The Premier League title race took another twist on Saturday as Arsenal climbed back to the top of the standings with a 4-2 win at Aston Villa while champions Manchester City slipped up by only drawing at Nottingham Forest.
City’s win at Arsenal on Wednesday sent them top on goal difference but it was to be a short-lived rise as, despite dominating at Forest, they conceded a late equaliser to draw 1-1.
Pep Guardiola’s side now trail Arsenal by two points having also played one game more.
Newcastle United’s 17-match unbeaten league run came to an end as they lost 2-0 at home to Liverpool, with Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo scoring early for the visitors while keeper Nick Pope was sent off after 22 minutes for Newcastle.
The pressure continues to mount on Chelsea manager Graham Potter as his side lost 1-0 at home to bottom side Southampton.
Everton and Bournemouth also claimed valuable victories in their quest for survival in a tight relegation scrap.
Arsenal reinvigorated their push for a first Premier League title in two decades with two stoppage-time goals giving them a thrilling win at Villa Park.
With a high-quality attacking game going into added time at 2-2, Arsenal midfielder Jorginho saw a looping shot come off the bar and bounce off the head of Villa’s Argentina World Cup-winning goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez for a cruel own goal.
Minutes later, with the final whistle about to go and Villa piling forward – Martinez included – Arsenal broke forward again for Gabriel Martinelli to stroke into an empty net for the Londoners’ fourth in front of their delirious fans.
It was Arsenal’s first win in four Premier League games.
“If you want to be at the top, you are going to have to win games in many different ways,” coach Mikel Arteta said.
“Credit to the boys. The dressing room was absolutely bouncing. It was a big effort to play less than 72 hours ago after the (City) game that we had, and after the result that we had which obviously morally was touching.”
Later on Saturday, City looked set to reclaim top spot against the team they had beaten 6-0 in the reverse fixture when Bernardo Silva gave them a halftime lead.
They should have doubled their advantage midway through the second half but the usually lethal Erling Haaland hit the crossbar from close range before blazing the rebound over.
That miss proved pivotal as, out of nowhere, Forest’s January signing Chris Wood tapped home at the far post to level six minutes from time.
“We had amazing chances but it’s football. We have to score. We did everything. You have to do it. There were too many clear [chances] to score,” coach Pep Guardiola told the BBC.
A trademark James Ward-Prowse free kick earned managerless Southampton a precious three points at Chelsea in a scrappy 1-0 win to pile more pressure on manager Potter.
Chelsea had 17 attempts at goal, five on target, their highest shot tally without scoring at home in the Premier League since May 2021.
Despite spending nearly 300 million pounds ($360 million) in the January transfer window, Chelsea are languishing in 10th place on 31 points from 23 games and are 10 points adrift of the top four.
“Some people will think I’m the problem. I don’t think they’re right but that doesn’t mean they can’t articulate their views,” Potter, whose side have one only once in their last eight league games, said.
Newcastle had only lost once in the league all season prior to Saturday, that against Liverpool in August, but Klopp’s side returned to haunt Eddie Howe’s side.
Nunez fired in after 10 minutes from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s long pass and Gakpo then made it 2-0 from Mohamed Salah’s pass seven minutes later.
Pope was sent off shortly after for deliberately handling the ball outside his area.
Improving Liverpool are now in eighth place but only six points behind fourth-placed Newcastle with a game in hand.
Everton defender Seamus Coleman’s goal from the tightest of angles secured a 1-0 victory over fellow strugglers Leeds United at Goodison Park and moved them out of the relegation zone.
Bournemouth also moved out of the bottom three to sit level on 21 points with Everton thanks to a second-half strike from Marcus Tavernier to seal a 1-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The south-coast club jumped from 19th to 17th, a point above the drop zone, after their first win since the World Cup break.
Elsewhere, Fulham continued their fine season with a 1-0 win at Brighton & Hove Albion moving them up to sixth, while Brentford and Crystal Palace drew 1-1.
Marcus Rashford scored twice to continue his hot streak and help Manchester United overcome Leicester in the Premier League.
Rashford is in the form of his career and is leading United’s resurgence, taking his tally to 24 goals for the season with strikes in each half at Old Trafford.
Both efforts were clinical finishes, latching on to passes from Bruno Fernandes and Fred before bearing down on goal and coolly slotting past Danny Ward.
Substitute Jadon Sancho finished off a fine team move to seal all three points for Erik ten Hag’s side, but it could have been a very different story.
Leicester created the better chances when it was goalless and their failure to find a way past David de Gea proved costly.
The Spaniard made a stunning reflex save to deny Harvey Barnes from close range and kept out Kelechi Iheanacho’s diving header with another superb stop.
Defeat ended Leicester’s three-game unbeaten run and an inconsistent season sees them remain in 14th place in the table.
West Ham boss David Moyes wants to see which of his players are “up for the fight” after the Hammers ended the weekend in the Premier League relegation zone following defeat at Tottenham, who themselves moved into the top four.
The Spurs wing-backs linked up for the first goal of the game, with Ben Davies releasing Emerson Royal to shoot into the bottom corner.
West Ham had an immediate chance to equalise but Jarrod Bowen’s powerful effort, after he outpaced Cristian Romero, was well saved by home goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
Spurs substitute Son Heung-min scored four minutes after coming on when he raced onto Harry Kane’s through ball and slotted a finish past Lukasz Fabianski.
The Hammers would have moved above both Bournemouth and Everton with a draw, but instead remain 18th after a first defeat in five matches in all competitions.
“We’ve only got ourselves to blame for it, and overall the players did a lot of good things as well,” Moyes told Match of the Day.
“We’ve been here before so I’m sure we can do it again, but I’m looking forward to the players who are joining me in the fight because that is going to be noticeable in the weeks to come. They’re all for it.”
Speaking to Sky Sports, he added: “There are bits of it I want to build on and hope that we take it in. The players have been challenged, now let’s see who’s up for the fight.”