LONDON: The Premier League title race is evolving into a duel between the old and the new as personified in Arsene Wenger against Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp after Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool all recorded away wins to remain locked together on points.
Arsenal briefly went top of the pile with a 4-1 win at Sunderland in the lunchtime kick-off, with City then swiftly regaining pole position on goal difference after a 4-0 triumph at West Bromwich.
Liverpool joined them on 23 points after prevailing in the evening kick-off, but were given a much sterner test en route to a 4-2 victory at Crystal Palace.
For City, Sergio Aguero opened the scoring at the Hawthorns with a 19th-minute strike after being slipped in by Ilkay Gundogan, with the second a brilliant strike into the top corner nine minutes later.
The Argentina forward was involved in the third goal after the interval, too, teeing up Gundogan, and the German sealed the rout with his second goal in the final minute to emphatically end manager Pep Guardiola’s six-game winless run.
Olivier Giroud’s first goals of the season had earlier handed Arsenal victory and Sunderland a share of an unwanted Premier League record in the lunchtime kick-off on Wearside.
The France forward struck twice within five minutes of being introduced as a 69th-minute substitute to kill off hopes of a sustained Black Cats fightback after Jermain Defoe’s penalty had cancelled out Alexis Sanchez’s first-half opener.
Sanchez helped himself to a second – the last three goals came inside a chaotic seven-minute period – to leave Sunderland with only two points from their first 10 league games, matching Manchester City’s low in 1995-96.
Liverpool were twice pegged back in the late kick-off against Palace at Selhurst Park, but went on to cross the line quite comfortably.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds went ahead through Emre Can and then Dejan Lovren, only for defensive errors to allow James McArthur to restore parity on both occasions before Joel Matip edged the visitors ahead for a third time just before the break.
Roberto Firmino made sure of the points with a fourth goal in the 71st minute to keep Liverpool firmly in the mix at the top and condemn Palace to a third straight loss.
Tottenham and Leicester earlier battled out a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane, Ahmed Musa securing a point for last season’s champions with a close-range tap-in from Jamie Vardy’s pass.
Vincent Janssen’s penalty – awarded shortly before half-time after he was adjudged to have been fouled by Robert Huth – had opened the scoring for Spurs.
Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands after complaining at half-time in Manchester United’s goalless draw against Burnley at Old Trafford.
United’s cause was not helped by the dismissal of midfielder Ander Herrera for a second bookable offence midway through the second half, or the fine form of Clarets goalkeeper Tom Heaton.
A stunning goal from Gaston Ramirez set Middlesbrough on their way to a 2-0 win over Bournemouth at the Riverside, with local boy Stewart Downing also on target – his first goal in almost 18 months.
Watford nicked a valuable 1-0 win with a late goal against Hull, Daryl Janmaat’s cross deflected in by Hull defender Michael Dawson seven minutes from time at Vicarage Road.