"City were excellent, and we were extremely poor."
It was back to domestic football following another international break. Arsenal are four points clear at the top of the Premier League after a comfortable 2-0 win against Southampton.
Everton and Liverpool played out a 3-3 draw, while Manchester United conceded a goal in the last minute to allow Cardiff City a point.
Manchester City thumped Tottenham Hotspur 6-0 at home. Chelsea won 3-0 at West Ham United as Crystal Palace beat Hull City under the watchful eyes of incoming new manager, Tony Pulis.
Shahid Khan’s beleaguered Fulham lost 2-1 home to Swansea City. Newcastle United registered another victory with a 2-1 win against Norwich City, while North East rivals Sunderland didn’t have the same luck as they went down 2-0 at Stoke City.
Everton 3 Liverpool 3 – 12.45pm KO, Saturday
Goodison Park played host to the 221st Merseyside derby where neighbours Everton and Liverpool shared the spoils. An incredible battle started with first blood to Liverpool with a goal from Philippe Coutinho in the 5th minute.
This was cancelled out three minutes later by Kevin Mirallas. Luis Suárez then restored Liverpool’s lead with a free kick to take Liverpool into a 2-1 half time lead.
Everton didn’t give up, and were rewarded for their endeavour with an equaliser by Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku struck again ten minutes later to give Everton the lead, with The Toffees heading towards a famous derby win.
Liverpool striker, Daniel Sturridge had other ideas though. He popped up for Steven Gerrard’s inch perfect free kick in the last minute to end the match 3-3.
A football fan on Facebook commenting on the game said: “What a match! Heart pounding. This derby always does that.”
Arsenal 2 Southampton 0 – 3pm KO, Saturday
Olivier Giroud’s brace earned Arsenal an important win to remain top of the Premier League. The visitors never recovered after goalkeeper, Artur Boruc’s failed attempt at tackling Giroud allowed him in to score.
The second half didn’t fare much better for the Saints. Their fate was sealed in the 86th minute when Arsenal were awarded a penalty for José Fonte’s shirt pull on Per Mertesacker. Up stepped Giroud to bag his and Arsenal’s second goal of the game.
West Ham 0 Chelsea 3 – 3pm KO, Sunday
Former Hammer’s favourite Frank Lampard returned to the Boleyn Ground to heap misery on his former club for the third time on the bounce.
Lampard scored in each half in a game that was dominated by the West Londoners. His first goal came from a penalty after Oscar was fouled by Hammer’s stopper, Jussi Jääskeläinen. Oscar then scored in the 34th minute to take Chelsea into a 2-0 half time lead.
Although West Ham United played better in the second half, it was game over in the 82nd minute when nemesis Lampard sealed the points with his second goal of the match.
This was Chelsea’s first away win in the league in six games, as they climbed to third place in the Premier League. Chelsea boss José Mourinho said at the end: “For me, everybody did a fantastic job for me. The team was really good.”
Manchester City 6 Tottenham Hotspur 0 – 4pm KO, Saturday
It was more than an off day for Tottenham Hotspur as Manchester City beat them 6-0 at home. Mesmerised at times, the Spurs players could only look on in awe at the sheer force of the Manchester City squad.
Jesús Navas started and finished the rout with goals in the first and last minute of the match. This followed with a Sandro own goal, before Sergio Agüero made it 3-0 at the break. Agüero started the second half where he left off and scored with just five minutes from the restart.
Álvaro Negredo joined in the goals, scoring on fifty minutes, while Navas scored in the 90th minute to complete a commanding victory.
The defeat left Spurs with just one point from their last three league games. Spurs manager André Villas-Boas acknowledged: “City were excellent, and we were extremely poor.”
Cardiff City 2 Manchester United 2 – 4.10pm KO, Sunday
An injury time goal rescued a point for Cardiff City as Manchester United felt the pain of conceding at the death. Wayne Rooney scored in the 15th minute to give Manchester United the lead, only for former United striker Fraizer Campbell to level on thirty-three minutes.
Patrice Evra then headed in Rooney’s corner to give the visitors a half time lead. More United pressure followed, but Cardiff City held firm and got their just rewards.
Kim Bo-Kyung, who was named South-East Asian Player of the Year at the 2013 Asian Football Awards, rose to head home a dramatic last minute equaliser to send the home crowd in rapture. A disappointed Manchester United fan from Mumbai, India tweeted:
“Worst starting XI by United. Totally disjointed and scared. I hope they start doing the basics right.”
West Bromwich Albion 2 Aston Villa 2 – 8pm KO, Monday
West Bromwich Albion threw away an early two goal lead to Aston Villa in a thrilling encounter at the Hawthorns. Shane Long nabbed a brace within the first eleven minutes. It remained 2-0 until half time, as Villa failed to score.
An inspired three man substitution on the hour by Villa boss Paul Lambert sparked the away side into action. This clearly made a difference as they pulled one back seven minutes later with a goal from Karim El Ahmadi.
This was followed by a long range equaliser by Ashley Westwood, setting up a tense finish to the match. The draw left the hosts and visitors in 11th and 12th place in the league. West Bromwich Albion have lost only once in nine Premier League games.
Elsewhere, Shahid Khan’s Fulham suffered a 2-1 loss at home to Swansea City. Newcastle United beat Norwich City by the same scoreline as Stoke City won 2-0 at home to Sunderland.
With Liverpool slipping up every other weekend, Arsenal have managed to extend their lead once again. Chelsea are now level on points with Liverpool to keep up the pressure at the top of the Premier League.