EPL Hits and Misses: Champions hammered while Fellaini shines in United draw
Marouane Fellaini delivers as Manchester United eke out a positive draw ahead of the Manchester derby while City get Hammered at Upton Park. Sunderland's defence continue their horror show and Spurs need a head check. This way for EPL Hits and Misses...
It might have only been a draw that sees them remain in mid-table, but the Red Devils won't care after salvaging a draw from the jaws of defeat. with a display bearing the hallmarks of a team from the Sir Alex Ferguson era. Even when it looked as if Chelsea were on their way to yet another win, Louis van Gaal's side never gave in as Robin van Persie's last-gasp equaliser gave them the draw they deserved. The result raised a few questions - a problem with finishing added on to the defensive fragility at the back, but United seem to have regained their belief and appetite for a fight as they ensured the league leaders left Old Trafford with honours evenly split. It should spur them on for their upcoming derby against Manchester City.
It's taken more than a year since his overpriced arrival, but it looks like the much-maligned Belgian is taking his chance to prove his doubters wrong. Aside from following up on his goal against West Brom last week with a header that led to United's late equaliser, Fellaini was excellent in his defensive duties as he man-marked Chelsea's metronome Cesc Fabregas out of the game. What are the odds of the ex-Everton man being tasked to perform a similar task on David Silva at the Etihad?
Deserved to break the deadlock after leaving Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo for dead only to be thwarted by a splendid stop from David de Gea. Simply brilliant.
Rolled back the years with an excellent display and goal in place of the absent Diego Costa.
Can no one stop them? With Hull, Leicester and Aston Villa as their next three opponents, the Saints are looking good to keep their lofty second place till the end of next month before their next big test against Manchester City on Nov 30.
A shout out to TNP columnist Neil Humphreys, who is still in dreamland because his beloved Hammers are still somehow riding high in fourth place after dispatching the champions at Upton Park. It's a far cry from where they were at the same stage last season when they were flirting with the relegation zone. West Ham are punching well above their weight this season and, like Southampton, look good to stay where they are with their upcoming fixtures.
Six goals in six starts for the Hammers and set to earn a pay rise. It's all going nicely for the Senegalese hitman.
Winners of a league match after a Europa League adventure in midweek for the first time this season.
Finding his feet quickly in English football, although he was the lucky recipient of two brainless defensive mistakes from Sunderland. Still showed his class though, with a composed chip over Vito Mannone to open the scoring.
Alan Pardew might still have work to do to convince the Toon Army that he's still the right man for the job, but at least he can heave a small sigh of relief now that Newcastle are out of the relegation zone. With his side trailing at half-time, the Magpies boss once again made the right decisions as he threw on Sammy Ameobi and Remy Cabella after the break at White Hart Lane. Ameobi had an instant impact with his rifled finish restoring parity after being on the pitch for eight seconds before Cabella made the telling cross for debutant Ayoze Perez to head home the winner. If savouring their first pair of back-to-back league wins since March wasn't sweet enough, watching derby rivals Sunderland take their place in the relegation zone must have surely been the icing on the cake for Newcastle's rabid fans.
After his sterling work at Southampton over the last two seasons, it looked as if Spurs were landing one of the league's most promising managers in Mauricio Pochettino. However, things haven't been going swimmingly well as the Lilywhites plunged into the bottom half of the table after their loss to Newcastle, prompting the Argentine boss to openly question his players' mentality. Pochettino might have a point. After nine games, Spurs remain one of three Premier League teams that have failed to claw back a result from a losing position while they have thrown away seven points from winning positions this season. While their Europa League workout in midweek certainly didn't help things, allowing Newcastle to equalise just eight seconds into the second half in such direct fashion smacked of complacency. Pochettino must be looking up the table at his former side with a little bit of jealousy.
Suffering from patchy form domestically as well as on the continent and now six points behind Chelsea. While their current form is not too dissimilar from their start last season, the league leaders' blistering start suggests that City cannot afford further dithering if they want to defend their title. Manuel Pellegrini will do well to remember Roberto Mancini's fate - the Italian was sacked for failing to defend his EPL title and failing to win anything else - and has some big decisions to make ahead of the Manchester derby.
Watching him skip away from Enner Valencia in the lead up to West Ham's opener is as comical as it is cringe-inducing while he was marking a shadow as Daifra Sakho bullied Gael Clichy to nod home the second. At £32 million ($65.8m), Mangala is starting to look like an overpriced Jean-Alain Boumsong.
Many will say that his side dropped two points at Old Trafford, but Jose Mourinho won't lose too much sleep after looking at the league table. Still the best candidates to win the league by far despite the little setback.
The slide continues and the Foxes are now just a point outside of the relegation zone.
Undone once more by slapstick defending. Is Vito Mannone going to offer fans another refund again after gifting his former side the second goal?
The wait for an EPL goal continues.
Looking more and more doomed with each passing week.