Chelsea’s new signing Gonzalo Higuain netted his first two Premier League goals in Chelsea’s 5-0 thrashing of Huddersfield Town while Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min struck late for a 1-0 win over Newcastle United as they moved into second place.
At Cardiff, there were a series of tributes to the club’s missing striker Emiliano Sala by players and supporters in the 2-0 win over Bournemouth.
Wolverhampton Wanderers won 3-1 at Everton on a day when most of the top teams did not play, while at the bottom Fulham lost 2-0 at Crystal Palace, Burnley drew 1-1 with Southampton and Brighton & Hove Albion and Watford was goalless.
Goals were never an issue at Chelsea where their new loan signing wasted little time in introducing supporters — and reminding coach Maurizio Sarri — of his potency.
First Higuain made space in the area to fire home from a tight angle after 16 minutes and then produced a shot that deflected past the keeper in the 69th.
With Eden Hazard also scoring twice, and David Luiz adding the fifth, Chelsea gave the prefect response to their 4-0 midweek drubbing at Bournemouth, which had piled pressure on Sarri.
“Apart from the goals (Higuain scored), he is really very suitable to play very close to Eden,” said Sarri, for whom Higuain had scored 38 times in their final season together at Napoli in 2015-16.
“I think that on the pitch they are really very suitable to play one close to the other.”
The win took Chelsea back to fourth place, three points above Arsenal, who visit third-placed Manchester City on Sunday, while Huddersfield stay stuck in the basement, six points off second-bottom Fulham. Leaders Liverpool visit West Ham on Monday.
Spurs are making a habit of scoring late winners with Son, who also got the equaliser against Watford in midweek. They moved above Manchester City by a point and within four of Liverpool.
Having wasted a series of chances, Tottenham finally scored in the 83rd minute although Son owed a vote of thanks to Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka, who somehow allowed a hopeful shot from outside the area to creep under his body.
At Cardiff, the stadium was flooded with tributes for Sala, who has not been seen since the plane he was travelling in went missing almost two weeks ago.
Supporters displayed a mosaic in the national colours of the Argentine striker while Cardiff’s players paid their own tribute when Bobby Reid put them ahead by holding up a T-shirt bearing Sala’s image.
Reid added a second after the break to move Cardiff within two points of the safety zone.
Wolves’ win at Goodison Park saw them equal their highest tally of 11 victories in a Premier League season, dating back to the 2010-2011 campaign.
Ruben Neves, Raul Jimenez and Leander Dendoncker scored the goals as Everton’s underwhelming campaign continued.
Wolves’ final goal triggered a bizarre episode when a black cat ran on to the pitch, causing a three-minute hold-up before it was eventually chaperoned out.
Palace’s new loan striker Michy Batshuayi made an instant impact off the bench late on, turning and shooting to set up their second goal for Jeffrey Schlupp as Fulham, who remain the only league side yet to register an away win, succumbed.
Luka Milivojevic scored Palace’s first from the penalty spot.
At Turf Moor, Ashley Barnes took full advantage of Burnley’s first penalty in 68 games to equalise after Nathan Redmond’s earlier strike, while Brighton’s draw with Watford arrested their slide down the table.
Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Ken Ferris and Pritha Sarkar