LONDON: Arsenal sent out a decisive statement in a gripping Premier League title race with a 3-0 rout of Brighton and Hove Albion to go top after Manchester City’s 4-2 win at Crystal Palace.

Liverpool, who had begun the day on top of the table, will now be under pressure to respond when they face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Goals by Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard ensured Arsenal made it 10 wins from their last 11 league games with only last weekend’s 0-0 draw at City costing them points.

Mikel Arteta’s side, bidding to deliver a first English title since the 2003-04 season, have 71 points from 31 games with Liverpool, who have a game in hand, on 70. Reigning champions City also have 70 points.

In such a tight tussle Arsenal’s far superior goal difference, could prove crucial.

A 3-0 home defeat against Brighton in May last season ended any realistic title hopes Arsenal had, but they have made a massive improvement since.

From the moment Saka stroked home a penalty in the 33rd minute they looked unshakeable, and second-half goals by Havertz and former Brighton man Trossard had the away fans singing loudly in the south coast rain.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said: “Really happy, a big performance. Brighton hadn’t lost at home since August and that says everything really. Today we were outstanding and needed that level today.”

Arsenal have not conceded a goal in their last five away league games, while scoring 20 goals in the process, and City and Liverpool will know that Arteta’s team are not going away.

Earlier at Selhurst Park, Manchester City suffered an early shock as they fell behind to a goal by Jean-Philippe Mateta.

But Kevin De Bruyne struck twice with Rico Lewis and Erling Haaland also on target as City cruised home.