Liverpool moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 4-0 demolition of Bournemouth that extended their unbeaten league run to 14 games on Sunday.
The visitors were frustrated in a cagey first half of few goal-scoring chances but found a higher gear after the break with Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota both scoring twice.
Nunez made it 1-0 in the 49th minute after a slick passing move carved up Bournemouth’s defence and the influential Jota put the game out of reach of the hosts with two clinical finishes in the 70th and 79th minutes.
Uruguayan Nunez put the seal on a dominant Liverpool display with his second goal in stoppage time.
Liverpool have 48 points from 21 games with champions Manchester City, Arsenal and Aston Villa on 43 points. City do have a game in hand of Juergen Klopp’s side.
Bournemouth are in 12th place with 25 points.
Klopp admitted he was not happy with what he witnessed in the first half but was delighted that even without absent leading scorer Mohamed Salah his side showed they have plenty of firepower.
Arsenal reignited their Premier League title challenge by thrashing struggling Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners’ fight at the top had faltered towards the end of last year as they lost three of their past five Premier League games.
But, after heading off to Dubai for a week-long winter break, Mikel Arteta’s side returned reinvigorated as a Gabriel header, Dean Henderson own goal, Leandro Trossard finish and two late Gabriel Martinelli strikes sealed the three points.
The first two goals came from corners, with the opener coming in the 11th minute when Gabriel nodded in before the defender’s header from another set-piece struck Crystal Palace goalkeeper Henderson to deflect into the back of the net.
The visitors offered little in response. Instead Arsenal added to their lead in the second half when Trossard was sent one-on-one with the goalkeeper and kept his cool to finish confidently.
With Palace already well beaten, Martinelli added further sheen to the win with two goals in injury time, both swept into the far corner.
Ivan Toney marked his return from an eight-month ban for breaking gambling rules by scoring with his first shot as Brentford registered a controversial victory in a five-goal thriller with Nottingham Forest.
It was Toney’s first goal in 266 days since he scored the equaliser against Forest in the corresponding fixture last season on 29 April.
After running to the bench to celebrate his goal, Toney raised a shirt proclaiming ‘For You Uncle Brian’, which is believed to be in honour of a family member.
The visitors were furious with the goal, believing Brentford had been allowed to move the ball into a more advantageous position that allowed Toney to curl a low free-kick beyond Forest keeper Matt Turner.
Yet by the end, Forest had even more reason to rage.
Unusually, replays of Neal Maupay’s winner were shown on the big screen on top of the stand opposite the dug-outs at the Gtech Community Stadium. Manager Nuno Espirito Santo evidently felt the ball had hit Maupay’s hand, his assistant Rui Pedro Silva was even more sure and after the VAR decision had gone against Forest, the pair let fourth official Thomas Bramall know in no uncertain manner.
Silva was booked by referee Darren England as Nuno pointed skywards towards the screen.
The chaotic manner of victory was in keeping with a switchback contest the visitors had initially led through Danilo’s fabulous control and shot from the edge of the area after just three minutes.
Toney’s goal ensured Brentford were level at the break, with Ben Mee putting the hosts ahead when he rose to head home Mathias Jensen’s near-post corner 13 minutes into the second period.
It’s good to be back and scoring goals – Toney
Chris Wood flicked home Forest’s equaliser but parity only lasted three minutes before Maupay controlled and spun inside the area before applying the excellent finish.
It ended a run of one win in eight points for Brentford, who climbed above their opponents into 14th spot.
Defeat ended a four-match unbeaten run for Forest and left them four points above the relegation zone at the end of a week that began with them being charged for breaking the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules.
That ruling leaves them sweating on a points deduction when the hearing is due to be heard at the beginning of April.
Sheffield United’s Oli McBurnie scored the latest goal in the Premier League, dispatching a 103rd-minute penalty to rescue a point for Sheffield United against West Ham.
Sheffield United were awarded the spot-kick in the 98th minute when Hammers keeper Alphonse Areola took out McBurnie.
And having been made to wait to take it, the forward smashed his effort beyond substitute stopper Lukasz Fabianski with Areola forced to leave the pitch after receiving treatment.
West Ham had been cruising towards a 2-1 victory after James Ward-Prowse’s successful penalty in the 79th minute.
Maxwel Cornet had given the Hammers a first-half lead with his first goal for the club before Ben Brereton Diaz equalised on the stroke of half-time on his Premier League debut.
In second-half injury time, the match intensified with two red cards and two penalty shouts.
Sheffield United substitute Rhian Brewster was sent off after video assistant referee intervention (VAR) for a high, late tackle on Emerson.
And Vladimir Coufal was given a yellow card for demanding Brewster’s sending off, before receiving a second booking minutes later for a cynical trip.
The drama continued even after the Blades’ late equaliser, with the Hammers wanting a late penalty of their own after Jarrod Bowen went down in the area.
Brighton and Wolves cancelled each other out in a goalless Premier League affair at Amex Stadium.