Facing opposition decked out in royal blue for the second week running, Manchester City avoided any surprises this time round.
After watching his side crash to its first English Premier League defeat at Chelsea last weekend, Pep Guardiola was looking for a positive reaction from City on Saturday and the home team responded in style by defeating Everton 3-1 on a bitterly cold day at Etihad Stadium.
Gabriel Jesus chose the perfect occasion to score in the league for the first time since August when he grabbed a double while Raheem Sterling, allegedly racially abused in the loss at Chelsea, ended a difficult week on a happy note when he wrapped up victory with the third goal.
The win took City back to the top of the standings, two points ahead of second-placed Liverpool ahead of its standout game against rival Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.
“The players responded in a marvelous way,” Guardiola said after chalking up his 100th victory for the club in all competitions. “Everton are a top side. Today was tricky, a dangerous, dangerous game.”
Tottenham, five points off the pace in third position, needed an injury-time goal from substitute Christian Eriksen to defeat struggling Burnley 1-0 at Wembley Stadium, while Crystal Palace topped Leicester 1-0 and West Ham won at bottom club Fulham 2-0.
Wolverhampton eased past Bournemouth 2-0, Newcastle defeated Huddersfield 1-0, and Watford beat Cardiff 3-2.
Manchester City took the lead against Everton when Jesus pounced on a through pass from Leroy Sane to slide the ball under England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford midway through the first half.
The Brazil forward made it 2-0 with a powerful close-range header from another assist from Sane in the 50th minute, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin gave Everton hope of mounting a comeback when he nodded in a cross from Lucas Digne 15 minutes later.
Substitute Sterling quickly restored City’s two-goal advantage with his first touch of the ball, heading in a centre from Brazil midfielder Fernandinho in the 69th to earn his side a 10th straight home win in the league.
Jesus, who signed for City in 2017, has recently been joined in Manchester by his mother. “My confidence is back because my family is here with me,” he said.
“They help me a lot. It is easy for me because they are everything.”
Burnley proved almost as difficult an opponent for Spurs as Barcelona did in the Champions League in midweek before Eriksen’s last-gasp goal clinched victory for the London club.
Spurs looked like enduring a disappointing comedown from their impressive 1-1 draw at Barca, but Eriksen won the game in the first minute of time added on when he coolly clipped the ball home after being teed up by England captain Harry Kane.
PALACE FORGET ZAHA ABSENCE
Crystal Palace showed it can cope without Wilfried Zaha, the club’s most influential player, when the London team edged Leicester.
The Ivory Coast forward was sidelined through suspension but captain Luka Milivojevic produced an outstanding first-half finish to lift his side to 15th place.
WOLVES HAT TRICK
An early goal from Raul Jimenez and a late strike by substitute Ivan Cavaleiro guided Wolverhampton past Bournemouth.
Following wins against Chelsea and Newcastle in the past 10 days, Wolverhampton has recorded three consecutive victories in the top division for the first time since March 1980.
WEST HAM ON FIRE
West Ham roared to a fourth straight league win after goals by Robert Snodgrass and Michail Antonio sank Fulham.
West Ham last won four in a row in February 2014.
Newcastle ended a sequence of four matches without a victory after Salomon Rondon scored the only goal of the game at fellow struggler Huddersfield, while Watford withstood a late rally from Cardiff to prevail 3-2 and end a six-match winless run in the league.