Arsenal staged a thrilling comeback to beat Bournemouth 3-2 and preserve their five-point cushion in the title race, after champions Manchester City turned up the heat earlier on Saturday by beating Newcastle United.
City’s 2-0 win earlier in the day sliced Arsenal’s advantage to two points, and when the leaders trailed 2-0 against relegation-threatened Bournemouth with an hour gone in north London it appeared their hold on top spot was weakening.
But goals from Thomas Partey and substitutes Ben White and Reiss Nelson — Nelson’s arriving in the seventh minute of stoppage time — sparked wild scenes of celebration.
Chelsea eased some of the pressure on manager Graham Potter as a second-half header from France defender Wesley Fofana earned them a nervy 1-0 home win against Leeds United — their first victory since Jan. 15.
Fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur’s top-four ambitions suffered a dent as they went down 1-0 at Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are gradually pulling clear of the relegation zone.
Brighton & Hove Albion, meanwhile, boosted their own hopes of qualifying for Europe as they thrashed struggling West Ham United 4-0 to stay in eighth place but with games on hand of all the teams above them.
Mid-table Aston Villa beat Crystal Palace 1-0.
Arsenal had not won a Premier League game in which they had trailed by at least two goals since 2012, so the omens looked bad for the Gunners as they were rocked by Bournemouth.
The visitors needed only 9.1 seconds to take the lead when Philip Billing scored with a close range finish after an audacious move straight from the kickoff. It was the second-quickest goal in Premier League history behind Shane Long’s 7.69 seconds effort for Southampton against Watford in 2019.
Marcos Senesi rose unmarked to head in a second for his side just before the hour mark, but that provoked a furious Arsenal response with Thomas Partey prodding a shot past Bournemouth keeper Neto within minutes.
Eight minutes after that, White’s volley crossed the line despite Neto’s desperate dive. But Bournemouth appeared to be holding on for a point as the game went deep into stoppage time.
Pandemonium then broke out as the ball fell to Nelson from a corner and he sent a left-foot thunderbolt into the corner of the net to seal an unlikely victory which moved Arsenal to 63 points from 26 games, ahead of City on 58.
“Everybody is overwhelmed a bit. It was madness from the first minute of the game where we defended so poorly and then you have to climb a mountain,” a still-buzzing Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta told reporters.
Unlucky Bournemouth ended the day bottom of the table on goal difference after Southampton beat Leicester City 1-0 in the late game thanks to a Carlos Alcaraz winner.
There was no such drama at Manchester City with back-in-form Phil Foden scoring an early beauty before substitute Bernardo Silva wrapped up the points in the second half.
Foden, who had been sidelined earlier this season with a nagging foot injury, put City ahead in the 15th minute, weaving through four Newcastle defenders before angling a shot that glanced off defender Sven Botman and past keeper Nick Pope.
Newcastle, who have recorded just one win in their last eight league games, had some chances but Silva came off the bench in the 65th minute to score with a sharp finish from an Erling Haaland flick. The goal was City’s 1,000th in the Premier League at home.
“We won the game, we didn’t suffer much at the end — an incredible result for us because it was a tricky game,” City manager Pep Guardiola said.
Chelsea manager Potter may sleep a little easier after a much-needed three points.
“We were a team who had something to lose so it was great character from the players. They cared and showed togetherness in the team. It gives us something to build on,” Potter, whose team remain in 10th position, said.
Tottenham had the chance to move seven points clear of fifth-placed Newcastle in the race for a top-four finish but suffered a second defeat of the week after tumbling out of the FA Cup at Sheffield United.
Adama Traore struck late on to floor Tottenham who were twice denied by the woodwork.
“Maybe we have to have more of the killer instinct to kill the game when you have the possibility to do it,” Tottenham’s stand-in manager Cristian Stellini said.
Brennan Johnson scored twice for Nottingham Forest to salvage a point against an Everton side whose display was “a great building block” in their Premier League survival bid, according to Sean Dyche.
The visitors had led twice but missed the chance to move out of the Premier League relegation zone.
Everton, who have won two of six games since Dyche was appointed manager in January, remain in the bottom three on goal difference behind Leeds United.
In an electrifying contest, Demarai Gray put Everton ahead from the penalty spot following Jonjo Shelvey’s trip on Dwight McNeil.
But Forest were soon level. Toffees keeper Jordan Pickford parried out Morgan Gibbs-White’s shot and Johnson coolly slotted in at the near post.
Abdoulaye Doucoure restored Everton’s lead by nodding in from close range before half-time, but Johnson’s delightful curler into the top corner with 13 minutes remaining earned a point for the hosts.
Liverpool delivered the complete performance and Mohamed Salah became the club’s record Premier League goalscorer as Manchester United were overwhelmed at a joyous Anfield.
United’s renaissance under manager Erik ten Hag already has the tangible reward of the Carabao Cup but Liverpool unleashed a brutal reality check on their progress with a severe thrashing.
Liverpool took control of what had been a tight game, with Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford missing presentable chances, when former Old Trafford target Cody Gakpo applied a smooth finish to Andy Robertson’s perfect pass two minutes before the break.
The second half was a tale of sheer joy for Liverpool and unrelenting misery for United, starting after 47 minutes when Darwin Nunez’s header diverted Harvey Elliott’s driven cross past goalkeeper David de Gea.
Salah bamboozled Lisandro Martinez to play in Gakpo for another classy finish three minutes later before the Egyptian resumed his long-time role of United tormentor by getting on the scoresheet himself.
Salah ended a swift counter-attack by lashing a finish high past De Gea and the rout continued as Nunez flashed another header in from Jordan Henderson’s cross.
Salah then scrambled in the sixth to become Liverpool’s highest Premier League goalscorer with 129, passing Robbie Fowler. He is also Liverpool’s highest marksman against Manchester United with 12 – and 10 of those have come in his past five encounters.
And in a fitting finish, Roberto Firmino – who has announced he is leaving Anfield at the end of the season – completed a remarkable game by making it 7-0 from close range.
This is the biggest win in the history of the fixture, passing Liverpool’s 7-1 victory in the 1895-96 Second Division.
Liverpool are now an ominous presence in the chase for the Champions League places, standing only three points behind Tottenham with a game in hand.
Brentford fuelled their ambition of playing European football with a 3-2 home victory over fellow hopefuls Fulham to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 12 games on Monday.
Ivan Toney’s second-half penalty and a late effort by Mathias Jensen sealed the points for ninth-placed Brentford against their west London rivals to edge them closer to the European qualification places.
Toney, who is facing FA charges and a possible ban after alleged breaches of gambling rules, coolly slotted his kick past Fulham keeper Bernd Leno in the 53rd minute after a clumsy foul by Issa Diop on Christian Norgaard.
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Jensen then tapped in from a tight angle after a superb run and cut back by Kevin Schade in the 85th minute to kill of a below-par Fulham whose four-game unbeaten run came to an end.
Brentford had taken an early lead with a deflected shot by Ethan Pinnock but Fulham hit back shortly before halftime when Manor Solomon scored for the fourth successive league match.
Fulham’s Carlos Vinicius did grab a stoppage-time consolation with almost the last kick but Thomas Frank’s Brentford side are now unbeaten in the Premier League since October and have 38 points from 24 games, one point behind seventh-placed Fulham and four behind fifth-placed Liverpool.