Arsenal ended champions Manchester City’s short stay at the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 win at Chelsea on Sunday that reinforced their credentials as genuine title challengers.
A second-half goal by Brazilian defender Gabriel earned Mikel Arteta’s side their 11th win in 13 league games and they have now beaten Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Newcastle United moved into third place with a 4-1 victory at Southampton taking them above Tottenham who lost 2-1 at home to Liverpool, for whom Mohamed Salah scored twice.
Unai Emery marked his return to English management as his Aston Villa side ended Manchester United’s nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions with a 3-1 victory.
While Villa moved into a relatively comfortable 13th place, West Ham United are getting sucked down towards the relegation places after losing 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace.
Manchester City’s last-gasp win at home to Fulham on Saturday, courtesy of an Erling Haaland penalty, sent Pep Guardiola’s side top with 32 points from 13 games.
A visit to Chelsea looked like a stumbling block for Arsenal, in spite of Chelsea’s poor form, but they eased to a victory that means Graham Potter’s Blues have now gone four games without a league win and sit down in seventh.
Gabriel’s 63rd minute toe-poke by Gabriel was enough to lift Arsenal to 34 points from 13 games.
“It’s another step forward,” Arteta said. “To prove ourselves that we can do it, that we can play at that level against these sorts of players and teams.
“I think we are a really young team but today we played like a mature team.”
While Arsenal are flying as the World Cup shutdown looms, Potter’s honeymoon at Stamford Bridge is well and truly over.
“We’re not in a fantastic moment as we speak and in the end Arsenal deserved to win because they were the better team overall,” Potter said.
“We have to take that and use it as motivation to improve.”
LIVERPOOL GET FIRST AWAY WIN
Liverpool, after back-to-back league defeats by Nottingham Forest and Leeds United, needed a response at Tottenham and thanks to Salah’s brace they got it.
Salah opened the scoring after 11 minutes and then made it 2-0 shortly before halftime after intercepting a weak back header by Eric Dier and dinking a finish over Hugo Lloris. Tottenham, as they have done consistently this season, played much better in the second half with Harry Kane replying.
But despite constant pressure they could not equalise as Liverpool held on for their first away league win of the season.
Tottenham are in fourth place with 26 points from 14 games while Liverpool rose to eighth with 19 points.
Newcastle fans are starting to dream of Champions League qualification after piling the pressure on Southampton manager Ralph Hassenhuettl whose side are in 18th place.
Miguel Almiron bagged his seventh goal in as many games while substitute Chris Wood and Joe Willock all but sealed a fourth straight win for Newcastle after the break.
Bruno Guimaraes added a late flourish after Romain Perraud’s consolation goal for the hosts.
Emery’s brief spell in charge of Arsenal ended in disappointment but he made the perfect start at Villa who enjoyed a first home win against United since 1995.
Leon Bailey and Lucas Digne put Villa two ahead inside 15 minutes but United hit back on the cusp of halftime when Luke Shaw’s strike deflected in off Jacob Ramsey.
Ramsey restored Villa’s two-goal lead four minutes into the second half and the hosts deservedly took the points.
“I believe in these players, and I know they have been underperforming,” Emery said. “I think we made the first step today.”
Michael Olise scored a 94th-minute goal to seal Palace’s victory at West Ham.
Said Benrahma had put West Ham ahead in the 20th minute with a thunderous strike from outside the box, but the home side faded and an error by Thilo Kehrer allowed Wilfried Zaha to equalise shortly before halftime.