EPL Hits and Misses: The one after the Hari Raya Haji break
Chelsea top the list (again) after Jose Mourinho gets the better of Arsene Wenger (again). Manchester United are clicking into gear while Burnley finally overcome their goal drought. Read on for Hits and Misses from last weekend's EPL action...
Jose Mourinho might not be able to see his team joining Arsenal and Preston North End among the ranks of the Invincibles, but after chewing through the Gunners with ease, the Portuguese seems to be making his own words look hollow. The Blues are five points clear of second-placed Manchester City and have a healthier than healthy goal difference of 14. Even though this exciting incarnation of Chelsea looks a far cry from the defensive and dour Mourinho sides of old, their firepower up front is irresistible with Cesc Fabregas more than happy to keep feeding goal machine Diego Costa. There's still a long way to go this season with more than 30 games to go still, but it's really hard picturing the Blues slipping up any time soon.
Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas
Take it away, Opta Joe.
Slowly easing their way out of their worst start in the EPL era and back in familiar ground on the league table. While the fixtures list granted United the advantage to face an Everton side fatigued by a gruelling Europa League tie in Russia, the Toffees proved that they were no pushovers at Old Trafford and were foiled from repeating their Merseyside derby heroics by an outstanding David de Gea. However, in the aftermath of losing to Leicester, it seems like United have been slowly rediscovering the resilience and menace that were lost under David Moyes. United's first test of the season against top four opposition will come when they host Chelsea at the end of the month, but the Red Devils will take a massive confidence boost into the international break instead of the gloom and doom they felt in September.
David de Gea
Simply top drawer stuff to ensure his team kept all three points.
With said visit of Chelsea looming, the Colombian could not have picked a better moment to open his Old Trafford account.
Scored a beauty to break down a stubborn Aston Villa and shoot down some of his critics.
Gets one over his old team while stopping a rot in home form with one win. Not too shabby.
A much-needed win to arrest a worrying slide. It wasn't the prettiest performance from the Reds, but Brendan Rodgers and Co. will certainly take all three points against a West Brom side that had been steadily gaining form before their visit to Anfield. Along with Adama Lallana getting off the mark with a well-worked goal for the opener, Rodgers should be pleased with Steven Gerrard's response to being switched into an attacking midfield role behind Mario Balotelli. It could be the remedy for the Liverpool captain's waning on-pitch influence and help him rediscover some form.
Aside from a lovely one-two for Lallana's opener and well-placed finish for the winning goal, Henderson certainly deserved his man of the match award for a tireless match-winning display.
Conor Wickham and Steven Fletcher
The first Sunderland strikers to score this season.
Finally ended their goal drought after 655 minutes of football. Apart from that massive relief, earning a point off high-flying Leicester to get off the foot of the table is a pretty sweet bonus.
The latest EPL success story out of France with five goals from five starts for West Ham. Could prove to be a real bargain buy for Sam Allardyce if he continues his current form.
He might be known as the Professor, but Arsene Wenger clearly has a problem outsmarting Jose Mourinho. Twelve games played between them, none won by the Frenchman. While Arsenal have an admirable commitment to playing attractive football, it must infuriate Gunners fans to see their manager continuing to use the same tactics against the Portuguese and see them backfire in his face every time. It seems strange calling a 64-year-old man naive, but that's exactly how Wenger is when it comes to taking on their top rivals. Like his being goaded into a shoving match on the touchline with Mourinho, Wenger's side were played by their opponents who knew exactly what buttons to push to get the win.
That win over Manchester City seems an eon ago.
It might seem harsh to place Everton here after they put up a proper fight at Old Trafford only to be thwarted by an inspired David de Gea, but the fact of the matter is that the Toffees are clearly struggling to come to terms with the added burden of European football this season. Despite starting off their Europa League campaign with an impressive 4-1 win over Wolfsburg, the Blues have been floundering since then, especially in the Premier League. A shock 3-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace followed that win over the Germans and while they ground out a respectable draw with Liverpool last week, their latest setback has Roberto Martinez and his men hanging on just outside of the relegation spots. Improvement must start in their next game against Aston Villa to avoid being dragged into the relegation mire.
The referee finds himself here for the sin of giving a penalty for a foul outside the box. Hang on your head in shame, Mr Oliver.
In a tail spin since reaching those lofty heights of second place. The fixtures list might have been unkind to them (Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City all in a row), but having two weeks to stew on yet another defeat is not the way to go ahead of another tough game against a wounded Everton.
Bottom of the pile after another defeat. Definitely not looking good for ol' 'arry Redknapp.