Premier League Weekend in 20 Pictures

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2013

Premier League Weekend in 20 Pictures

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Being arguably the most entertaining division in the world, it’s only suitable that the Premier League regularly throws up some of the most pleasing visuals in football.

    This weekend’s batch of English top-flight action had everything from the thrills and spills of a Manchester derby to the surprise halt of Liverpool’s unbeaten start to the season.

    With a picture being worth a thousand words, get ready to absorb the quickest 20,000-word Premier League novel you’re likely to peruse.

    All statistics courtesy of Squawka.

1. Lambert Still a Carrow Road Threat

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    In his three years as Norwich City manager, Paul Lambert took the Canaries from the depths of League One to Premier League football and laid the foundations of the club that festers in Norfolk today.

    For Saturday's early kickoff, the now-Aston Villa boss once again came out on top at his old stomping ground with a 1-0 win over Norwich, with Chris Hughton left ruing the result.

2. Sessegnon Turns It on a Tad Too Late

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    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    After a summer that was full of transfer speculation and a fairly muddled relationship with Paolo Di Canio, Stephane Sessegnon was a somewhat surprising deadline-day departure from the Stadium of Light.

    Having not scored in his last 185 minutes as a Sunderland player, the Benin international returned to scoring matters in his first appearance as a West Brom player—it just so happened to be against his old team.

    Though any celebrations were low key, Sess' impact was still felt by the Black Cats as the Hawthorns' visitors slumped to a dismal 3-0 defeat.

3. "Chin Up, Paolo."

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    Tony Marshall/Getty Images

    Just two goals scored and nine conceded in Sunderland's last three games, there's not much for Paolo Di Canio to be jubilant for at the moment.

    After his side's 3-0 loss at West Brom, the Italian journeyed to the Hawthorns' away section and, per BBC Sport, said that he absorbed their criticism and understood their fury over recent form.

    "Keep your chins up" was the message Di Canio hoped to send to his club's travelling supporters. It's inconclusive as to whether it's had an effect yet.

    Update: It was announced on Sunday night, per the club's official website, that Di Canio has been sacked by Sunderland, meaning this final mad contribution from the Italian will be the last thing he's remembered for.

4. Brady Maintains His Tiger's Roar

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    This season Hull City have scored five Premier League goals and are sitting around the middle of the table, bearing decent fruit under the guidance of the well-travelled Steve Bruce.

    Former Manchester United winger Robbie Brady has been directly involved in three of those scores, assisting one and netting two of his own.

    Thus far, the Red Devils academy graduate has been arguably Bruce's best player and helped majorly in turning Newcastle United over at St. James' Park.

5. Kinnear Sees the Funny Side

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Despite losing 3-2 at home to Hull City, Joe Kinnear and Mike Ashley still managed to see the funny side of their team's predicament on Saturday.

    Kinnear and Ashley have been criticised for the lack of transfer business conducted at the club over the summer, but those headlines wouldn't appear to be dampening spirits.

6. Leighton's Lucky Lefty

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    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    The foot that almost single-handedly won a game this weekend, Leighton Baines' sweetly struck pair of free-kicks were the difference in Everton's 3-2 triumph at West Ham.

    The Toffees talisman is already regarded as one of Europe's most dangerous left-backs when attacking. The Upton Park performance only moved to cement that notion.

7. Lukaku Gives West Ham a Headache

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    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    Of course, it was Baines' influence that scored just two of Everton's three goals, with the other being netted by half-time substitute and prolific on-loan talent, Romelu Lukaku.

    According to the official Everton website, the Belgian couldn't remember scoring his winning goal after taking a knock to the head in East London.

    That's what one would call putting their body on the line.

8. Lovren Repays the Saints Faithful

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    They may not have been expected to come out on top against a team leading the league, but Southampton's Dejan Lovren ensured that Southampton's following masses had something to take with them for the trip back south.

    The Saints ran out as eventual 1-0 winners against Liverpool on Saturday afternoon, with ecstasy in abundance for Southampton as they watched Lovren head them home.

9. Suarez Closing in on the Action

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    With just a couple of days left before Luis Suarez makes his highly anticipated return to English football, the Uruguayan's absence was felt as much as ever in the 1-0 loss to Southampton this weekend.

    Watching on from the Anfield stands, Suarez was so close to the action, yet so far away as Brendan Rodgers' side simply lacked a certain bite in attack.

    After such a long layoff, there's some debate as to whether Suarez will have to contend with some teething issues upon his return to play, but a player of his quality has the potential to make a seamless transition.

