Two consecutive weeks of Premier League football? Fancy me a happy man. Add to the mix a Chelsea home victory against always difficult Stoke City, and fancy me doubly happy.
Chelsea remain at the top of the Premier League table following Week 5 (13 points), a point ahead of Manchester United and three clear of Everton and West Bromwich Albion. Yes, you read that correctly. As has become tradition at WAGNH, here's a brief roundup of the weekend that was in the Premiership. Be sure to visit all of the linked club blogs from the SB Nation network, but remember, be cordial while you're hanging out in their basement.
All right, let's get into the results.
Saturday, September 22
- Swansea City 0 - 3 Everton: Marouane Fellaini would be a nice addition in January, wouldn't you say? The Belgian was at his imperious best in Wales, bossing pretty much everything as the visitors climbed to third in the league table. Everton were excellent, powered by Fellaini and strike duo Victor Anichebe and Kevin Mirallas. Mirallas, in particular, caught the eye. Swansea had several chances of their own, but failed to find a goal thanks largely to the brilliance of Tim Howard. Needless to say, the boys over at Royal Blue Mersey are in a jovial mood.
- Southampton 4 - 1 Aston Villa: About time. That must've been the phrase twirling inside Saints manager Nigel Adkins' head following his side's second-half dismantling of Villa. It didn't look promising for the hosts after Darren Bent opened the scoring, but Southampton produced a sterling second half - anchored by the play of Jason Puncheon, Ricky Lambert and Gaston Ramirez - to register their first points since returning to the Premier League. Villa blog 7500 To Holte has more on the match.
- West Bromwich Albion 1 - 0 Reading: Romelu Lukaku. Does anything else really need to be said? Chelsea's on-loan jackhammer scored his second goal in four appearances to give West Brom its finest top-flight start for 58 years. Lukaku got the goal, but Shane Long was the man receiving the plaudits after coming on in the second half and tormenting his former club. WBA are fourth - yes, fourth.
- West Ham 1 - 1 Sunderland: For Sunderland, sharing is clearly caring. The Black Cats have now drawn all four of their league matches thus far, with this one particularly frustrating. Kevin Nolan snatched a deserved point for West Ham late on, after Steven Fletcher had given Sunderland an early lead with his fourth goal since moving to the club from Wolverhampton. Want more? Check out The Roker Report.
- Wigan Athletic 1 - 2 Fulham: Hugo Rodallega returned to the DW for the first time since moving from Wigan to Fulham in the summer. He scored. Shocker (not really). This was a lively encounter, with Wigan producing a fair share of wasted chances. That, of course, allowed Fulham to seal the win through Chelsea old boy Damien Duffer. Go on, Duffer. Cottagers Confidential wraps it all up for you.
Sunday, September 23
- Liverpool 1 - 2 Manchester United: Referee Mark Halsey did his best to one-up the lovely tribute to Hillsborough that took place at Anfield prior to the renewal of this long-standing rivalry. Liverpool's excellent start to the match was sent promptly to the outhouse five minutes from halftime when Halsey issued a red card to Jonjo Shelvey for what on replay was a tasty 50-50 lunge on the equally rash Jonny Evans. Steven Gerrard put the hosts ahead despite being down to 10 men only for United to do what United does - mainly equalize, through Rafael only five minutes after Gerrard's opener, and then win it thanks to an incredibly soft penalty late on. Liverpool Offside and The Busby Babe have your in-depth analysis.
- Newcastle 1 - 0 Norwich City: Demba Ba and manager Alan Pardew don't particularly love each other it would seem. So. Ba is playing, and scoring. It wasn't exactly a good performance from the hosts at St. James' Park, highlighted by Papiss Cisse's missed penalty, but three points it is. That Hatem Ben Arfa is fairly good, eh? Here's Coming Home Newcastle's reaction to the win.
- Tottenham 2 - 1 QPR: Spurs were losing. And then they won. Alejandro Faurlin set up Rangers' opener before chucking one into his own net with his shoulder. Well done. Andre Villas-Boas did some much-needed reshuffling in the second half following a poor first 45 minutes, moving Clint Dempsey into the hole behind Jermain Defoe and Gareth Bale from left-back to left wing, and the changes worked, but only just. See Cartilage Free Captain for the full report.
- Manchester City 1 - 1 Arsenal: You know, Arsenal look real contenders this season. Wait, that's been said before. And before. And even before then. Nevertheless, the visitors were the better side at the City of Manchester Stadium - a venue visitors rarely excel - and might just have won it had Gervinho not wasted a pair of excellent chances, one on each side of the interval. The Short Fuse was definitely pleased with the outcome.