Manchester United have time to get back into top four - Jesse Lingard

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"We didn't get much rest obviously in the summer after the World Cup, so coming back there's always going to be little niggles here and there", the England global said.

Ozil has not played in almost a month after being benched against Bournemouth and then missing the last three games with a recurrence of back spasms. Dalot impressed on his first Premier League start in the 2-2 draw with Arsenal and is hopeful of keeping his place against Fulham on Saturday. "I am happy with the soul and heart, but we are not consistent and uniform".

"I think the biggest decision he has made this year is Ozil", he said on BT Sport. "For me, it is very good". "It is not the best, but it is not the worst", he said.

"There is a lot more work to do, but we're in a good way".

Liverpool moved back to within two points of City, the defending champions, and the top two remain unbeaten after 15 of 38 games.

"Laurent is very close to playing", he said. We are thinking he will start with us soon.

"Maybe I've won, maybe I lost, but I need to win on Saturday. We are thinking the Europa League against Qarabag is a possibility [next Thursday]".

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While there were signs of promise for the much-changed hosts, the result represented a fourth straight winless Premier League match for under-performing United.

Italian Ranieri takes his side, now bottom of the Premier League, to United on Saturday and said he is looking forward to renewing his friendship with the man who replaced him as Chelsea manager in 2004.

"Every time mistakes happen, but it is good we stayed together and fought together".

Further, last night saw Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo stride forward from the back with far more objective than United's defenders usually do in a four-man backline.

There was a suggestion Ander Herrera was offside in the build-up to United's first goal, while there were some appeals for Rojo to be sent off for a challenge on Matteo Guendouzi, but Emery refused to blame the officials for costing his side a win. "I know maybe he was offside, but it was very hard".

With the game suddenly having come to life, Arsenal wasted two chances to take the lead for the third time, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang shooting straight at De Gea from point-blank range before Mkhitaryan missed with a near-post touch.

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