LONDON : Kevin de Bruyne’s stunning free kick sealed a 1-0 win for champions Manchester City at Leicester City to put them top of the Premier League but Chelsea lost ground as Graham Potter’s return to Brighton ended in a 4-1 hammering.
Tottenham Hotspur were staring at a third successive league defeat but hit back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Bournemouth to keep them in third spot above Newcastle United.
The high-flying Magpies thrashed Aston Villa 4-0 while Crystal Palace moved into the top half as Odsonne Edouard got the first-half goal that earned a 1-0 home win over Southampton.
Wolverhampton Wanderers climbed one place to 18th in the table as Ruben Neves’s superb equaliser secured a 1-1 draw at Brentford but they ended the match with 10 men after Diego Costa was sent off for headbutting Brentford scorer Ben Mee.
Manchester City have 29 points from 12 games, one point more than Arsenal who host bottom club Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
Spurs moved to 26 points from 13 games with Newcastle, who have lost only once all season, on 24. Chelsea have 21 in fifth.
Manchester City were without goal machine Erling Haaland for the first time since he arrived at the club and his absence was clear as they lacked a cutting edge in the first half.
But Belgian midfielder De Bruyne conjured something special, firing an unstoppable free kick into the net four minutes after the break, and City held on despite Leicester pressure.
De Bruyne has been rather overshadowed by Haaland this season and manager Pep Guardiola has demanded more.
Again the Belgian answered the call in style.
“The goals and assists he can do blind. But we need this type of involvement in the game. And today that was the case,” Guardiola said. “I want this Kevin and we need this Kevin.”
Potter was aiming to make it 10 games unbeaten since leaving Brighton to take over at Chelsea in early September but his side were outplayed by the hosts who deservedly won for the first time under his successor Roberto De Zerbi.
Brighton took the lead inside five minutes through a well-taken Leandro Trossard goal and went two ahead in the 14th when Ruben Loftus-Cheek diverted a corner into his own net.
Another own goal from Trevoh Chalobah made it 3-0 for the hosts three minutes before the interval.
Chelsea threatened a comeback three minutes into the second half when Kai Havertz headed home the visitors could make no further impact and Pascal Gross’s last-gasp goal capped a fine afternoon for De Zerbi and a miserable one for Potter.
Brighton moved up to seventh in the standings on 18 points.
“Yes of course the scoreline and the defeat is a painful one,” Potter said. “We didn’t really recover.”
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte made several changes to his side with one eye on Tuesday’s crucial Champions League clash at Olympique de Marseille and it appeared to have backfired badly as Bournemouth led with a double from Kieffer Moore.
But Ryan Sessegnon pulled a goal back and Ben Davies levelled the scores with a header before substitute Rodrigo Bentancur struck in stoppage time to claim a thrilling win.
“We became more nasty in the second half,” Conte said “It was vital to win this match, we now go to Marseille full of confidence.”
Newcastle made it three wins in a row as striker Callum Wilson netted twice against Villa, the first from the penalty spot, and Miguel Almiron continued his incredible scoring run.
Wilson headed his second in the 56th minute and three minutes later Joelinton pounced on a rebound from a Wilson shot to extend the lead. Almiron scord his sixth goal in six games after 67 minutes with a superb curling finish.
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