Former Manchester City player Cole Palmer has scored a penalty in the fifth minute of stoppage time as Chelsea came back to claim a 4-4 with the defending Premier League champions in a stunning match at Stamford Bridge.
Palmer left City for Chelsea in a deal worth around $A82 million in September and showed supreme composure to fire past Ederson in the dying stages.
Rodri had looked like securing a win for Pep Guardiola’s team with a deflected effort with four minutes left of regulation time.
But referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot when Ruben Dias slid into substitute Armando Broja in the box and, after a delay, Palmer swept his shot into the corner to stop City moving three points clear at the top.
Chelsea had dented Tottenham’s title ambitions with a wild 4-1 win against Ange Postecoglou’s team on Monday and proved a challenge for City, too, by coming back from behind three times.
City lead the table on 28 points with Liverpool going into second on 27, above Arsenal on goal difference. Tottenham are fourth on 26 after successive defeats.
Erling Haaland fired City ahead from the penalty spot in the 25th after VAR adjudged Marc Cucurella to have fouled the Norwegian.
Thiago Silva evened the score four minutes later with a header from Conor Gallagher’s corner.
Another former City player, Raheem Sterling, put Chelsea 2-1 up in the 37th by tapping in Reece James’ cross after a sweeping attack,
The score was even again in first-half stoppage time when Bernardo Silva crossed for Manuel Akanji to head in.
City re-took the lead two minutes after the break, with Haaland scoring again — sliding in to convert from close range.
Chelsea’s third goal eventually came from Nicolas Jackson in the 67th, the striker firing in the rebound after Gallagher’s long shot was parried.
Rodri’s powerful effort from the edge of the box took a big deflection off Thiago Silva to send Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez the wrong way as the ball flew into the opposite corner, and City looked home and dry until Palmer’s late intervention.
Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino said: “That is why we always say the Premier League is the best in the world. We want to do something special here and this is how we need to play. We scored four goals against the best team in the world. It’s good to go into the international break like this.
“The approach of the game was good. We were brave. That is the idea of football. I am so proud and happy. The players never gave up. The reaction of the players was amazing.”
Pochettino struggled to stay composed during the game and apologised for his behaviour.
“Maybe I crossed the limit because I was emotional on the touchline. I want to apologise to everyone and the referee. It’s trying to help and encourage the players to keep going. We faced an amazing team.”
City coach Pep Guardiola said the scoreline was a fair reflection of the game.
“The Premier League has quality players with the ability to drive the ball from deep. I’m happy for the result. We were close. I think it’s a fair result. We were controlled enough.
“I always have to think about what we can do to get better. It’s not going to happen that we come here and win 7-0. They are trying to rebuild. We have no complaints.”
He described the midfield battle as “like chess. They had Enzo, Gallagher and Caicedo. They are so dangerous. Liverpool couldn’t do it. They were much better than Arsenal. It’s Chelsea. They have speed, physicality and a bench. We go into the international break top of the league and I didn’t expect that after the Arsenal defeat.”
While Tottenham are now fourth, two points adrift, City are just a point clear of second-placed Liverpool, who beat Brentford 3-0 with Mohamed Salah continuing his remarkable Anfield scoring record with two more goals to bring up his 200th in English football.
Only Haaland – 13 – has scored more in the Premier League this season than the Egypt international, who took his tally to 10 by scoring for the sixth successive home game to write another entry in club’s history books.
Diogo Jota’s late strike then put a quick end to questions over Liverpool’s mini-stumble after the draw at Luton and Europa League defeat in Toulouse.
Aston Villa moved to fifth, three points off the top, with their 3-1 win over Fulham at Villa Park, courtsey of an own goal from Antonee Robinson before strikes from John McGinn and Ollie Watkins.
Sheffield United clawed their way off the bottom of the table with their 1-1 draw at Brighton, while Tomas Soucek grabbed a late winner as West Ham came from behind at the London Stadium to beat Nottingham Forest 3-2.