Another weekend, another collection of brilliant games from the Premier League.
There was the huge showdown between Arsenal and Manchester City. There was Chelsea, Everton and Manchester United with the chance to gain ground on the Gunners after their loss. There was Newcastle, failing to hold onto a vital three points against Southampton. And goodness, did Liverpool smoke Tottenham.
Heck, there was even Crystal Palace giving Chelsea all they could handle.
It was another fine weekend of footballing action, but a few results stood above the rest. Let's take a closer look at this weekend's most fascinating contests.
|Manchester City||Arsenal||City win, 6-3|
|Cardiff City||West Bromwich Albion||Cardiff win, 1-0|
|Chelsea||Crystal Palace||Chelsea win, 2-1|
|Everton||Fulham||Everton win, 4-1|
|Newcastle United||Southampton||Draw, 1-1|
|West Ham United||Sunderland||Draw, 0-0|
|Hull City||Stoke City||Draw, 0-0|
|Aston Villa||Manchester United||United win, 3-0|
|Norwich City||Swansea City||Draw, 1-1|
|Tottenham||Liverpool||Liverpool win, 5-0|
Manchester City beat Arsenal, 6-3
It's not shocking that City beat Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium—they do that to everyone. But by a 6-3 margin?
Yeah, that was surprising.
Arsenal went from having the league's best defense, at least statistically, to giving up more than half of the goals (six) they had conceded on the season to that point (11). Yikes.
But City aren't without concerns themselves. When they are forced to absorb pressure and protect a lead, they suddenly look lost. Yes, they are brilliant on the counter-attack once they establish a lead, but even in an open game, they won't be pleased with conceding three.
And why in the world is their form so polarized between home and away fixtures? It's an issue they must fix, because with the exception of this match, Arsenal have been quite good away from home, as championship contenders might be.
All in all, this was the weekend's most intriguing result. Certainly, City once again asserted that they are a cut above the rest in their home digs.
Manchester United beat Aston Villa, 3-0
Robin van Persie is out to injury. Wayne Rooney didn't score a goal and almost played the role of a central midfielder. And United beat Aston Villa, on the road, with ease.
United looked like a team in this match, rather than a group of individuals trying to ascertain their exact role on the pitch. Antonio Valenica and Rafael were menacing down the right side. Rooney was seemingly everywhere on the pitch, playing point guard. Danny Welbeck was wonderful at forward.
It was a dominant performance, the type we saw from United with regularity last season but has seemed to elude them this year. The club's faithful will hope it is a sign of things to come and not an aberration.
Liverpool beat Tottenham, 5-0
Spurs were the home team in this contest, but you would have never known it.
Liverpool dominated this game from the start and by the time Paulinho was sent off in the second half, the result was pretty much in hand. Luis Suarez netted a brace, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson were dynamic and Tottenham never looked capable of piercing the Reds defense.
If there were any doubts about Liverpool's bid for a league title this year, they were answered in North London. A top-four finish is far more realistic, but expect Liverprool to have a say in the title race one way or another.