With Storm Dennis sweeping the country, this proved a tricky weekend for the Premier League clubs returning from their two-week winter break.
Across the five games, there was a revealing draw between two European contenders while Liverpool have Jordan Henderson to thank as they continue their march towards the title.
Sportsmail takes a look at 10 things we learned from another entertaining weekend of action in the English top flight.
Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson provided another assist to help overcome Norwich
HENDERSON HEROICS DRIVE LIVERPOOL TOWARDS TITLE
Having started the season with just two clean sheets from their opening 10 league games, Liverpool have now conceded only the one goal in 810 minutes of action after keeping Norwich at bay on Saturday.
The settled back five of Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson have been so dominant in recent months they are all likely to feature in the PFA Team of the Year come the end of the season.
While they have shut up shop at the back, an unlikely source has ensured they keep grinding out the wins that have opened up a 25-point lead in the Premier League.
His incisive 78th-minute ball for substitute Sadio Mane to convert for the winner means Jordan Henderson now has three assists and two goals in his last five games.
At a time when many contenders find they are just running out of steam, the skipper has stepped up to keep driving the club towards a maiden Premier League crown.
WINTER BREAK DOESN’T REAP IMMEDIATE REWARDS
For all the talk of refreshed and revitalised players after the Premier League’s staggered two-week winter break, many clubs marked their return to action with some decidedly sluggish performances this weekend.
Leicester and Wolves’ goalless draw was short on the quality we have come to expect from both sides so far this season.
Liverpool, whose boss Jurgen Klopp has been a fierce advocate of the enforced rest, were below-par for long periods against a dogged Norwich and relied on substitute Sadio Mane for a late winner.
Even Arsenal took a long while to click into gear before dispatching Newcastle 4-0 at the Emirates thanks to a second-half masterclass.
With a full schedule of Premier League action to be resumed next weekend, supporters across the division will hope their teams can rediscover some sparkle in the meantime.
Liverpool did not reach their best form in securing another victory at Carrow Road
EUROPEAN HOPEFULS PLAY OUT STALEMATE IN THE MIDLANDS
Friday night’s goalless draw between Leicester and Wolves showed two sides a long way from their best after their two-week winter break.
While both sides could justifiably consider this a point well earned against a fellow contender for European football – the Foxes especially after Hamza Choudhury’s dismissal – there a few problems that are sneaking up on both sides.
Since the start of the year, Wolves have scored just six times in eight games across all competitions compared to 15 in the preceding eight before that, while that is now two consecutive stalemates in the league.
Leicester, too, have stumbled a little with one win from their last five, although they retain a healthy nine-point lead over fourth place.
With Hamza Choudhury now suspended and Wilfred Ndidi to return from injury, they will find their resources in midfield tested as Manchester City visit the King Power in a week’s time.
Leicester held on to earn a valuable point after midfielder Hamza Choudhury was sent off
BURNLEY LOOKING UPWARDLY MOBILE
With both teams level on 31 points, eight off fifth place and seven clear of the drop zone, Saturday’s visit of Burnley to Southampton felt like it could be a defining match for both sides in their approach to the final 12 games of the campaign.
After Danny Ings cancelled out Ashley Westood’s direct-from-a-corner opener, Matej Vydra, on as a 22nd-minute substitute for Chris Wood, grabbed a stunning winner in just his seventh league appearance of the season.
Matej Vydra scored his first goal since 2018 for Burnley in beating Southampton
With that, the visitors are suddenly in 10th with the potential to push on into the upper half of the table this season.
Now unbeaten in four games and, behind Liverpool, the form side in the league currently, Sean Dyche’s side will be confident of continuing their progression.
Saints, however, will be nervously looking over their shoulder and wary of being sucked once more into a difficult relegation tussle.
Sean Dyche’s side can now target a mid-table finish after some impressive recent form
POINTS NOT PERFORMANCES THE KEY FOR NORWICH
Daniel Farke was rightly proud of his Norwich side after they came as close to halting the Liverpool juggernaut as any side since Manchester United before Sadio Mane’s 78th-minute decider.
Yet, for all their effort and endeavour, this goes down as another defeat and leaves them seven points from safety with 12 games to play.
While not yet an impossible task, it is one that requires points – however ugly or ungainly – more than the polished performances this young side have so far delivered without suitable reward.
Relegation-threatened Norwich need wins quickly as they sit seven points adrift in the league
SAKA SHINING AS GUNNERS FIND THEIR FORM
At a time when England’s talent factory is churning out young starlets at a rapid rate, it is the likes of Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood that immediately spring to mind.
Yet, over in north London, 18-year-old winger Bukayo Saka has quietly made himself an indispensable part of Mikel Arteta’s Gunners revolution.
No Arsenal player – and no Premier League teenager – has as many as Saka’s eight assists in all competitions this season, coming in just 25 games.
This is despite being shifted to left-back in the absence of Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney, with his display against Newcastle – including setting up Nicolas Pepe – earning man-of-the-match plaudits and helping Arteta’s side end a run of four straight draws.
The fortunes of Saka and the club’s crop of talented teenagers are likely to mirror those of Arsenal over the coming years as they target a return to the top table.
Tottenham are in the top four race… somehow
They may be without their best player, Harry Kane. They may be unable to defend (Exhibit A: Toby Alderweireld’s comical own goal against Aston Villa). But somehow, Tottenham are one point behind Chelsea as the race for Champions League qualification heats up.
Of course, Manchester City’s FFP problems have eased some of the pressure at the top, meaning it’s not necessarily fourth or nowhere for the likes of Spurs.
But, with Chelsea playing Manchester United tonight, they are right in the mix.
No Tottenham fan will be lauding Jose Mourinho’s men for their performance against Aston Villa. Indeed, at half time, the knives were out, especially for the much-maligned Serge Aurier. But thanks to a dose of luck (Heung-min Son pouncing on a rebound from his own missed penalty) and Aston Villa’s shoddy defending, they got the win.
That makes it 11 points that Spurs have clawed back on Chelsea since Mourinho took over, going into tonight. They are third in the form table since the arrival of the Portuguese boss, 14 games ago. It’s not pretty, but the results are coming in.
If they can find some defensive stability then they can start to seriously look up the table.
Jose Mourinho’s side aren’t performing well but they are racking up points in the league