Inspired by a tremendous performance again by Luis Suarez, produced an electrifying performance at Anfield, Liverpool beat 3-1 to move top of the Premier League.
Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam scored their first Liverpool goals and with Downing and Suarez in terrific form, Kenny Dalglish has his Liverpool side is looking very much like Champions League contenders.
At Stamford Bridge, Didier Drogba was carried off with a head injury before Juan Mata marked his Chelsea debut with a late goal in a 3-1 win against Norwich City.
Drogba collided with Canaries goalkeeper John Ruddy while jumping for a cross midway through the second half at Stamford Bridge. The incident, which led to 11 minutes of added time, came shortly after Norwich equalised when Grant Holt capitalised on a mistake from Hilário.
José Bosingwa gave Chelsea an early lead, but it wasn’t until Norwich goalkeeper was sent-off in the 82 minute from bringing down Ramires and Lampard scored from the resulting penalty that Chelsea finally won the match.
Former Chelsea forward Franco Di Santo, scored both goals in a 2-0 home victory for Wigan against QPR, whose new signing Joey Barton watched from the stands.
Blackburn Rovers problems continued as both David Hoilett and Mauro Formica missed penalty kicks as they lost 1-0 to Everton. Rovers are bottom of the Premier League, a position they look like they will occupy for the rest of the season.
Aston Villa against Wolves and Swansea versus Sunderland both ended as goalless draws.