Everton moved to the Premier League summit for the first time since August 2015 on a weekend which featured 41 goals and two maulings ahead of the international break.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin put the Toffees ahead with a bullet header before Brighton’s Neal Maupay fired in on rebound from a Jordan Pickford mistake shortly before half-time, only for James Rodriguez to whip in a free-kick which Yerry Mina headed in to restore Everton’s lead.
Rodriguez then finished off second-half crosses from Alex Iwobi then Abdoulaye Doucoure to net his first Premier League brace, despite Yves Bissouma volleying in a 92nd minute consolation for the Seagulls as Everton held on for a 4-2 win which put them top for the first time in over five years.
Ollie Watkins opened his Premier League goal account with a hattrick as Aston Villa stunned Liverpool 7-2 in a dramatic nine goal thriller at Villa Park to go second, as Villa’s Jack Grealish and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah both collected braces with the Reds slipping to fifth on goal difference.
Leicester consequently slipped to third after suffering a shock 3-0 home defeat to West Ham as Michail Antonio, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen scored in a comfortable result for the Hammers.
Arsenal sit fourth after goals in three second-half minutes from Bukayo Saka and Nicholas Pepe fired the Gunners to victory over second-bottom Sheffield United, who grabbed a late consolation through David McGoldrick.
Tottenham round out the top six as Harry Kane and Son Heung-min both netted twice in a dominant 6-1 win at Manchester United, after going behind to Bruno Fernandes’ second-minute penalty before Anthony Martial was red carded after reacting to an elbow from Erik Lamela.
Down in the relegation zone, Burnley remain third bottom after Callum Wilson’s brace helped Newcastle United to a 3-1 win over the Clarets at St James’ Park in Saturday Night Football.
Fulham continue rock-bottom after Pedro Neto’s strike proved the difference for Wolves in a tight encounter at Molineux.
Elsewhere, Jorginho scored twice from the penalty spot whilst Ben Chilwell volleyed in his first Chelsea goal before setting up Kurt Zouma’s header as Frank Lampard’s Blues battered Crystal Palace 4-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Oriol Romeu’s stunning volley clinched a 2-0 home win for Southampton over West Brom after Moussa Djenepo fired the Saints ahead from Danny Ings’ blocked shot which fell his way.
Finally, Rodrigo pounced on an Ederson error to snatch a point for Leeds United in a fierce battle against Manchester City at Elland Road after Raheem Sterling had fired