Liverpool produced one of the best opening 20 minutes I am have ever seen to blow away Arsenal at Anfield on Saturday and give their own title hopes a shot in the arm.
Brendan Rodgers’ side scored four goals before Arsenal knew what had hit them. Liverpool attacked Arsenal from the opening whistle and were two up inside ten minutes thanks to two goals from defender Martin Skrtel, the first after just 52 seconds.
England strikers Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge made it 4-0 with less than a quarter of the match played and Arsenal were lucky that was all they were down as Liverpool could easily have scored five or six in that opening period.
Arsenal’s thrashing gave Chelsea and Manchester City a chance to leapfrog the Gunners in the table and Chelsea did just that beating Newcastle 3-0 thanks to an Eden Hazard hat-trick. It’s been a good week for Jose Mourinho’s side as he has seen them pick up five points on Man City in the last week.
That is because City were unable to capitalize on Arsenal’s drubbing as they could only draw 0-0 at Norwich City. A week ago City were being touted as the best scoring side in Premier League history, but one point from six and more important, no goals, has Manuel Pellegrini’s side looking up to Chelsea.
Elsewhere, Swansea City overwhelmed local rivals Cardiff City 3-0 in the south wales derby to begin life without Michael Laudrup in memorable style.
Laudrup was sacked as manager on Tuesday and replaced by former captain Garry Monk, who saw Wayne Routledge, Nathan Dyer and Wilfried Bony plunder second-half goals that left Cardiff rooted in the bottom three.
West Ham United leapt out of the relegation zone after captain Kevin Nolan took his tally of goals to four in two games with a brace in a 2-0 success at Aston Villa.
West Bromwich Albion slid into the space vacated by West Ham after going down 3-1 at Crystal Palace.
January signings Tom Ince and Joe Ledley marked their Palace debuts with goals, only for West Brom debutant Thievy Bifouma to hit back, but Marouane Chamakh sealed victory with a penalty mid-way through the second half.
Sunderland had Wes Brown sent off after three minutes in a 2-0 loss at home to Hull City that saw them fall to within one place of the drop zone, while Stoke City twice came from behind to force a 2-2 draw at Southampton.