Manchester City have struck three times in the second half to reclaim top spot in the Premier League with an ultimately convincing 3-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion.
The scoreline did not tell the full story of a nervy contest at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night in which the champions were frustrated by Graham Potter’s resolute side before the break.
It took deflected strikes from Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden for them to break through and the sense of relief that swept around the ground after an anxious opening period was tangible.
Bernardo Silva settled any nerves completely with a fine third goal for the hosts eight minutes from time.
Liverpool’s hammering of Manchester United on Tuesday had put the pressure back on City in a thrilling title race and Pep Guardiola’s side responded to go one point clear again with six games remaining.
At Stamford Bridge, Bukayo Saka banished his Euro 2020 final penalty shoot-out ghosts by converting a spot kick as Arsenal toppled Chelsea 4-2 to reignite their bid for a top-four finish.
The England forward slotted home his first ever penalty for Arsenal to seal the Gunners’ vital win over the Blues, that drew Mikel Arteta’s men level with fourth-placed Tottenham.
Eddie Nketiah had twice seized upon poor defending to drive Arsenal into a 3-2 lead before Saka’s strike.
Nketiah capitalised on Andreas Christensen’s woefully under-hit back-pass for his first Arsenal goal in 367 days, to open the scoring in west London.
The 22-year-old forward later settled a scrappy contest when three attempted Chelsea clearances landed the ball straight into his path and through on goal.
Timo Werner’s deflected effort had Chelsea level quickly after Nketiah’s first goal, with captain Azpilicueta then cancelling out a fine finish from Emile Smith Rowe before halftime.
On Merseyside, Richarlison grabbed a crucial added-time equaliser against Leicester City to give Everton a much-needed boost in their battle to avoid relegation.
Harvey Barnes opened the scoring in the fifth minute but the Brazil international forced home a shot to make it 1-1 in the 92nd and extended the gap over 18th-placed Burnley to four points.
And Miguel Almiron’s stunning strike handed Newcastle a sixth successive home league win for the first time since 2004.
Almiron’s 32nd-minute goal, his first for the club since February 2020, was enough to claim a 1-0 win over beaten FA Cup semi-finalists Crystal Palace and lift the Magpies into 11th place, 15 points clear of the relegation zone.