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Chelsea star Sam Kerr warms up for Matildas by scoring hat-trick, watch, video highlights

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Matildas captain Sam Kerr has warmed up for Saturday’s international against Germany by firing home a hat-trick on Sunday (Monday AEST).

In her last match for Chelsea before the international window, Kerr scored a first-half hat-trick against Birmingham City to see her move atop the Super League goal-scorers (17). It was her 23rd goal in all competitions, after she scored in the midweek Champions Cup win over Wolfsburg.

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Sam Kerr the hat-trick hero! | 01:22

Only days ago she was described as the best striker in the world.

Asked in her role as a pundit on BT Sport whether Kerr was among the best strikers in the world, Karen Carney, capped 144 times for England, said: “She is the best for me”.

She now has 10 goals and two assists in her last six matches, which all bodes well for her Matildas side as they prepare for their return to international action this weekend.

The Australians will play Germany on Saturday and then take on the Netherlands in Nijmegen on the following Tuesday.

Last week her manager Emma Hayes said Kerr was the “best striker in the world.”

The Chelsea manager was again left waxing lyrical about her leading scorer, saying: “Sam Kerr’s goals came at the right moments. The confidence and intelligence from her is growing each week and she was thoroughly deserving of a hat-trick.”

Sam Kerr scores UCL stunner! | 00:46

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Manchester United sneak home, Manchester City beat Leicester, video highlights

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Manchester City are just 11 points away from clinching a third Premier League title in four years as even a much-changed side from Pep Guardiola outclassed third-placed Leicester 2-0 at the King Power.

Behind City, Liverpool were the big winners of the weekend as they produced arguably their best performance of 2021 to thrash Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates.

Victory for Jurgen Klopp’s men, allied to dropped points for Chelsea and Tottenham, means all three are separated by just two points in the fight for a top-four finish.

Manchester United meanwhile came from a goal down to defeat Brighton 2-1 at home.

It appeared as if Brighton would secure a stunning upset after Danny Welbeck put the visitors in front in the 13th minute, but two goals in 20 minutes saw United take all three points. Macrus Rashford scored in the 62nd minute before Mason Greenwood finished the job.

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United leave it late against Seagulls | 01:28

At the other end of the table, Fulham missed a great opportunity to move out of the bottom three as they let a 1-0 lead slip late on to lose 3-1 at Aston Villa.

Liverpool find their groove Liverpool’s chances of a return to the Champions League next season seemed all but gone when Fulham became the sixth consecutive visiting side to win at Anfield a month ago.

However, the Reds looked refreshed by a two-week layoff during the international break for many of their star players.

Even Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta admitted his side were lucky to escape with only a three-goal margin of defeat as Liverpool produced a performance worthy of champions on the day they mathematically could no longer retain their title.

“It was a very important statement for us because we need to show that we fight for it. We cannot only talk about it, we have to show it on the pitch,” said Klopp on his side’s chances of climbing back into the top four.

Chelsea’s shock collapse to a 5-2 defeat with 10 men against West Brom helped Liverpool’s cause to close the gap between the two sides to just two points.

Liverpool also have the better run in, but it is far from a two-horse race. Tottenham edged ahead of Liverpool on goal difference despite blowing a late lead to draw 2-2 at Newcastle.

West Ham can move fourth if they win at Wolves on Monday, while Everton have two games in hand to overturn a five-point deficit on Chelsea.

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Newcastle spoil Spurs party | 01:29

Is Kane too good to stay at Spurs?

Spurs’ latest failure to hold onto a lead at St James’ Park will do little to quell the speculation over Harry Kane’s future.

The England captain was again in supreme form, scoring his side’s two goals to move top of the Premier League scoring charts.

Kane has now scored 29 goals in all competitions for Tottenham, but unless Spurs shock Man City in the League Cup final later this month, will see another season go by at club level without a trophy.

City, Manchester United, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have all been linked with a move for the 27-year-old in recent weeks.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy’s asking price for his prized asset may prove too high in a deflated transfer market due to the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

But Kane refused to rule out a move during the international break and will not want to spend another of his peak years without Champions League football.

Villa too strong for Fulham | 01:30

Fulham not ‘horrible’ enough

A point for Newcastle in their 2-2 draw with Tottenham also had a big impact on the bottom of the table as the Magpies moved three points clear of Fulham.

Scott Parker’s men were well set to move out of the bottom three thanks to Aleksandar Mitrovic’s first Premier League goal since September.

But Fulham collapsed to concede three times in the final 12 minutes at Villa Park and leave their manager bemoaning a lack of experience.

“Sometimes you need to be horrible, play the game in the right territory,” said Parker.

“It’s a young team but we were naive and made silly mistakes. After the first goal, we dropped our intensity and it affected us too much and we weren’t streetwise enough.”

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Erling Haaland and Mino Raiola's upper hand in Man Utd transfer talks after Brighton win

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Manchester United would love Erling Haaland to sign this transfer window.

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