Jose Mourinho's Chelsea opened up a four-point lead over their nearest rivals on Sunday, but they will feel it could have been so much more having conceded a last-minute goal to draw 1-1 with Manchester United at Old Trafford.
With Manchester City having fallen to West Ham just 24 hours previous, it is a weekend in which the Premier League title race could have taken a major swing toward West London. Football, though, is rarely so simple.
Here is the Premier League table in full after nine of the Game Week's fixtures:
|Updated Premier League Standings|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||9||2||4||3||-1||10|
And the results in full from Week 9:
|Week 9 Results So Far|
|West Ham vs. Manchester City||25 Oct.||12:45 p.m.||2-1|
|Liverpool vs. Hull||25 Oct.||3 p.m.||0-0|
|Sunderland vs. Arsenal||25 Oct.||3 p.m.||0-2|
|Southampton vs. Stoke City||25 Oct.||3 p.m.||1-0|
|West Brom vs. Crystal Palace||25 Oct.||3 p.m.||2-2|
|Swansea City vs. Leicester City||25 Oct.||5:30 p.m.||2-0|
|Burnley vs. Everton||26 Oct.||1:30 p.m.||1-3|
|Tottenham vs. Newcastle||26 Oct.||1:30 p.m.||1-2|
|Manchester United vs. Chelsea||26 Oct.||4 p.m.||1-1|
|QPR vs. Aston Villa||27 Oct.||8 p.m.||TBC|
Understandably, given the outcomes of the matches involving the expected title challengers this campaign, the weekend has had a significant impact on the title odds being offered.
As things stand, these are the current Premier League title odds:
|Latest Title Odds|
Van Persie Denies Chelsea in Final Minute
A dramatic finish at Old Trafford in which Branislav Ivanovic saw red for a second yellow card and Robin van Persie immediately equalised for Manchester United denied Chelsea the opportunity to move six points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
Having taken the lead early in the second half through a Didier Drogba header from a corner, Chelsea had looked to be heading for what would have been a major victory for their title hopes. United, though, are famous for their late rallies and did not disappoint.
Angel Di Maria's free-kicks had not been as good as he would expect for most of the encounter, but it was his late delivery into the box that unsettled the Chelsea defence. Star goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois saved well from Marouane Fellaini but could do nothing to prevent Van Persie firing home.
It was a result that will prove to Louis van Gaal's side that they can compete with the very best in the league even without Wayne Rooney and Radamel Falcao. For Chelsea, though, it will be seen as a major missed opportunity.
Manchester City Defeated by Excellent West Ham
Sam Allardyce's summer was tumultuous, with persistent rumours that his position at Upton Park was under threat circulating in the media for much of the off-season.
His new-look side, though, have been largely excellent since the end of the summer transfer window, and they once more excelled against Manchester City on Saturday, claiming a 2-1 victory over the league champions.
James Ducker @TelegraphDucker
It's getting to stage where Pellegrini will have to tweak his system more for certain matches. Opponents are learning how to play them2014-10-26 12:06:01
City will point to wasted opportunities, having twice struck the woodwork through Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure. However, for the first hour of the game, they were frequently coming up second-best against a powerful and speedy West Ham side. With forwards Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho both consistently threatening, they have weapons in attack.
It was a blow to the Manchester side's title hopes, albeit one softened by events at Old Trafford on Sunday. Manager Manuel Pellegrini, though, will be very concerned about the way West Ham were able to trouble his side defensively.
Liverpool Struggles Continue
Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool had a major breakthrough last campaign, returning to the top four and thus Champions League football. However, with 14 points from nine games thus far, they look unlikely to repeat last year's second-place finish.
There is still a long way to go in the title race—29 games, to be exact—but there is little to suggest that they can make up the nine-point gap to leaders Chelsea. Against Hull, the Reds showed the frustrating lack of clinical play in the final third that has been an issue for much of the campaign.
Liverpool lacked width and quality in attack, only beginning to fire with the second-half introduction of Philippe Coutinho. While Mario Balotelli continues to be a scapegoat, the attacking struggles are not solely caused by the Italian—he is a convenient target.
It should not be forgotten that Hull are a good side and a difficult Premier League opponent, with Steve Bruce having compiled a talented but well-organised squad at the KC Stadium. These are games Liverpool have to be winning if they are to challenge at the top once more, however, and this season they are thus far failing to meet those expectations.
Arsenal Take Opportunities to Move Above Rivals
Arsenal were not at their flowing best against Sunderland on Saturday but took advantage of glaring errors from their opponents to ensure a comfortable 2-0 victory with Chilean Alexis Sanchez twice on the scoresheet.
It is a result that moves the Gunners back above Liverpool in the Premier League table and eases what had been mounting pressure on the shoulders of manager Arsene Wenger after a lacklustre showing against Anderlecht in the Champions League.
James Dall @JamesDallESPN
Credit, though, to Alexis Sanchez for his chasing down both of those errors. He's relentless.2014-10-26 10:43:28
Given that confidence at the Emirates has taken a knock, it was a much-needed away victory that owed much to the composure of Alexis when opportunities were presented his way. The combination play of himself and Danny Welbeck also looked promising on the day.
There are still concerns for the Gunners, and the injury suffered by Kieran Gibbs will be a blow if the left-back misses coming games. Next up, the North Londoners face Burnley, however, with a chance to further move toward challenging in the top four again this season.
Spurs Blow Lead and Suffer Major Setback
Tottenham looked comfortable heading into half-time with a 1-0 lead over Newcastle on Sunday. However, when Sammy Ameobi equalised for the Magpies seven seconds into the second half, the game swung away from Spurs' grasp.
It will be a major concern for manager Mauricio Pochettino, who saw Moussa Sissoko dominate his side's midfield after the break. The Argentine was bold in selecting Ryan Mason for the clash, but he looked out of his depth against the marauding Frenchman at times.
After nine games, 11 points is not the return that Spurs would have had in mind, nor their highly rated manager. The title was perhaps always a pipe dream, but a top-four finish already looks difficult with unexpected contenders Southampton eight points ahead and West Ham also opening up a gap to their London rivals.
For Alan Pardew's Newcastle it was a much-needed reprieve, allowing the side to build upon last week's first win of the season against Leicester. In terms of the title odds, though, it was a significant blow to Tottenham's already slender chances of success this campaign in an eminently winnable fixture.