In Focus: The Premier League stars who lit up Matchday 20
Arsenal extended their Premier League lead to eight points with a comfortable North London derby win over Tottenham to round off a pulsating Matchday 20.
That was not the only clash of bitter rivals to take place at the weekend, with Manchester United stunning Manchester City 2-1 at Old Trafford and Nottingham Forest sinking Leicester 2-0 in the East Midlands derby.
Liverpool's woes deepened after they were humiliated 3-0 at Brighton, while their Merseyside rivals Everton have even bigger issues afoot after a damaging 2-1 home defeat to basement boys Southampton.
We pick out the five individuals who shone brightest for their sides on Matchday 20.
Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Marcus Rashford continued his scarcely believable hot streak to help United secure a remarkable comeback victory over a shell-shocked City on Saturday lunchtime.
Having fallen behind to Jack Grealish’s header on the hour, few would have given the Red Devils much hope of turning things around with less than 15 minutes left on the clock.
However, the rejuvenated Rashford, 25, has been writing his own scripts recently and he played a pivotal part in two quickfire strikes that turned a pulsating contest on its head.
Of course, his part in the first goal was technically rather minimal — running onto, but apparently not interfering with, a Casemiro through ball which was controversially steered home by Bruno Fernandes.
Four minutes later, Rashford had a more clear-cut impact when prodding home Alejandro Garnacho’s cross for his 16th goal of the season in all competitions.
He has now scored in seven straight United appearances and renewed talks over a contract extension at Old Trafford are supposedly being prepared in haste.
Solly March (Brighton)
Brighton’s blistering 3-0 defeat of Liverpool was the most impressive result of the Premier League weekend, with midfielder Solly March inspiring the Seagulls to victory.
A versatile operator, 28-year-old March has now spent over a decade on the South Coast and is an immensely popular figure — though not known for his goalscoring exploits.
He put the Reds to the sword in devastating fashion here though, bagging a six-minute brace with two finishes more akin to that of a seasoned striker.
First, he alertly latched onto Kaoru Mitoma’s square pass and slotted past the onrushing Alisson, before quickly blasting a second beyond the Brazilian stopper from an almost impossible angle.
Amazingly, they were only March’s seventh and eighth strikes in 160 Premier League appearances and his boss Roberto De Zerbi has challenged his No7 to keep the good run going.
The Italian explained: "We have a bet with Solly, he has to score more than ten goals. He has this target because he can score more."
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
In what has been a tide-turning seven days at Southampton, there has been a familiar face at the heart of the South Coast outfit’s renaissance.
Saints skipper James Ward-Prowse bagged both goals as the Premier League’s bottom club secured the most crucial of victories over fellow relegation rivals Everton at Goodison Park.
And in a fashion so typical of the 28-year-old technician, it was a truly spectacular brace.
First, he effortlessly took down a Che Adams flick, before rolling the ball out of Ben Godfrey’s path and stroking calmly beyond Jordan Pickford to cancel out Amadou Onana’s opener.
Then, with the contest seemingly destined to be a draw, Ward-Prowse conjured up a trademark free-kick when planting the ball into Pickford’s top-right corner from all of 25 yards.
Nathan Jones’ tenure at St Mary’s is finally up and running after a rocky start — and the former Luton boss owes a tremendous amount of gratitude to his new captain.
Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest)
Brennan Johnson put in his best Premier League performance to date when grabbing both goals to earn Nottingham Forest a precious East Midlands derby triumph over Leicester on Saturday.
The 21-year-old forward rose to prominence last season — netting an impressive 16-goal haul during Forest’s Championship promotion campaign.
Life in the top tier has been much tougher for the Welsh international but he chose a fitting occasion to fire on all cylinders.
VAR intervened to award his first strike after an impressive burst of speed allowed him to pick up Morgan Gibbs-White’s through ball ahead of Foxes keeper Danny Ward and coolly slide home.
His second was even more eye-catching, latching onto another Gibbs-White pass on the right flank and taking two touches to set himself before lashing a screamer into the far top corner.
If Steve Cooper can get Johnson producing those kind of finishes on a more regular basis, some of Europe’s biggest clubs will soon be taking an interest.
Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)
There may be no more in-form midfielder in the Premier League than Arsenal’s skipper Martin Odegaard.
The Norwegian put in his latest virtuoso performance as the Gunners comfortably saw off North London rivals Tottenham on their own turf, crowning an excellent showing with a stunning long-range strike late in the first period.
Odegaard took three shots against Spurs, hitting the target with two of them, while also carving out two chances for his team-mates and finding a red shirt with 37 of his 43 attempted passes.
His eighth goal of the season was a devastating low drive beyond the helpless Hugo Lloris and took the ex-Real Madrid prodigy to 13 direct goal involvements in 18 top-flight outings this term.
Mikel Arteta said of Odegaard’s performance: "Terrific. Especially in the first half, I think he was incredible.
"He’s really showing a different kind of presence, the way he’s influencing the game, just the feeling, the way he moves, what he transmits on the pitch is different and today to do what he’s done here, it’s a big credit to him."