After an unpredictable start to the season, a sense of normality is returning to the Premier League as all of the top six won on a weekend when fans were back in stadiums for the first time since March.
Crowds of up to 2,000 are now allowed to attend in tier-two areas for coronavirus restrictions across England, meaning West Ham, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool were the first to welcome supporters back.
The Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool fans all got the bonus of seeing their sides win, while both Manchester giants also won to ensure they remain in the title fight before they face off next weekend.
Here’s look at three talking points from the Premier League weekend:
Fans make their presence felt
Despite the limited numbers in stadiums capable of hosting over 20 times more people, there was a welcome difference in atmosphere from months of hearing players’ and coaches’ voices ring around cavernous arenas.
At Anfield, the Kop was open for the first time since Liverpool ended a 30-year wait to win the league title and played its part as Jurgen Klopp’s injury-hit side saw off Wolves 4-0.
“Tonight it was so enjoyable. It was so nice when we came out to warm up, we all had goosebumps,” said Klopp, who saluted the Kop after the game with his trademark fist pump. “It was much better (than expected). It was perfect. The noise, what the people did, you could feel and hear how long they waited for it.”
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard also hailed the impact spectators had on his side coming from behind to beat Leeds.
“Their input was huge with the noise they made,” said the former England midfielder.
However, the difference fans make could lead to a disadvantage for those clubs who still find themselves in tier-three zones where games must still be played behind closed doors.
Burnley, Sheffield United, Manchester City and West Brom were not allowed to welcome supporters back this weekend.
‘World-class’ Kane and Son the difference between Spurs and Arsenal
Tottenham’s deadly duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min took Jose Mourinho’s men back to the top of the table as they each produced a clinical finish that goal-shy Arsenal could not match.
Son alone now has as many league goals this season as the Gunners with 11 points and 14 places now separating the north London rivals.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta admitted his tenure in charge is “unsustainable” unless his side start to score goals after a fifth defeat in seven league games.
The visitors had more than twice as much possession as Spurs and more shots on goal, but Tottenham’s title charge is being powered by two of the best forwards in the world in peak form.
“When we needed two world-class strikers to score amazing goals, they did,” said Mourinho.
The England captain and Son have now combined for 27 goals this season, with Kane providing the assist for 10 of the South Korean’s 13 strikes.
United feckless without Fernandes
For the fifth consecutive away league game, Manchester United came from behind to win 3-1 at West Ham.
The marked difference between the dismal first half and superb second period from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men could at least be easily explained on Saturday as Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford rode to the rescue after the break.
Solskjaer had tried to keep his two key men fresh for Tuesday’s crucial Champions League trip to RB Leipzig. But Fernandes is an irreplaceable figure for the Red Devils right now.
It was the Portuguese’s arrival in the January transfer window that transformed United’s fortunes to make it into the top four last season.
This season, Fernandes has scored five goals and provided four assists in his side’s five come-from-behind wins on the road.
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