Premier League Week 8: Saturday's Best Results and Games
The Premier League returned with a bang after the international break with goals and drama galore across the division.
With Newcastle United hosting high-flying Liverpool, and Arsenal and Chelsea hosting Norwich City and Cardiff City, respectively, Week 8 was always going to be packed with action.
There was also plenty to enjoy further down the table, too, as Swansea City looked to take advantage of Sunderland's poor form, while Southampton visited Old Trafford with a similarly opportunistic bent against David Moyes' Manchester United.
A full list of the day's games and results can be found below, followed by a breakdown of the most important and exciting matches of the day.
|Home Team||Score||Away Team|
|Stoke City||0-0||West Bromwich Albion|
|West Ham||1-3||Manchester City|
Newcastle United 2-2 Liverpool
Before the match, much was made of the fact that games between Newcastle and Liverpool haven't finished goalless since 1974, and the latest edition continued in the same tradition.
Yohan Cabaye got the scoring underway with a long-range effort from well outside the box. Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet should have perhaps done better to stop the effort, but it was a fantastic opening goal regardless.
Liverpool's equaliser came in the form of a penalty by Steve Gerrard, which lifted the midfielder to 100 Premier League career goals. The spot-kick was won after Luis Suarez was dragged down in the box by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who was promptly sent off.
Yet 10-man Newcastle later came back in the second-half from a set piece, as substitute Paul Dummett found himself unmarked and free to slot home a finish at the far post from a free-kick outside Liverpool's area.
The Reds eventually levelled the score on 72 minutes with a nice bit of link-up play between Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, who tapped in a cutback from the Uruguayan.
Alan Pardew's side may well be happy with their point, but Liverpool will be cursing their inability to make their one-man advantage count for more. Having drawn at St. James' Park, Brendan Rodgers' men now drop from the Premier League's top two and will have a fight on their hands to claw Arsenal and Chelsea back.
Arsenal 4-1 Norwich City
Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil were once again Arsenal's masterminds as the Gunners fulfilled expectations with a dominant and stylish win at the Emirates.
The game got off to a good start for Arsene Wenger's men, as Jack Wilshere surged into an empty box to latch onto Olivier Giroud's delicious flick-on over the top of Norwich's defence. Wilshere made sure the striker's touch of class was made to count and dispatched the ball into the net with ease.
After half-time, Ozil added a second with his head, finding himself running into Norwich's box with minimal resistance to nod the ball home.
Arsenal didn't have it all their own way. Leroy Fer tried to take a chance at range in the first half with the visitors eventually scoring an equaliser through Jonny Howson on the 70th-minute mark.
With the home defence caught slightly out of shape, the midfielder was able to squeeze a shot past Wojciech Szczesny after receiving the ball from a cross that wasn't adequately dealt with.
Ramsey came off the bench to make it 3-1 with an almost slow-motion dance past two Norwich defenders to smack in Arsenal's third.
The scoreline was completed by another goal from Ozil, courtesy of a Tomas Rosicky cross tapped into his path by Ramsey.
With Liverpool drawing in the North East, Arsenal's commanding home win isolates Wenger's leaders at the top of the league, having been level on points with Suarez and Co. before the weekend.
Manchester United 1-1 Southampton
Once again United succumbed to the pressure applied by a team of determined and talented visitors, as Mauricio Pochettino's Southampton swung into town to spoil any notion that Moyes' life was going to get easier after the international break.
Though the home side were able to begin the scoring from open play with a Robin van Persie finish within the first half-hour, they were regularly outfought and unable to play, having been deprived of space and time on the ball. Wayne Rooney looked particularly untidy in possession when placed under stress by the Saints.
Rooney did end up creating the opener, however, with a run through Southampton's defence and a parried shot pushed by Artur Boruc into the feet of van Persie. All the Dutchman had to do was stroll to the side of the stranded Polish keeper, who had tried to run out to recover the ball, and pass his shot into the far corner of the net.
Dejan Lovren was partly at fault for not protecting Boruc, but the Croatian came good on 89 minutes with a desperate finish from a Southampton free-kick to deny Moyes' men.
Swansea City 4-0 Sunderland
Now to matters in the bottom half of the table.
Were you to judge Swansea's performance so far this season on their league position alone, you'd assume Michael Laudrup's team have been struggling to get their act together.
On the contrary, with the Swans in the ascendant against Continental opposition in the Europa League and their early fixture list dominated by games against Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and United, their lowly placing of late has been deceptive.
Against Sunderland they gave themselves a solid boost toward midtable respectability with a glossy performance that featured two own goals by their visiting opponents, who were transfixed and pressured into making vital errors in their own area.
Of the two goals scored under their own steam, Jonathan de Guzman's long-range was the pick, fired into the top of the Sunderland goal from at least 25 yards out.
Craig Gardner brought down Leon Britton in the area to hand Wilfried Bony the chance to make it 3-0 from the spot. The Ivorian dutifully obliged.
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