Dimitar Berbatov scored a hat-trick as Manchester United downed Liverpool 3-2 while Chelsea crushed Blackpool 4-0 to open up a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
Berbatov sealed victory for United with an 84th-minute winner at Old Trafford after Liverpool had recovered from two goals down thanks to a second-half brace from skipper Steven Gerrard yesterday.
The win saw Sir Alex Ferguson's side go level on points with second-placed Arsenal, but four points behind Chelsea, who maintained their 100 percent record with a ruthless demolition of Blackpool at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea's fifth consecutive win was settled in the opening 45 minutes, with Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda (2) putting Carlo Ancelotti's rampant Blues 4-0 up after half an hour.
The reigning champions have now rattled in a remarkable 21 goals in only five games and could have had a fifth had they not been denied a certain penalty in injury time after a foul on Drogba.
In the day's other match, Manchester City moved up to fourth with a 2-0 victory away at Wigan. Carlos Tevez and Yaya Toure got the goals at a rainswept DW Stadium as City registered their second win of the campaign.
But the story of the day was at Old Trafford, where Berbatov stole the show with a virtuoso display that left Liverpool shattered and languishing near the foot of the table in 16th position after five games.
It was the first time a Manchester United player had scored a hat-trick in 64 years, and left Berbatov on top of the goalscoring charts with six goals from five games this season.
"It was probably my best day in a United shirt," Berbatov said. "Obviously I am happy. I am going home with a smile on my face. But I am nothing special. I am going home to play with my kids."
Berbatov put United 1-0 ahead on 42 minutes after being left in acres of space by marker Fernando Torres when Ryan Giggs swung in a corner. The Bulgarian then doubled United's lead on 59 minutes with a sublime effort, using one touch to control a Nani cross before sending an overhead kick crashing in off the underside of the Liverpool bar.
Ferguson later hailed the performance of Berbatov, who is enjoying his best run of form for United since his transfer from Tottenham in 2008 in a deal worth 30.75 million pounds (36.86 million euros).