Thomas Partey spearheaded a magnificent Arsenal performance to defeat Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened his account for Chelsea as the Blues left it late against Crystal Palace.
Arsenal have received extensive praise for their strong start to the season under Mikel Arteta, but Partey has had to contend with the injury and fitness issues that have largely prevented him from delivering his best form on a consistent basis in North London.
There have been commanding displays -- he excelled on the opening day of the season against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, and in the 3-0 triumph at Bournemouth -- but the midfielder has missed three league games, largely due to thigh problems.
Those absences have coincided with Arsenal's less convincing defensive displays -- and no clean sheets -- including when they were dispatched by Manchester United.
Concerns about Partey's ongoing fitness issues -- both for club and country -- threatened to re-emerge when he was withdrawn minutes ahead of Ghana 's friendly against Brazil during the international break.
In this context, and with the FIFA World Cup only eight weeks away, his performance against Spurs was enough to silence the pessimists -- for now at least -- and serve a timely reminder of what he brings to the table.
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His goal understandably stole the headlines, but this was a performance of immense maturity and poise, underpinning this young and vivacious Arsenal side.
Partey opened the scoring, sending a curling 22-yard effort beyond Hugo Lloris after being afforded too much space outside the box by a jittery Spurs.
Harry Kane fired Spurs level from the spot, but Arsenal have shown a new-found mettle this season and, rather than wilting, they regrouped and outclassed their neighbours after the break.
Partey was pivotal, creating four goalscoring chances and making five key defensive contributions.
He was at the heart of Arsenal's intelligent and controlled use of the ball -- registering a pass accuracy of 94.6% -- and bossed the midfield zone, allowing Granit Xhaka to express himself further forward.
With his key central midfielder fit, this was surely Arsenal as Arteta intended them to be although not everyone was convinced by Partey.
"He wasn't [Arsenal's] best player," Rio Ferdinand said on his YouTube channel. "He might not play three out of the next five."
Ex-England and Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas, in discussion with Ferdinand, agreed.
"If I was [Arsenal sporting director] Edu, that's the first position I'm going for in January or the summer because you can't rely on him," Jenas said. "He's very important and you see a difference when he's in there."
Partey made just 41 starts in his first two Premier League seasons, and Arsenal's ability to mount a sustained title challenge may depend on their ability to keep the ex-Atletico Madrid man fit.
For Ghana, undone by Brazil after Partey was forced out of the team at the last minute, the midfield powerhouse's presence in Qatar -- for his experience, his ability to win back possession, and his capacity to use the ball intelligently -- may represent their best chance of escaping from an ominous group.
Inaki Williams also boosting Ghanaian optimism after a tricky international break, as the in-form player was among the goals again as Athletic Clube thrashed Almeria 4-0.
Williams, extending his record run of consecutive LaLiga outings, opened the scoring in the 10th minute after being picked out by his brother Nico.
The younger Williams added Bilbao's third goal in the 62nd minute, although Ghana supporters will be less enthusiastic than before about the youngster's magnificent start to the season after he committed his international future to Spain.
While Inaki Williams made his debut for Ghana, Nico featured twice for La Roja, and the brothers appear primed to represent different nations at the World Cup.
For now, though, united in the red and white of Bilbao, their chemistry has been influential in taking the Basque heavyweights to third in the table -- three points off leaders Barcelona -- after seven matches.
At Chelsea, Graham Potter is making a stuttering start as Thomas Tuchel's successor, with the Blues following up a stodgy 1-1 draw against FC Salzburg with an unconvincing 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.
Jordan Ayew was influential as the hosts took the lead -- setting up Odsonne Edouard with a magnificent cross -- before Aubameyang levelled for the visitors in the 38th minute and Conor Gallagher scored the late winner.
Auba's effort marked his return to the Premier League after eight months away, and his predatory instincts appeared undimmed as he met Thiago Silva's knock down before pulling away from Joel Ward and finishing calmly beyond Vicente Guiata.
"It feels very good to score," Aubameyang said after the match. "When you're a striker you just want to get that first goal as soon as possible. It came today so I'm really happy, happy to get back to the Premier League with a goal."
Aubameyang showed fluid efficiency of movement as Palace were pegged back, and there was little evidence that he's now 33 and generally considered to be past his prime.
If he can now succeed where Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku, Gonzalo Higuain and Alvaro Morata have failed, and actually become a No. 9 about whom Blues fans can be proud, then Potter's side may yet become a truly potent force during the course of this campaign.
Certainly, Aubameyang appears focused, motivated, and still with a point to prove in the top flight.
Ayew, too, had his moments, at one point forcing Thiago Silva into an apparent handball as the ageing centre-back struggled to contain the lively Ghana forward.
Wilfried Zaha, too, crafted an occasion for Palace, although he too could only watch on as Kepa pawed his effort away, before Gallagher's late strike for Chelsea.
In Germany, Mane was back among the goals as he played his part in Bayern's resounding victory over Leverkusen.
One of the chief beneficiaries from an inspired display by Jamal Musiala, playing ahead of Mane, the Senegal forward added Bayern's third in the 39th minute when he picked up a ball from the Germany international and held his nerve on the edge of the box to finish coolly beyond Lukas Hradecky.
It was Mane's first goal at the Allianz Arena, and his first since Aug. 21st, having failed to score in his previous six outings for his new employers.
Without Nigeria hotshot Victor Osimhen, who is only just returning to training, Zambo Anguissa stepped into a more offensive role, registering four defensive contributions while also making the difference in the final third.
The Cameroon international scored only two goals in 201 league outings in France, England, Spain and Italy before this season, so his match-winning display was entirely unprecedented.
Ademola Lookman, who arrived at Atalanta during the summer, scored his first home goal for the club -- his second goal since signing -- when he slide in to convert from close range against Fiorentina after excellent work from Luis Muriel.