Arsenal regained top spot in the Premier League in emphatic fashion and Marcus Rashford boosted his World Cup prospects as Manchester United beat West Ham on Sunday.
It came at the end of an action-packed weekend which also saw Tottenham Hotspur snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, Brighton burst Chelsea’s bubble and Liverpool slip up again. Here are five talking points.
Arsenal back on top
Arsenal passed the latest test of their title-challenging credentials by responding to successive setbacks with a thumping 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
Mikel Arteta’s side dropped points last weekend at Southampton and then slipped to defeat in Europe in midweek but bounced back in style against the league’s bottom club.
It saw them reclaim top spot in the table from Manchester City, who beat Leicester on Saturday, and go two points clear with two games to go until the World Cup break.
Reiss Nelson was the surprise star, scoring twice and setting up another for Thomas Partey after coming on for the injured Bukayo Saka.
Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard also netted as Arsenal maintained their 100 per cent home record this season.
Saka’s first-half withdrawal raised fears for his World Cup, but Arteta played down concerns over the England winger’s fitness afterwards.
One man who enhanced his England chances on Sunday was Rashford, who capped a purposeful display with a goal in United’s 1-0 win over West Ham United.
The forward brought up his 100th goal for the club with a powerful header from Christian Eriksen’s cross and kept visiting goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski busy all afternoon.
Gareth Southgate left Rashford out of his last England squad but he remains a compelling option, especially on this form.
United, meanwhile, rode their luck but are up to fifth, unbeaten in eight games and have kept clean sheets in five of their last six.
Spurs in vital rally
After back-to-back Premier League defeats and midweek European disappointment, Tottenham Hotspur needed a boost from their trip to Bournemouth on Saturday.
It looked to be delivering anything but after 49 minutes, when a much-changed Spurs side found themselves two goals behind to the south coast strugglers.
But Antonio Conte’s men rallied and drew level with strikes from Ryan Sessegnon and Ben Davies, before Rodrigo Bentancur nicked a winner in injury-time.
It might not have been a performance to dispel doubts about their recent downturn in form, but a first win in four games was valuable nonetheless.
Bentancur’s third goal of the season kept Spurs in touch with second-placed Manchester City and two points in front of in-form Newcastle, who sit fourth.
Potter’s bounce petering out
The honeymoon is well and truly over for Graham Potter after a chastening afternoon for the Chelsea manager back at old club Brighton and Hove Albion.
If the boos from the Albion faithful stung then the manner of the 4-1 defeat by his former charges would have hurt even more.
Chelsea were not just beaten but comprehensively dismantled by a team that had scored just once in their previous four fixtures.
Coming on the back of Premier League draws against Manchester United and Brentford, it raises questions about whether Potter’s bounce has run its course.
With leaders Arsenal and top-four rivals Newcastle in their next two top flight games, the Blues could do with rediscovering momentum.
No respite for Reds
For evidence that the old maxim about there being no easy games in the Premier League still holds water, look no further than Liverpool.
A Leeds United team with just two points from their previous eight matches looked like easy pickings for a Reds side eyeing a fifth win in six outings.
Instead Jurgen Klopp’s team confounded yet again, capitulating to a late goal that left them closer in points terms to the bottom of the table than the top four.
Liverpool have slogged their guts out to go toe to toe with City over the last five years. Despite there being just one point between the clubs in that time, they have just one league title to show for it.
So perhaps it is understandable if they simply cannot get up for another exhausting but doomed pursuit of Pep Guardiola’s blue machine.