10. Mourinho Now "The Happy One"

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Despite the club's recent fall in the Champions League, Chelsea' 2-0 win over Fulham this weekend was enough to ensure that, albeit temporarily, Jose Mourinho's side made their way back to the summit of the Premier League.

    Scrutinised under the most powerful of media microscopes, the Portuguese boss has far from weathered his hardest trials back as boss of Stamford Bridge, but is nonetheless The Happy One for now.

11. Chelsea on Top of West London

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Chelsea's derby victory over Fulham this weekend was a fairly rudimentary display: A club strengthening their squad with youth and explosive talent over the summer besting a side that added older and less exciting acquisitions.

    Gary Cahill helped flatten a Cottagers lineup that managed just one shot on target this weekend, with the Blues dominating the fixture in just about every way possible.

12. Michu All Smiles

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    As if a 3-0 win at Valencia during midweek wasn't enough for the South Wales masses, Swansea City had to go and build on their sensational European triumph with another fine win, this time over Premier League newcomers Crystal Palace.

    Once more, it was Michu who helped ensure that the Spanish flavour of the Swans triumphed over their latest opponents, with the Spaniards' glee quite evident after netting the match's opener.

13. Laudrup Left Lusting for More

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Fifty-five percent of the possession, 94 percent of tackles completed and an astonishing pass completion rate of 87 percent—what wasn't there to love for Michael Laudrup this weekend?

    The Dane put all the weapons in place for his side's 2-0 win at Selhurst Park and looked to be purring as they eased to a fourth unbeaten outing—and understandably so.

14. Mertesacker Mauling

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    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    Netting the fourth goal of his Premier League career, Per Mertesacker pitched in with a monumental display in the 3-1 win over Stoke City on Sunday.

    The German international completed 91 percent of his passes and 53 of his 58 attempted tackles, providing a firm fixture in the Gunners' table-topping defence.

15. Arsenal United

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    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    Of course, Arsenal's most recent triumph was much more than just a one-man show and the team's renewed sense of team spirit has been the story of their season so far.

    Although relatively inactive in this summer's transfer market, Arsene Wenger has unearthed a reserve of skill in the players already under his command, summed up perfectly by this awe-inspiring photo.

16. Paulinho Power

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    Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

    Meanwhile, in Tottenham's section of North London, one of the Premier League's busiest teams this summer is revelling in the fruits of their negotiation labour.

    One of the best bits of business over the summer period was that of Paulinho's £17 million arrival at White Hart Lane.

    Sunday saw the Brazilian once again take great steps in settling into his European surroundings, netting the late winner during a 1-0 victory at the Cardiff City Stadium.

17. You Can't Spell Tottenham Without "T-E-A-M"

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    Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

    Just as Arsenal are relying on much more than one player for their current success, Tottenham are doing just as many supposed they would in the wake of Gareth Bale's departure, forming a much stronger team in his absence.

    In the end, it was two of the club's summer midfield arrivals, Paulinho and Erik Lamela, who combined in sync to give Spurs a vital three points at Cardiff City.

    That being said, there was signs of improved teamwork all over the pitch for Andre Villas-Boas' side that emerged as victors against a Bluebirds side that's been tough to nick points off this term.

18. The Manchester City Mould

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    The story of this Premier League weekend was very much Manchester City's 4-1 triumph over Manchester United in a derby that left the millions wide-eyed and mouths agape.

    Super Sunday saw Sergio Aguero net a brace in the bitter rivalry's latest encounter, but the victory very much showed off the sense that Manuel Pellegrini's men are indeed beginning to mesh, not least of which thanks to their replenished defensive ranks.

19. Moyes in Mourning

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    In the wake of his first Manchester derby, none will be feeling the sting of defeat more than David Moyes, who was helpless but to watch as his side were dominated in just about every area of the outing.

    The absence of one Sir Alex Ferguson was as obvious as ever as the Citizens played the Red Devils at their own counterattacking game in the second half of Sunday's match, but Moyes has given his doubters an incredible amount of ammunition with his latest result.

20. Noisy Neighbours Get Noisier

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    Manchester City's fanbase has grown exorbitantly over the last five years or so, many of whom will be young followers simply basking in the star-studded setup at the Etihad Stadium.

    However, this Citizens' response to his side's massive three points was the pick of the bunch as one who looks to have been keeping tabs of all things City since long before the cash injection of Sheikh Mansour.

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