EPL weekend wrap: Chelsea maintain lead, Reds lose
Pritesh Mistry looks back on the weekend's action in the English Premier League
Tottenham 2-4 Chelsea
This London derby turned out to be the game of the weekend not only for the 6 goals which were scored but also for the scintillating display of Roberto Di Matteo's "New Blues". Chelsea showed creativity and intent about them all throughout the game. They were adventurous, classy and skillful especially with the midfield trio of Hazard, Mata and Oscar combining together. Spurs did well to score twice but they clearly felt the late absence of Gareth Bale and Mousa Dembele. This however was no reason to detract Chelsea's authority over the game. One can argue that Gallas made three dreadful errors to allow Chelsea in at goal, but no one can take credit away from the way Chelsea scored their goals. Juan Mata proved to be the heartbeat of most Chelsea attacks.
Fulham 1-0 Aston Villa
Fulham were not at their fluent best, but they did enough to grab the three points in the end. It could have only been a point had Christian Benteke not missed the chance to equalise in the closing stages of the game. Paul Lambert's poor run of games continued since he took over the challenge of managing Villa.
Image: Chelsea's Juan Mata celebrates after scoring a goal against Tottenham Hotspur
Photographs: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
City down West Brom; Liverpool grab much-needed three points
West Brom 1-2 Manchester City
Manchester City showed a lot of character yet again as they battled right until the end and refused to settle for a point despite being down to ten men for 70 odd minutes. After James Milner saw red in the 23rd minute of the game, Mancini decided to play a non conventional 4-1-1-3 with Yaya Toure protecting the back four. Nasri, Dzeko, Aguero and Tevez worked hard to force a break through until the dying stages of the game. Joe Hart had his role to play in the Man City winner as it was his save from Lukaku in stoppage time which allowed City to stay in the game. It was a trademark blistering counter attack which saw a clinical finish from Dzeko at the end in stoppage time.
Liverpool 1-0 Reading
Although Liverpool grabbed a much needed three points, their lack of cutting edge was exposed again. 17-year-old Raheem Sterling gave the Reds the lead and he was involved in a lot of attacks which Liverpool could not convert into goals. Reading, themselves, had chances in the second half and it would only be fair to say that they would have felt they could easily have nicked a point.
Image: Manchester City's Edin Dzeko celebrates his goal against West Bromwich Albion
Photographs: Darren Staples/Reuters
Rooney helps United rally to victory
Manchester United 4-2 Stoke City
Man United's defensive frailty continued at the beginning of the game as Wayne Rooney unwittingly conceded an own goal of a Charlie Adam cross. Rooney soon made amends for the same as he converted an inch perfect fizzing cross by Robin Van Persie. There was more to follow from the adventurous attack Sir Alex had decided to play in Welbeck, RVP, Valencia and Rooney. After United had a little scare when Kightly scored Stoke's second in the 58th minute, the hosts ensured the game was put beyond all doubt as they took advantage of Stoke's lapse in concentration.
Swansea 2-1 WiganSwansea delightfully saw their first win in six league games as Wigan's poor form continued at the Liberty Stadium. The Spanish duo of Pablo and Michu ensured Swansea's two goal lead before Wigan game themselves hope as Emmerson Boyce flicked his shot in. Wigan tried all they could to salvage something of the game; Arouna Kone was denied an equalizer by an offside flag. Swansea boss Michael Laudrup experienced joy and relief at the end as Wigan Boss Martinez felt they deserved more out of the performance.
Image: Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (centre) celebrates scoring against Stoke City
Photographs: Nigel Roddis/Reuters
Norwich stun Arsenal
Norwich 1-0 Arsenal
The Gunners saw themselves beaten and stunned by Norwich who picked up their first three points of the league this season. Grant Holt put the home side ahead when he slotted in after keeper Vito Mannone had unconvincingly parried Alexander Tettey's shot. Arsenal had plenty of possession but relatively few chances. Arsene Wenger's desperation to avoid his first away defeat even stretched to giving attacking midfielder Serge Gnabry, 17, his league debut, although the move proved in vain as his side failed to score at Carrow road.
West Ham 4-1 SouthamptonWest Ham earned their fourth victory of the season as Southampton continued their slow start to the season. Mark Noble proved to be reliable as ever as his and Nolan's goal saw West Ham take an early two goal second half cushion. It was too big a mountain to climb for the Saints from there on, Lallana however, managed to pull one back at the 63rd minute mark. West Ham comfortably restored their two goal cushion thanks to Mark Noble's brilliant dead ball abilities. It proved to be a very sour end for the Saints as three of their defenders were embarrassed by Maiga who sealed the victory with a wonderful solo goal.
Image: Grant Holt of Norwich City celebrates scoring against Arsenal
Photographs: Andrew Winning/Reuters
Ten-man Newcastle hold Sunderland
Sunderland 1-1 Newcastle
Newcastle took the lead in the early stages through Yohan Cabaye and were down to 10 men early on after Cheick Tiote saw red. It was a bit harsh on Tiote when the replay showed that there was very little intent to make contact with Fletcher. It was all "edge of the seat" stuff as Sunderland battled hard to get themselves back into the game. Newcastle never really had many moments of anxiety despite being down to 10 men. Sunderland had to wait until the 86th minute to equalize as Larsson's free-kick was headed on to Ba by O'Shea, leaving Krul wrong-footed and ensuring the points were shared.
QPR 1-1 EvertonQueens Park Rangers failed to secure a first Premier League win of the season, despite enjoying a man advantage for the last thirty minutes of the game. QPR's early goal was a bit of a surprise as Junior Hoilett ran 60 yards on a counter attack before finding the Everton net with a deflected shot. The goal seemed to energize QPR and their passing got better as the game progressed. Everton with their sheer physicality relentlessly tried to fight their way back. The Croatian Jelavic won a free kick through which Everton struck back.
Image: Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson (left) challenges Newcastle United's Demba Ba
Photographs: Nigel Roddis/Reuters