Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United were the big winners near the top of the Premier League table on Sunday, with the Blues extending their lead at this early stage of the season while the latter pair moved into the top five.
With West Ham beating QPR later in the day to cement Rangers' place at the foot of the table, it was a day of extremes in the English top flight.
Following a day of thrills and spills, here is how the table stands after seven games:
|Latest Premier League Table|
|14||West Bromwich Albion||7||2||2||3||-1||8|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||7||1||1||5||-11||4|
The league now takes a fortnight off as players join up with their international sides in the days ahead before resuming on October 18 for Round 8 of the season.
Here is the fixture list that awaits the league's return:
|Week 8 Fixtures|
|Oct. 18||12.45||Manchester City vs. Tottenham||2-0|
|Oct. 18||15.00||Newcastle vs. Leicester||2-2|
|Oct. 18||15.00||Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea||1-3|
|Oct. 18||15.00||Everton vs. Aston Villa||2-1|
|Oct. 18||15.00||Southampton vs. Sunderland||2-0|
|Oct. 18||15.00||Burnley vs. West Ham||1-2|
|Oct. 18||15.00||Arsenal vs. Hull City||2-2|
|Oct. 19||13.30||QPR vs. Liverpool||0-4|
|Oct. 19||16.00||Stoke vs. Swansea||1-1|
|Oct. 20||20.00||West Brom vs. Manchester United||1-3|
Hull to make Arsenal pay for defensive worries
It has been a worry all season, with Arsenal entering the campaign with only six senior defenders. Predictably, it has not taken long for matters to come to a head.
With Calum Chambers already having picked up a suspension for his fifth yellow card in just seven league games against Chelsea and Mathieu Debuchy a long-term injury absentee, they will take on Hull next time out without a recognised senior right-back:
In all likelihood, it will mean a Premier League debut for 19-year-old Spaniard Hector Bellerin.
For Arsenal fans, it will be a major concern, and they will come up against one of the Premier League's most troublesome opponents in Hull City. It could and should have been worse for the Gunners had Laurent Koscielny seen red for the last-man foul that handed Chelsea a penalty in his side's 1-0 defeat on Sunday.
Perhaps inhibited by their brief foray in the Europa League, Hull ended a run of five games without a win this past weekend with a 2-0 success over a Crystal Palace team that had been flying.
What will make Hull so dangerous to Arsenal, besides the obvious power that runs throughout their side, is the form of strike pair Abel Hernandez and Nikica Jelavic—scorers of a combined six league goals this campaign.
Post-match on Saturday, Bruce was particularly glowing in his praise of the latter as reported by the Hull Daily Mail:
We became a bit nervous and a bit edgy, but Jela has finished it off for us. He's been terrific all season. He's got himself in great shape.
He's got a heart the size of a bucket. It's great when he scores a goal because he deserves it.
While their recent form has not been stellar, Hull squandered winning positions late in games with West Ham, Newcastle and West Brom. Their performances deserved more.
There is an undeniable defensive weakness that Arsenal can perhaps look to exploit, as they did last season when they achieved 2-0 and 3-0 successes over Bruce's side.
However, this is a considerably better Hull side for the additions of Mo Diame and Abel Hernandez in particular and they have a great chance to test what will be an improvised Arsenal defence.
Falcao to build on his first goal against West Brom
Manchester United were excellent at times in their win over Everton on Sunday and, while their defensive concerns reared their head once more late in the game, goalkeeper David de Gea ensured his side would return to the top four with a crucial three points.
Next up for the Red Devils, ahead of a run of games against sides at the top of the table, will be a visit to West Brom—a game that manager Louis van Gaal will expect his side to win.
Van Gaal made clear after the success over Everton that he still expects much more from his United side:
However, one aspect of the game that did delight the Dutchman was the return to goalscoring of striker Radamel Falcao, scorer of United's winning goal in the encounter:
While the Colombian had gone goalless in his opening three appearances, it was not through want of trying. The former Porto and Atletico star had made two assists, while top saves from Rob Green and, on Sunday, Tim Howard delayed his first goal in English football.
Whenever the ball was crossed into the area from the flanks, Falcao was making an attempt to get on the end of it more often than not.
Manchester United @ManUtd
.@Falcao says it was "amazing" to score his first #mufc goal but admits "there was a little bit of relief". http://t.co/h3T9mWgS4F2014-10-5 14:17:48
Wins over Tottenham and Burnley in the space of a week boosted West Brom's opening to the season, but the Baggies have otherwise disappointed and fell to defeat against Liverpool this past weekend.
It would be little surprise, with United set to be boosted by the returns from injury of defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, to see the Red Devils' recent upturn continue. Furthermore, with the positions that Falcao keeps taking up in attacking areas, he will always give himself a great chance of getting on the scoresheet.
The linked map from Squawka.com shows the major threat Falcao posed to Everton this weekend. Given his track record, it is fair to say he will not always be so wasteful.
Liverpool to heap pressure on struggling Harry Redknapp
QPR fell to defeat against West Ham on Sunday, leaving the Super Hoops rock bottom of the Premier League with four points from their seven games so far. Worryingly for fans of the R's, their fixture list to date has been relatively kind.
While Charlie Austin has looked a decent attacking threat and Redknapp's side have proven quality in midfield, their defensive frailties were once more on show against the Hammers this weekend.
What Redknapp could do without, then, is a visit from a Liverpool side who will welcome back striker Daniel Sturridge into what is usually a potent forward line. Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli will have been licking their lips watching Rangers on Sunday.
Simon Austin @sport_simon
When QPR were last in Prem,Redknapp blamed what he'd inherited.Absolutely his team now though/ some big wages & look hardly any better2014-10-5 16:56:21
There was a worrying lack of commitment from the Rangers players, a trait that extends off the field to their manager. Given the simplicity with which West Ham were afforded their two goals, the first of which came from a corner that reached the back-post without a clearance being made, it would appear that the side are incapable of even doing the basics right.
As the following tweet shows, Redknapp's post-match focus was still on the other end of the pitch, where problems admittedly also remain:
QPR will have to pick up points against bigger sides now, with a run of fixtures ahead that sees them take on Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City in their next four games. Given their current malaise, though, it is difficult to see them picking up anything other than a convincing defeat against any such opposition.
Even at this early stage of the season, the Rs look real relegation candidates.