Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy equalled a Premier League record by scoring for the 10th straight match as they went top with a 3-0 win at Newcastle United before Manchester City were crushed 4-1 by Liverpool on Saturday.
On a day when champions Chelsea ended their slump with a 1-0 win over Norwich City, Leicester became the third team in five hours to top the table after Manchester United also briefly led following their 2-1 victory at Watford in the early kickoff.
Manchester City, leaders at the start of the day, conceded three goals in the first 32 minutes as Liverpool got their most impressive win yet under new coach Juergen Klopp, while Arsenal also blew an opportunity by losing 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion.
Leicester reaching the summit was the highlight of a poignant afternoon when ‘La Marseillaise’, the French national anthem, was played at grounds throughout England as a mark of solidarity with France following last week’s Paris attacks.
Chelsea’s French defender Kurt Zouma led a rendition of the anthem at Stamford Bridge where a huge French flag was displayed before the champions ended a run of three successive league defeats with victory over Norwich City thanks to a second-half goal from Diego Costa.
That lifted Chelsea up one place to 15th on 14 points, but still a long way behind leaders Leicester who have 28 followed by United on 27 with City and Arsenal level on 26.
While Vardy equalled former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy’s 12-year-old record for scoring in consecutive Premier League games, Leonardo Ulloa and Shinji Okazaki also scored for Claudio Ranieri’s unfashionable Leicester side.
Dutchman Van Nistelrooy had set the record in the last eight matches of the 2002-03 season and the first two of 2003-04.
The top-flight record is held by Stan Mortensen, who scored in 11 successive matches for Blackpool in the old Division One in 1950-51 and Vardy will equal that if he scores against Manchester United next week.
Van Nistelrooy had tweeted a good luck message to Vardy prior to the game.
“I’m pinching myself every day,” Vardy told Sky Sports. “I’ve matched his (Van Nistelrooy’s) record and we have got the three points and a clean sheet.
Ranieri’s unlikely leaders sit proudly above both Manchester giants and Arsenal after United briefly went top following a dramatic finale at Vicarage Road.
United led 1-0 following an 11th-minute volley from Memphis Depay before Troy Deeney equalised with an 87th-minute penalty but then scored an own goal in stoppage time.
United, who are suffering an injury crisis, conceded their first goal in six matches in all competitions.
Depay broke the deadlock when he connected perfectly with an Ander Herrera cross from the right and volleyed past Heurelho Gomes with his left foot.
Arsenal’s France striker Olivier Giroud put them ahead before West Brom struck back with a goal from James Morrison and an own goal by Mikel Arteta just before the break, while Santi Cazorla missed a second-half penalty for the visitors.
In the late game, an own goal from Manchester City’s Eliaquim Mangala and two beautifully worked goals by Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino in just over half an hour set Liverpool on the road to an impressive victory.
City’s Argentina striker Sergio Aguero, returning from injury, pulled one back brilliantly just before halftime but Martin Skrtel sealed Liverpool’s emphatic triumph with a thunderous 81st minute strike.
Having lost just once in eight matches since German Klopp took over from Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool now lie ninth in the table on 20 points, one point behind Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United who clash on Sunday at White Hart Lane.
Everton crushed Aston Villa 4-0 with Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku each scoring twice to leave Villa rock bottom with five points from 13 games.
Swansea City and Bournemouth drew 2-2 in an exciting match at the Liberty Stadium. Bournemouth led 2-0 but have now gone seven league matches without a win and are 18th.
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