Liverpool turned in a stunning display to rout old foes Manchester United 7-0 during another frantic weekend of Premier League football.
However, Arsenal remain five points clear of Manchester City – 2-0 winners over Newcastle – at the top of the table as a result of their remarkable fightback against Bournemouth.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at what we learned from the latest round of top-flight fixtures.
Carabao Cup winners Manchester United headed for Anfield having lost only once in 22 games in all competitions and with high hopes of reducing the gap to arch-rivals Manchester City to six points in the fight for second place. But if United’s recovery under Erik Ten Hag was one of the talking points in the build-up to Sunday afternoon, it was a resurgent Liverpool, thanks to doubles from Cody Gakpo, Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah and a late strike from substitute Roberto Firmino, who muscled their way to an eye-catching victory which lifted them above Newcastle into fifth.
To the manner Bourn
It is a measure of champions that they are able to win games in which they are not at their best. Arsenal are developing just that capacity. Trailing 2-0 at home to Bournemouth on Saturday, they refused to throw in the towel and having dragged themselves back into it through Thomas Partey and Ben White, snatched victory in the seventh minute of stoppage time through substitute Reiss Nelson to maintain their five-point advantage over City at the top of the table.
Newcastle need to rediscover their cutting edge if a season which has oozed promise is not to fizzle out. Having lost only two of their first 22 matches in all competitions, they have suffered successive 2-0 defeats by Liverpool and the two Manchester clubs and more worryingly, have scored only three goals in their last seven league games to slip from third place to sixth. They lost 2-0 at City on Saturday despite giving as good as they got for long periods with Callum Wilson, who has found the back of the net only once in 14 outings, and Joelinton both passing up glorious opportunities to level at 1-0.
If the Magpies have threatened to upset the established order this season, Brighton have also quietly eased themselves into European contention. They have lost only two of their last nine league games – one of them to the Gunners – and won five, and Saturday’s 4-0 demolition of hapless West Ham suggested they could yet have a say in the allocation of places for continental action next season.
The truism that football matches are decided by fine margins has rarely been illustrated more graphically than it was at St Mary’s Stadium this weekend. Ultimately, Southampton dragged themselves from the foot of the table with a 1-0 victory over Leicester, but only after James Ward-Prowse had seen his penalty saved by Danny Ward and Kelechi Iheanacho had passed up three glorious opportunities to score. In addition, match winner Carlos Alcaraz might have seen red rather than yellow for a poor challenge on Timothy Castagne before he struck and Harry Souttar was denied a last-gasp equaliser by the crossbar. Fine margins indeed.
Published: by Radio NewsHub