

"But for sure, there is a good link with the two strikers, Morata and Hazard. I hope they continue in this way. If you want to do something important, it is very important to find stability and find the right balance."

Simeone won't criticise misfiring Griezmann

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone couldn't be asked to criticise Antoine Griezmann after he was jeered in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Real Madrid.

With just two goals from 10 games, the France international has taken blame for the team's lack of a cutting edge, but Simeone wasn't about to air his dirty laundry in public.

"I have been taught that those who are in my family, I am with them to the death. And I will not change now," Simeone said.

"Things within your family are resolved within the family. I'm with my family, while they are still there."

Regarding the stalemate at the Wanda Metropolitano, Simeone thought his side played well against Los Blancos, as the two capital-based sides remain level on 24 points each.

"The first 30 minutes were very good," he said. "It is true that the team has anxiety. We are at a time when we do not have the easy goal, but I will take the first 30 minutes.

"We played a good game against a very strong opponent. We could have won and we have could have lost and that is the beauty of the game."

Zidane laments damp-squib derby

Real Madrid remained optimistic about catching Liga leaders Barcelona despite dropping more points in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid.

There were few chances at the Wanda Metropolitana as Los Blancos are left 10 points behind Barca, who beat Leganes 3-0 elsewhere in Spain.

"We played well but just lacked a goal," manager Zinedine Zidane said. " I have nothing to reproach my players for. We played a great game, deserved more tonight but it was not to be.

We should be patient, we are on the right path. I am sorry for the players, the effort they put in, they deserved more.

"This is football.Sometimes the ball won't go in. I cannot explain it really. But it will come, for sure. Like last year, and like just two months ago. When a team makes a lot of chances, we cannot be happy, and the players first.

"But there is no need to get down. We played a good game and must focus on the positive. This will change. I cannot say anything more than that.

"There are still many games to go, many points to play for. 10 points are a lot, yes, but for sure this will change.

"Barca will not always pick up points, and we must be there waiting. Football can change quickly, and we will be there fighting until the end, for sure."

Klopp had a 'perfect day' against Saints

It was a good Saturday for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp at Anfield, as he watched his team cruise to a 3-0 win over Southampton.

A first-half brace from Mohamed Salah and a second-half cherry on top from Philippe coutinho made it three wins in a row for the Reds in the Premier League.

"It was a difficult game," Klopp told Sky Sports. "We had more chances but it was an open game.

"It was clear we needed to be patient in a lively way. The first goal, I had nothing to do with, and the second - a fantastic pass.

"That's Mo's biggest strength, to run into these areas without being offside, I don't know how it's possible. But the runs are fantastic.

"We forced the third goal and could have had more. It was the perfect day for us."

Regarding Salah, Klopp had a lot to say about the Egypt international who has scored 14 goals in all competitions this season, nine of them in the Premier League.

"Maybe he's surprising himself a little bit," Klopp added. "He scored a lot in Italy, but he's in a very good moment.

"Speed is one thing. But players like him are good in wide spaces, but when you the opposing side is defending deep, he is still making these runs. That makes it really difficult. He is so quick and that makes it really difficult to defend."

Pochettino blames 'small details' for derby defeat

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino had a few objections after losing the north London derby 2-0 to Arsenal on Saturday.

Goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez saw the Gunners through at the Emirates Stadium, as Spurs drop down to fourth in the Premier League standings.

"I'm very disappointed in the performance and the way we conceded the goals," Pochettino said.

"It's difficult to explain when you lose in this way. Small details which are big details - that can change everything in football. Maybe [Granit] Xhaka should be sent off before?

"The foul wasn't a foul. The goal was offside. But we lose. We have to go home and keep going.

"I'm not blaming the referee. It's a strange situation - it changed the dynamic of the game. We need to accept that. We can't control that.

"Before the goal, the team was doing well, we were better than them. But it's not one mistake, it's two mistakes. It wasn't a foul and then it was offside.

"We then conceded a goal very quickly. From 2-0 down in this type of game when you play teams at the same level it's very difficult to win the game."

Valverde pleased with Suarez display

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde says the press can now calm down over Luis Suarez after he ended his goal drought in style in the 3-0 win over Leganes on Saturday.

Suarez bagged a brace to end his 479-minute goal drought across all competitions and Paulinho grabbed a stoppage-time third, as the Blaugrana extended their unbeaten run to 12 games in the league.

With the Madrid derby ending in a goalless stalemate, Valverde's side extended their lead to ten points over the two club's, but their lead at the summit can be cut down to four points by second-placed Valencia who face Espanyol on Sunday.

Nonetheless, the post-match press conference was focused on the Uruguay international, with the former Athletic Club coach sending a philosophical message.

"You have to be concrete [solid] in both boxes," he told reporters after the game. "The best example is the striker, in this case, Luis [Suarez]. 

"I have always been asked about him but I guess I won't be asked about him anymore because he has scored a double in this game. On the other hand, Marc [Ter Stegen] is having a great season. He is giving us so much security and we pleased with his performances.

"The result was misleading and excessive because Leganes made it difficult for us and had a great game, while there were times when we weren't brilliant."

Wenger: Let's give Ozil and Alexis big deals

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil should be given a deal they can’t refuse after Saturday’s win over Tottenham.

Both players started the 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium with Sanchez scoring their second and Ozil assisting Shkodran Mustafi’s opener.

"I am convinced they love the club and love the team, but all the rest will be decided - when? I don't really know," Wenger said.

"I believe they love the club and want to stay, but there are other top clubs out there who offer good contracts as well.

"[The win over Spurs is] not enough, because the quality of the contract has to be good and enough for them.

"The quality of the contract is part of it. The whole thing has to be right and they have to be happy."