Remember when Arsenal was essentially the joke of the EPL?
Yeah, me neither.
It seems like centuries ago when the Gunners had embarrassingly lost their Premier League opener against Aston Villa at the Emirates, seemingly lacked direction in the transfer window and stared down a slew of injuries that threatened to make things much worse.
Because since that match, Aaron Ramsey has been arguably the best player in the league, Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil have been nearly as dominant and 18-year-old Serge Gnabry has given an important boost. The Gunners have won five Premier League matches in a row and are now alone at the top of the league after a 2-1 victory at Swansea City on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger right now: http://t.co/BwuizFRmVV— dirtytackle (@BrooksDT) September 28, 2013
Let's take a look at who's chasing the Gunners on the updated table after Saturday's competition:
|10||West Bromwich Albion||6||2||2||2||8|
|17||West Ham United||6||1||2||3||5|
You'll notice that Everton has creeped into the top four, thanks to the brilliant play of Romelu Lukaku. The 20-year-old has posted three goals and one assist in the last two matches for Everton on loan from Chelsea. That includes racking up two goals and an assist against Newcastle United on Monday.
The Toffees have posted three consecutive wins after three straight draws to start the EPL season. To say Lukaku has sparked the club would be an understatement.
You'll also notice that there are two Manchester squads currently sitting outside the top four.
City gave up a lead on two separate occasions on Saturday, losing 3-2 away to Villa. Still, The Citizens have the best goal differential in the league, and it's far too early to press the panic button.
Over at Old Trafford, however, it might be a different story.
The Red Devils lost 2-1 at home to West Brom on Saturday, giving them their worst start in EPL history. They now have just seven points in six matches, are 12th in the table and new manager David Moyes is public enemy No. 1 through 100.
Seismic stat No1: This is West Brom's first victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford since 1978— ESPN.co.uk (@ESPNUK) September 28, 2013
Seismic stat No2: This is Manchester United's worst start to a league season since 1989-90 (when the Premier League hadn't been invented)— ESPN.co.uk (@ESPNUK) September 28, 2013
If United struggles against last-place Sunderland next week, things are going to get incredibly ugly.
Who is most likely to finish outside of the top four this season?
Lost in the Manchester struggle on Saturday, of course, was the crucial early battle between Tottenham and Chelsea. The two highly talented, summer-improved squads fought to a 1-1 draw, keeping them at second and third place in the table.
Liverpool will have a good chance to pass them, as they head to Stadium of Light on Sunday to take on Sunderland. A win will put the Reds, currently with 10 points in five matches, in second place, moving Southampton out of the top four.