Leicester moved up to second in the Premier League after beating hapless Tottenham while Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes each bagged a brace as Manchester United put six past a gung-ho Leeds at Old Trafford.
Tottenham have made a promising start to the season but Jamie Vardy’s penalty on the stroke of half-time and a Toby Alderweireld own goal just before the hour saw Brendan Rodgers get one over his former mentor Jose Mourinho.
A 2-0 victory for the Foxes ensured they will sit behind only Liverpool in the table on Christmas Day for the second season in a row, while defeat for Spurs validates Mourinho’s opinion his side are not title contenders.
For Tottenham, this loss follows on from the one at Anfield in midweek and they have slipped out of the Champions League places after Manchester United catapulted themselves to third with a thrilling 6-2 victory over Leeds.
There has been much hype about the first Premier League meeting between these two sides since February 2004 but McTominay struck twice inside the opening three minutes, while Fernandes and Victor Lindelof put the Red Devils further ahead.
Leeds captain Liam Cooper pulled one back before half-time but Daniel James and a Fernandes penalty gave the hosts more breathing room before Stuart Dallas grabbed a consolation, ending the scoring in a match which had 43 shots at goal (26 from the home side, 17 from the visitors).
There was a slight worry for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men towards the end of a frenetic encounter when McTominay limped off, the Red Devils finishing with 10 men on the field having already used all three of their substitutes.
In Sunday’s early kick-off, rock-bottom Sheffield United were cruelly denied a first league win of the season after substitute Danny Welbeck salvaged a 1-1 draw for fellow strugglers Brighton.
Albion forward Welbeck volleyed home three minutes from time as the beleaguered Blades had to settle for only a second point of a miserable campaign at the end of their 14th fixture.
Jayden Bogle’s deflected second-half strike on his top-flight debut had put the visitors on course for an unlikely victory after John Lundstram’s dismissal left them with 10 men for 50 minutes.
Chris Wilder’s battling side could even have ended a tense contest empty-handed as Alireza Jahanbakhsh headed against the crossbar deep into added time.
United sit eight points from safety after ending an eight-game losing streak, while Brighton move two points above the relegation zone as their alarming home form continued.
In the late kick-off, Anwar El Ghazi scored in either half as Aston Villa condemned Sam Allardyce to a losing start at West Brom, who had Jake Livermore sent off as they crashed to a 3-0 defeat at the Hawthorns.
Allardyce is back in football management after a two-and-a-half-year absence, tasked with another rescue act, but his new side fell behind after just five minutes when El Ghazi finished from close range.
Livermore was dismissed after 37 minutes following a reckless challenge on Jack Grealish – upgraded to a red card after a VAR review.
A Bertrand Traore strike and an El Ghazi spot-kick in the last 10 minutes handed Villa a derby day victory.