Fernando Torres returned to form in stunning fashion as his double-strike inspired Liverpool's 2-0 win over champions Chelsea, while Andy Carroll gave Newcastle a surprise 1-0 victory at Arsenal.
Torres had scored just twice this season before Chelsea's visit to Anfield yesterday, fuelling talk that his lacklustre displays were a sign he is keen to leave the Reds.
But the Spain striker was back to his predatory best as he netted with a cool finish from Dirk Kuyt's pass in the 11th minute and then curled a brilliant second past Petr Cech from the edge of the penalty area just before half-time.
Those two lethal finishes condemned Chelsea to their second league defeat this season and left Carlo Ancelotti's league leaders just two points ahead of second placed Manchester United.
Liverpool's victory extended their recent revival to four successive wins in all competitions and lifted Roy Hodgson's team into mid-table. "He is a vital player for us and would be any club. You can't have success if you don't have front players who do a good job for you," Hodgson said of Torres.
"He wants the club to do well and can see we're moving in the right direction. He couldn't say much when club was in the throes of being sold but like myself he sees a bright future with new owners." Ancelotti added: "Liverpool played very well and at 2-0 down it was difficult to come back in the game.
Torres played very well and scored two fantastic goals. "We are still top of the table. It's impossible to win every game, sometimes you lose but the team showed the same mentality and strength. We don't have to react - we have to win the next game." At the Emirates Stadium, Newcastle's Carroll finally made headlines for the right reasons as the striker gave the Magpies a shock victory over Arsenal.