Manchester City eased doubts over their ability to sustain a Premier League title challenge by beating Crystal Palace comfortably on Saturday but Tottenham face another inquisition after narrowly avoiding defeat to bottom club Watford.
Pep Guardiola’s men travelled to London eight points behind runaway leaders Liverpool after two defeats in four league games but bossed possession and rarely looked troubled.
Earlier, Tottenham came within minutes of another damaging defeat while Chelsea and Leicester both won to underline their top-four credentials.
City beat in-form Palace 2-0 with first-half goals from Gabriel Jesus and David Silva but a combination of some wayward finishing and an inspired performance from Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey prevented a rout.
Guardiola praised his makeshift defence but demanded more of a killer touch from his side, who had 21 shots.
“Unfortunately, we could not convert the chances we had but it was an important three points after the international break,” he told Sky Sports. “Hopefully we can start from here and continue our good performance. Their ‘keeper made a lot of saves but hopefully we can be more clinical.”
Earlier, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino saw his side labour to a 1-1 draw at home to Watford, following a 3-0 thrashing at Brighton and a humiliating 7-2 defeat at home to Bayern Munich.
Spurs, who reached the Champions League final in June, have now won just three of their opening 12 games in all competitions and appear unable to find their spark.
Pochettino’s men got off to an awful start as they fell behind in the sixth minute, Abdoulaye Doucoure finishing superbly from Daryl Janmaat’s assist.
But Dele Alli grabbed a late leveller for Spurs with his first goal since January. There was major confusion as it appeared as if VAR had ruled out the effort, but it was allowed to stand.
“We made it difficult for ourselves,” said Alli. “We controlled the game and bossed possession. It was my first start and great to be back in the team but overall a disappointing result. We know we have a world-class team so it’s about showing what we can do when things don’t go our way. It’s important we turn it around. We know how good we are, we just have to start showing it on the pitch.”
Chelsea, Leicester win
Chelsea’s Marcus Alonso broke the deadlock for Frank Lampard’s side at Stamford Bridge against Newcastle for a 1-0 win while Youri Tielemans sealed a 2-1 victory for Leicester over Burnley at the King Power Stadium.
Leicester held a minute’s silence before kick-off to remember their late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who was killed in a helicopter crash at the stadium last October.
Chris Wood put Burnley in front but Leicester’s in-form forward Jamie Vardy headed an equaliser just before half-time and Tielemans completed the turnaround with just over 15 minutes to go.
Matt Targett scored a goal deep into injury time as Aston Villa came back from 1-0 down to beat 10-man Brighton 2-1.
Southampton took the lead against Wolves at Molineux, courtesy of a Danny Ings goal, but were pegged back by a Raul Jimenez penalty while Bournemouth drew 0-0 at home to Norwich.
In the early kick-off on Saturday, Everton climbed out of the relegation zone with a well-deserved 2-0 victory against West Ham that eased the pressure on Marco Silva.
A first-half goal from Brazil forward Bernard and a late second from substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson gave Everton the three points in a match in which they had 19 shots.
Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Sunday, chasing a record-equalling 18th consecutive Premier League win while Manchester United are just one point above the relegation zone.
Arsenal face Sheffield United on Monday.