West Ham winger Jarrod Bowen, a long-term target for Liverpool, gave his suitors a big boost in the Premier League title race as Man of the Match in a 3-2 win over Chelsea.
Prior to Saturday’s trip to the London Stadium, Chelsea had not conceded more than once in any game in this season’s top flight.
But through efforts from Bowen, Manuel Lanzini and Arthur Masuaku, the Blues shipped three and suffered only their second defeat of the league campaign.
Chelsea looked to be cruising to another three points when Thiago Silva opened the scoring then Mason Mount cancelled out Lanzini’s penalty equaliser, but the tide turned after the break.
West Ham were much-improved in the second half, and Bowen’s fine left-footed effort restored parity in the 56th minute.
Both sides had opportunities in a tense final half-hour, but the game was decided by a strange goal from left-back Masuaku, whose attempted cross sailed into the back of the net via a weak save from Edouard Mendy.
The loss comes ahead of Liverpool’s kickoff at Wolves at 3pm, with Man City to then play Watford in the 5.30pm game later on Saturday.
And with Chelsea failing to pick up any points from east London, the weekend could see at least one change of hands at the top of the Premier League.
If Liverpool win at Molineux, they will move to first, at least temporarily, with City then able to leapfrog them with three points at Vicarage Road.
The situation shows how close the title race is at this delicate stage, and Reds scouts could be even more convinced after Bowen’s excellent showing against Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Bowen, 24, was named Man of the Match, having been a dangerous outlet throughout his 90 minutes on the right wing, proving a thorn in the side for Callum Hudson-Odoi in particular.