Arsenal eased the pressure on manager Mikel Arteta with a 3-1 win over Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium to bring their winless Premier League run to an end.
Alexandre Lacazette converted a penalty before Granit Xhaka’s superb free-kick doubled Arsenal’s lead just ahead of the break.
Chelsea, looking to stay hot on the heels of the chasing pack, were caught out again after 56 minutes when Bukayo Saka clipped home a third.
Mohamed Elneny drilled a fierce effort against the crossbar, before Chelsea pulled a goal back after 85 minutes through Tammy Abraham, who was ruled onside by VAR after initially being flagged offside.
Gunners keeper Bernd Leno produced a fine save from Jorginho’s penalty in stoppage time as Arsenal closed out a first league win since beating Manchester United away at the start of November.
Before kick-off, the Gunners announced defender Gabriel was set to miss the next three matches due to self-isolation after being flagged as a close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19.
Brazilian duo David Luiz and Willian were said to be “unwell”, but both recently returned negative tests.
Earlier, Leicester had fought back to draw 2-2 with Manchester United.
Marcus Rashford put United ahead when he scored from a Bruno Fernandes pass after 23 minutes.
Harvey Barnes pulled the Foxes level in the 30th minute as he drilled a 20-yard effort past David De Gea.
In the 79th minute, Fernandes looked to have given United what would have been a record-equalling 11th consecutive away Premier League win after being played in by substitute Edinson Cavani.
Leicester, though, secured a share of the points with five minutes left when United defender Axel Tuanzebe diverted Jamie Vardy’s close-range effort into the net.
Aston Villa overcame the dismissal of defender Tyrone Mings just before half-time to beat Crystal Palace 3-0 and sit sixth.
Bertrand Traore gave Villa an early lead when he turned home a rebound after Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita had saved Ollie Watkins’ shot from the edge of the area.
Traore saw his angled effort come back off a post before referee Anthony Taylor then consulted the pitchside monitor following a VAR check on a potential Crystal Palace penalty but decided not to overturn his original decision and play continued.
Villa were reduced to 10 men just before half-time when England international Mings was shown a second yellow card for blocking Wilfried Zaha’s run.
Palace had been looking to respond from their 7-0 home defeat by champions Liverpool last weekend but fell further behind after 66 minutes.
Anwar El Ghazi’s free-kick was headed against the bar by Watkins and Kortney Hause nodded the ball over the line despite the efforts of Guaita.
El Ghazi then added a third with 14 minutes left following a swift counter-attack, with Watkins denied a late fourth as his shot hit a post.
Everton won 1-0 at bottom club Sheffield United with a late goal from Gylfi Sigurdsson to climb back up to second.
The Toffees created an opening midway through the first half when Michael Keane sent a pass up to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who collected the ball on his chest before drilling a volley just wide.
Sheffield United defender John Egan headed over from a corner during during the second half.
Everton, though, made sure the Blades would again finish empty-handed as Sigurdsson drove the ball in with 10 minutes left.
In Saturday’s other late kick-off, Manchester City beat Newcastle 2-0 to move up to fifth and extend their unbeaten run to six league games.
City broke the deadlock in the 14th minute when Raheem Sterling weaved into the right side of the penalty box and cut the ball back for Ilkay Gundogan to drill home from six yards.
Kevin De Bruyne missed the chance to double City’s lead when he was played through by Ferran Torres, but Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow came out to make a fine block.
City did make it 2-0 in the 55th minute when Torres converted a deflected cross from Joao Cancelo.
Bernardo Silva nearly added a third as his effort came back off the post before substitute Sergio Aguero’s first-time strike was saved late on.
Southampton saw a late goal from Theo Walcott ruled out by VAR for offside in the build-up as they drew 0-0 at relegation-battlers Fulham.
Saints went close in the first half when James Ward-Prowse’s 25-yard free-kick crashed against the crossbar, with the rebound spinning away from Che Adams as he tried to knock the ball in.
In the second half, Shane Long, leading the attack in place of injured Danny Ings, had a goal chalked out for offside.
With five minutes left, Walcott looked to have secured a late winner – only for VAR to intervene again as Adams was ruled marginally offside in the build-up.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe