It had always threatened to be a big weekend in the top four race, and it was Manchester United who perhaps proved that they are in the best shape heading into the final few weeks of the season.
All of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s exciting front three notched in a lively 5-2 win over Bournemouth at Old Trafford, where teenager Mason Greenwood’s brace has prompted talk of a possible England call-up.
Leicester and Chelsea did their bit too though, with the pair both notching up 3-0 wins as they look to secure top level European football next season, with Arsenal refusing to be left out of the conversation as they secured a great win at Wolves.
Elsewhere there was more misery for the sides at the bottom as relegation looms into view, while there were both maiden Premier League strikes for young talents and a 100th for a reliable top-flight goalscorer.
Here are the weekend talking points.
1. Norwich 0-1 Brighton: Bloom’s Potter bet pays off for Brighton
When Brighton sacked Chris Hughton last summer after he had kept them in the Premier League once more, there was an outcry in some quarters.
But largely not from Seagulls supporters.
Hughton had, by hook or by crook, kept Brighton in the top flight once again, but the football had been largely turgid, and as the season played out, it only pointed to another bite-your-nails relegation battle this term had he stayed.
Enter Graham Potter, and while there have been some difficult spells this season, he has has made Brighton more aesthetically pleasing, more tactically flexible and made them an all-round better side – with five games remaining, they’ve already matched last season’s points total and goals scored and the number of goals conceded per game is also down (from 1.57 per game to 1.33).
Potter has brought more youth into the lineup, and there now appears greater scope for forward progress.
Tony Bloom gambled last summer and it paid off. Given his career, should we have been surprised?
2. Leicester 3-0 Crystal Palace: Vardy finally joins Premier League’s 100 club
The Premier League restart hadn’t been kind to Leicester City’s leading marksman, with Vardy scoreless in three league games and with barely a sniff of a chance in three winless matches.
But on Saturday, when chances finally came his way against a tired Crystal Palace, the ex-England hitman got his goals.
He couldn’t miss goal 100 after James Maddison had robbed a bumbling Mamadou Sakho.
And his second for 101, deftly clipping into the net after racing clear, showed that his any drop in confidence had quickly been restored.
“He has found a real home here, he’s adored by the supporters,” said Brendan Rodgers.
“They absolutely love him and he’s gone on and hit this milestone and I’m sure he will continue to create a wonderful legacy at this club.”
3. Manchester United 5-2 Bournemouth: Greenwood is a sure thing
There have been plenty of instances of young players exploding onto the scene with instant impacts, especially at Manchester United.
But while the likes of Federico Macheda and Adnan Januzaj were always destined to only burn briefly but brightly, it would already be a huge surprise if Mason Greenwood didn’t have a long and successful career with the club having come through the youth ranks.
The teenager does everything with a sense of drive and purpose, marking him out as so different from other young talents who have emerged.
Both of his goals were hit so powerfully past Aaron Ramsdale, and with different feet, showcasing just how sure of himself and his success he is.
He’s making a remarkable impact.
4. Manchester United 5-2 Bournemouth: Hu-Man United
Anthony Martial is “a new human” these days according to Rio Ferdinand and his half-time analysis, and while that might be taking it a bit too far it is certainly possible to detect a change in the Frenchman’s attitude.
What precisely sparked this alteration is unclear, although the addition of Fernandes surely has to be one of the factors.
It was a simple ball from the Portuguese to tee him up just before half-time, but what followed was all him as he drove inside and dispatched a stunning strike into the top corner.
He is still a human, but that was out of this world.
5. Wolves 0-2 Arsenal: Saka flexes yet again
After signing a new long-term contract in midweek, flexible teenager Saka was once more in the Gunners lineup in the West Midlands.
He has emerged as a key man for Arteta since the Spaniard’s arrival, and has shown real tactical intelligence by thriving in a number of different roles.
An attacking player by trade, he initially impressed deputising at left-back and has since been used as a left wing-back, on either side of a front three, and in a No.8 role.
Here he was almost filling two roles simultaneously.
From an inside right position, he was asked to both support the attack and drop into central midfield to look after Joao Moutinho when Arsenal were out of possession.
And he arrived right on cue to fire home the opening goal, backing up play into the penalty area, before expertly arcing his left-foot shot past Rui Patricio and into the net.
Still only 18, he really is a star in the making.
6. Chelsea 3-0 Watford: The adults are alright
Frank Lampard has rightly received the plaudits for blooding several of his club’s talented youngsters, but you do wonder what would have happened if he’d trusted his experienced players a little more earlier in the season.
Willian is currently his best player as the Brazilian ticks into his final few weeks at the club, while Olivier Giroud always shows such grace and sureness of touch in the penalty area that you think he’d got more than his fair share of goals if he’d been trusted to start more games.
Ross Barkley, too, has started to come up trumps for Lampard, who could be away and clear in the Champions League places by now.
7. Burnley 1-1 Sheffield United: Here’s looking at you
It was interesting to hear Chris Wilder claiming post-match that Burnley are “the most talked-about club” among his backroom staff, and it is easy to see why.
After their excellent season the Blades will be looking to emulate the Clarets in the campaigns to come, with Wilder perhaps even getting a few tips from Sean Dyche both during and after a hard-fought draw.
“They get over disappointment quickly, are consistent in their attitude and performance and they always turn up,” said Wilder of Burnley.
“The hard part now for us is to match what they have done. We have to emulate it.
Dyche has got a fan there.
8. Newcastle 2-2 West Ham: Moyes lets the leash off
So that’s five goals in two games for West Ham. Okay they’ve conceded four as well, but let’s focus on the positives.
David Moyes followed on from Wednesday’s pleasingly attacking display in the win over Chelsea by fielding the same team from the start, and Jarrod Bowen and Michael Antonio rewarded him by linking up for another goal within four minutes.
There are still defensive issues there, but the Hammers suddenly look to be a threat going forward, so much so that you’d back them to
9. Liverpool 2-0 Aston Villa: Auditions and medals
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain spoke before the game about just how strange the current situation is for Liverpool who, to all intents and purposes, don’t have a really important game of football to play until next season starts, probably in mid-September.
Throw in the fact that the squad have just achieved the thing that the club has yearned for for a generation, and then immediately gone back into the eerie silence of an empty Anfield, and you can forgive the players for feeling a little off.
Yet there are records to break and places in Jurgen Klopp’s future plans to secure, something that Oxlade-Chamberlain himself didn’t exactly grasp as he was one of his side’s poorer performers on a day when he could have done with impressing.
He wasn’t alone in disappointing, but you can’t exactly stay too mad at anything to do with Liverpool at the moment.
Curtis Jones’ wide smile after his first Premier League goal, a day after signing a five year contract, was another Anfield feelgood story.
He, like young full-back Neco Williams, needs two more appearances for a winners’ medal.
10. Southampton 1-0 Man City: Pep’s strange subs
It’s not often that Pep Guardiola gets things wrong.
And while you shouldn’t expect the Catalan to admit it, he did at St Mary’s on Sunday night with his in-game changes.
City were trailing 1-0 to Che Adams’ wonder-strike when Guardiola hooked both Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez after 62 minutes.
At that point, City were dominating the game, and creating a host of chances, only to be denied by some terrific ‘keeping from Alex McCarthy and some last-ditch defending by the home side.
The pair were stretching the Southampton defence and asking real questions from wide positions.
But subbing both, bringing on Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden (in itself no bad thing) only helped narrow the game, all while the pair – both in form since the restart and with 34 goals between them this term – watched on from the bench.
City continued to create chances in the final third of the match – their Expected Goals (xG) total at St Mary’s was 3.4 compared to Southampton’s 0.6 – albeit at a much slower rate, with their two most dominant wingers and most dead-eyed [available] finishers now off the pitch.