Chelsea are top of the league heading into the second international break after another solid Premier League victory Saturday over Norwich City. Here's a quick recap of all the Premier League action not involving the current European Champions. As always, the linked recaps are from our friends here at SB Nation, so please be respectful if you decide to comment on those threads. Pretend they're your in-laws if you have to. Just be nice. : )
Saturday, October 6th:
Manchester City 3 - 0 Sunderland : Defending Premier League Champions Manchester City finally got their season on track by crushing fellow unbeaten side Sunderland at home, and managed to keep their first clean sheet of the season in any competition. Yes. You read that correctly. Their first clean sheet. More at Roker Report and Bitter and Blue.
Swansea City 2 - 2 Reading: Despite going behind against Reading through early goals from Pavel Pogrebnyak and Noel Hunt, Swansea managed to come back late on, salvaging a draw through Fantasy phenom Michu and Wayne Routledge. Ultimately, the Welsh side probably should have won the match, dominating the Royals in the second half, but things ended all square at the Liberty Stadium. More at The Tilehurst End.
Wigan Athletic 2 - 2 Everton: Early-season high-flyers Everton stumbled away to Wigan, drawing 2-2 at the DW Stadium. The Toffees are still fourth, just a point behind the Manchester clubs, despite dropping two this week. Both teams traded early goals, Arouna Kone for Wigan and Nikica Jelavic for Everton. Former Blue Franco di Santo put Wigan into a lead they held for more than an hour until England left back Leighton Baines equalised from the penalty spot. More at Royal Blue Mersey, and, at some point this week,* Pie Eaters Footie.
[*Just kidding, HeapyLatic. We love you.]
West Ham United 1 - 3 Arsenal: The Hammers got off to an surprise lead through Mohamed Diame, who pantsed the Arsenal defence before curling into the far corner from a ludicrous angle. His celebrations earned him a yellow card, a decision he nearly came to regret soon after, when he should have earned his second yellow for a poor tackle on Mikel Arteta. As the game progressed, Arsenal came into their own, becoming an unstoppable force. They went on to score three straight goals to earn the three points. More at The Short Fuse.
West Bromwich Albion 3 - 2 Queens Park Rangers: Surprise outfit West Bromwich Albion continued their excellent start to the season with a nervy home win over Premier League propper-uppers and downright undesirables QPR. Baggies James Morrison and Zoltan Gera got their side out to an early lead, before QPR's Adel Taarabt pulled one back with an excellent volleyed goal. Youssuf Mulumbu re-established the Midlanders' two-goal lead. Former Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero made it interesting in stoppage time with a second for QPR. The Albion, however, held on to claim three points to leave them sixth in the table. SBN doesn't have a blog for West Brom* or QPR, so I can't send you elsewhere for this one.
Sunday, October 7th:
Southampton 2 - 2 Fulham: Yet another 2-2 draw. Jose Fonte got the Saints out to a lead after just four minutes. Fulham were the better of the two teams in the match, particularly in the second half. A Jos Hooiveld own goal and a Kieran Richardson strike appeared to have secured the points for Fulham, but the Portuguese defender Fonte completed his brace with a last-gasp equaliser to snatch a point for his side. More at Cottagers Confidential.
Liverpool 0 - 0 Stoke City: Liverpool. Oh, Liverpool. When are you going to stop entertaining me with your incompetence? Hopefully never. Despite being the better side in the match, Liverpool couldn't make anything of their chances, and it finished a scoreless draw. It was a worrying performance for the Reds, as they showed little edge in attack, and were again poor in defence, gifting Stoke a number of good opportunities with mistakes. Could have been a classic match, but it simply wasn't. More at The Liverpool Offside.
Tottenham Hotspur 2 - 0 Aston Villa: Agent AVB went disappointingly off-mission against Aston Villa, leading Spurs to a 2-0 home win. A few years ago such a result over the Midlands club would have been something of a coup for them, but now? Not so much. Villa have struggled in recent seasons, and this one has been no exception. With just one win in seven matches so far, and just five points, they look to be in trouble. Spurs, sadly, probably aren't. They won this one easily, and looked pretty good...dammit. More at Cartilage Free Captain and 7500 to Holte.
Newcastle United 0 - 3 Manchester United: United took on last season's surprise club Newcastle at The Stadium Formerly Known As St. James's Park in the weekend's final game. Manchester United were easily the better side, and the scoreline reflected that. Though still not at their recent best, United were still comfortable winners. Defenders Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra got them off to an early lead, a position from which they were able to coast somewhat. Newcastle were in the match, but couldn't really get a foothold. Tom Cleverley killed the game late as his attempted cross somehow found its way past Steve Harper. Crazy. More at Coming Home Newcastle and The Busby Babe.
It was a pretty fun weekend of football, all in all, especially since Chelsea are still top of the league, this time four points clear. Since this is an international week, we won't have an league matches this week, but it means we'll be top of the league for at least three more weeks! See you in two weeks, folks! : )