Sergio Aguero plundered five goals in a dizzying 20-minute spell as Manchester City demolished Newcastle United 6-1 on Saturday to reclaim first place in the Premier League table.
Earlier, Crystal Palace climbed to third place, three points below City, with an impressive and hard-earned 2-0 home win over West Bromwich Albion.
City had lost their previous two league games and went behind in the 18th minute when Aleksandar Mitrovic headed home, but Aguero equalised in the 42nd minute before hitting the net again four more times.
Kevin De Bruyne also scored, as well as teeing up two of Aguero’s goals, as Manuel Pellegrini’s side provisionally moved two points clear of Manchester United, who visit Arsenal on Sunday.
Aguero, 27, became the fifth player to score five goals in an English top-flight game since the launch of the Premier League in 1992 after Andrew Cole, Alan Shearer, Jermain Defoe and Dimitar Berbatov.
But Pellegrini’s decision to withdraw him in the 64th minute, with Wilfried Bony going on, denied the Argentina international a chance to set a new record.
Mitrovic had opened his Newcastle account with a header from Georginio Wijnaldum’s cross, but from there on it was all about Aguero at the Etihad Stadium.
He nodded in the equaliser after David Silva’s cross was headed back across goal by Fernandinho and put City in front four minutes into the second half with a deflected left-foot shot.
He raced onto De Bruyne’s pass and dinked a shot past Tim Krul to complete his hat-trick, before De Bruyne looped a volley over Krul from substitute Jesus Navas’s cross.
Aguero’s fourth goal, on the hour, saw him curl a shot into the bottom-right corner from the edge of the box and two minutes later he had a fifth after tapping in De Bruyne’s low cross.
At Selhurst Park, Yohan Cabaye crossed for Yannick Bolasie to head Palace in front in the 68th minute and then netted a late penalty won by man-of-the-match Wilfried Zaha.
Leicester City returned to the top four after winning 2-1 at Norwich City.
Jamie Vardy claimed his seventh goal of the campaign from the spot and Jeff Schlupp rifled home early in the second half before Dieumerci Mbokani reduced the deficit with his first Premier League goal.
West Ham United slipped to fifth place following a 2-2 draw at second-bottom Sunderland, whose manager, Dick Advocaat, is reported to be on the brink of leaving the club.
Steven Fletcher and Jeremain Lens, who scored a classy chip, put Sunderland 2-0 up, but Lens was then sent off for two bookable offences and goals from Carl Jenkinson and Dimitri Payet earned West Ham a point.
Full debutant Glenn Murray scored but then squandered a late penalty as Bournemouth were held to a 1-1 draw by fellow promoted side Watford, for whom Odion Ighalo netted for the fifth time this term.
Meanwhile, Marko Arnautovic earned Stoke City a 1-0 win at Aston Villa.
Struggling champions Chelsea are in action later on Saturday when they host Southampton, with Jose Mourinho’s side seeking to close the 10-point gap that now separates them from City.