Liverpool find mojo in big win
The Premier League title race looks to be a straight fight between Liverpool and Manchester City after the top two collected contrasting home wins and third- place Tottenham lost at Chelsea for a second defeat in five days.
Liverpool stayed in first place thanks to a 5-0 win over Watford, with Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk scoring two goals each. Divock Origi chipped in with his second of the season in a win built on brilliant performances by Liverpool's defenders.
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Right back Trent Alexander-Arnold set up three goals, including the opening two for Mane, and left back Andrew Robertson the other two.
Questions were being asked about Liverpool's credentials after four draws in their last five matches in all competitions, but this performance signalled a return to the verve and inventiveness which Juergen Klopp's team needed to rediscover.
City needed a second-half penalty from Sergio Aguero at Etihad Stadium to sneak past West Ham 1-0 and stay a point back as the exertions of winning the English League Cup after extra time at the weekend perhaps took their toll. Substitute Bernardo Silva earned the penalty that Aguero tucked away for his league-leading 18th goal of the season.
Tottenham's title bid disintegrated at Stamford Bridge against a Chelsea side that didn't contain the world's most expensive goalkeeper.
Kepa Arrizabalaga was dropped to the bench as punishment for refusing to be substituted in the Blues' League Cup final loss to Manchester City. Replacement goalkeeper Willy Caballero did't make a save as Maurizio Sarri's side cruised on a calamitous night for Mauricio Pochettino's men at Stamford Bridge.
Pedro Rodriguez poked the ball through goalkeeper Hugo Lloris' legs in the 57th minute, before Chelsea were gifted a second in the 84th when Kieran Trippier sent the ball past Lloris with a shoddy back pass.
After Spurs lost at Burnley on Saturday, the team is now nine points off the lead and only four ahead of Arsenal who thrashed Bournemouth 5-1 to strengthen its grip on fourth place.
The Gunners had five different scorers on the night, with Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Laurent Koscielny, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette all finding the net.
Manchester United is a point adrift of Arsenal in fifth after beating Crystal Palace 3-1 away, with Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku scoring twice. Palace right back Joel Ward pulled one back midway through the second half before Ashley Young drilled in an unstoppable low shot in the closing stages to seal United's victory.
Southampton climbed out of the relegation zone by beating second-bottom Fulham 2-0 thanks to first-half goals from Oriel Romeu and James Ward-Prowse.
PREMIER LEAGUE RESULTS
Arsenal 5, Bournemouth 1= Arsenal: Mesut Ozil (4), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (27), Laurent Koscielny (47), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (59), Alexandre Lacazette (78).
Bournemouth: Lys Mousset (30). Halftime: 2-1.
Southampton 2, Fulham 0= Southampton: Oriol Romeu (23), James Ward-Prowse (41).
Chelsea 2, Tottenham 0= Chelsea: Pedro (57), Kieran Trippier (84, og.).
Man City 1, West Ham 0= Man City: Sergio Aguero (59, pen.).
Crystal Palace 1, Man United 3= Crystal Palace: Joel Ward (66).
Man United: Romelu Lukaku (33, 52), Ashley Young (83).
Liverpool 5, Watford 0= Liverpool: Sadio Mane (9, 20), Divock Origi (66), Virgil van Dijk (79, 82). Halftime: 2-0.