Victories for Manchester City and West Ham reduced Chelsea’s lead at the top of the Premier League to three points after the Blues were held to a draw at home to Burnley.
Defending champions City beat rivals Manchester United 2-0 in the derby, while West Ham moved up to third with a 3-2 win over Liverpool.
Elsewhere, bottom side Norwich City earned their first win of the season against Brentford, while Arsenal rose to fifth by beating Watford and Tottenham drew 0-0 with Everton in Antonio Conte’s first league match in charge.
There were also wins for Southampton and Crystal Palace, plus draws between Leeds and Leicester, and Brighton and Newcastle.
Check out my team of the week and then make your own selections towards the bottom of the article.
Goalkeeper: Tim Krul (Norwich City)
Krul is a very experienced keeper who has had a very difficult time of it this season. Norwich have struggled, while his form has been patchy. However, playing Brentford would not have been a game that would have intimidated the Canaries – and so it proved.
Krul pulled out all the stops. The saves from Christian Norgaard changed the game. The first save with his feet was brilliant while the second was instinctive, but just as good. Sergio Canos then tested him at his near post, but Krul was having none of it.
Brentford have now suffered four defeats in a row and they really can’t afford to lose games against teams such as Norwich. Games in the Premier League won’t come much easier.
Did you know? Norwich ended a run of 20 Premier League matches without a win – this being their first victory in the top-flight since February 2020.
Defenders: Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Kurt Zouma (West Ham)
Joao Cancelo: Eric Bailly was lucky to get away with the first cross from Kyle Walker, but couldn’t deal with the second one from Cancelo. United centre-back Bailly never ceases to amaze me, brilliant one minute and disastrous the next. If he’s not giving penalties away he’s recklessly slashing at loose balls in the penalty area.
When Cancelo fires balls into the box they are done so with purpose. Just ask Luke Shaw, who should have dispatched Cancelo’s second most dangerous ball of the match into the stands, but instead it paralysed Shaw and left keeper David de Gea exposed at the back post.
I lost count how many times De Gea saved United in this match. You’d think his defenders would try to help him out just once.
Did you know? Manchester City have won more away Premier League games against Manchester United than any other team (eight).
Ruben Dias: This lad is starting to come back to the boil very nicely.
We all know how dangerous Harry Maguire can be on set-pieces in the opposition penalty area. In the opening exchanges there was a moment when it looked like the United captain would have scored with a header had it not been for a superb challenge by Dias.
Had Maguire scored it could have put a totally different complexion on the game. There’s no doubt Dias can play, but he has brains as well as brawn.
Did you know? Manchester United were allowed just four touches in the City box on Saturday – their fewest in a Premier League match since Opta began recording the data in the 2008-09 season.
Kurt Zouma: First and foremost, it’s a great header for his goal. Zouma rose at the back post to nod home what will go down as one of West Ham’s greatest victories over Liverpool.
The irony of a former Everton player scoring against Liverpool – and putting a serious dent into their title challenge – won’t be lost on the blue side of Merseyside.
The result also raises the issue of managing teams’ resources. West Ham played Genk in the Europa League 24 hours after Liverpool played in the Champions League and yet looked fresher. Jurgen Klopp needs to have a serious look at his squad. I know they have injuries but doesn’t everyone.
Did you know? Nine of Zouma’s 10 Premier League goals have been headers. That 90% ratio is the highest of any player with 10 or more goals in the competition’s history.
Midfielders: Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Rodri (Manchester City), Mathias Normann (Norwich City), Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal)
Bernardo Silva: “It was all very comfortable,” said a beaming Pep Guardiola in his post-match interview. Let’s be brutally honest, his Manchester City side destroyed United.
The scoreline didn’t tell the whole story, but at the heart of the derby win was Bernardo. The Portugal international has been outstanding this season and he picked United’s pocket and was unfortunate not to add a couple of goals to the one that put the game well out of their reach.
United are the fourth best team in the country in my view and, if they are going to keep Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager, their fans had better start getting used to it. Read why I think Antonio Conte went to Spurs and not United in the Crooks of the Matter below.
Did you know? All three of Bernardo’s goals against United for Manchester City have come at Old Trafford. He has scored in three of his last four appearances there, only netting more goals against Burnley in his time with City.
Rodri: For years I have been singing the praises of Fernandinho and the contribution he has made to Manchester City over the years. Such is the Brazilian’s value, Guardiola has kept the midfielder in his squad at the age of 36.
However, the club need not worry any longer as they have a player who can now replace him. Rodri is City’s new silent assassin. In fact, if you’re not looking out for him you would hardly know he’s there – unless you’re playing for the opposition.
In which case you cannot help but feel his presence or continual interventions. This was an extraordinary performance by City and Rodri is now the best insurance policy for their two central defenders.
Did you know? The away team has won nine of the last 12 meetings between Manchester United and Manchester City in all competitions, including each of the three games in 2021.
Mathias Normann: Norwich have failed to take the lead in their last 14 Premier League games and not scored more than once in their past 28 Premier league games, so why wait until now to sack manager Daniel Farke?
I’ve been amazed he’s lasted so long but why now? Just when it looks like there is a glimmer of hope of avoiding relegation, he’s fired.
It was the late great Jimmy Greaves who said it was ‘a funny old game’ but this was a very serious performance by Norwich. Midfielder Normann was outstanding in every department and carved out this victory. Not bad for a player on loan.
Did you know? Normann scored his first Premier League goal in his seventh appearance. It was his first league goal since August 2020 when scoring for Rostov against Krasnodar in the Russian Premier League.
Emile Smith Rowe: This lad is making a name for himself very quickly. That’s not just because he’s fitting well into an Arsenal side – who have won their last three league games and not lost in 10 matches in all competitions – but he’s scoring goals as well.
His latest, against a Watford side who were reckless and lacked discipline, was brilliantly taken.
If Claudio Ranieri is serious about getting Watford to progress then he needs players he can trust not to make stupid tackles when already on a yellow card or go flying into challenges in their own penalty area.
Did you know? Smith Rowe became only the fourth player to score in three consecutive Premier League appearances when aged 21 or younger for Arsenal – after Nicolas Anelka, Jose Antonio Reyes and Cesc Fabregas.
Forwards: Raphinha (Leeds United), Pablo Fornals (West Ham), Harvey Barnes (Leicester City)
Raphinha: This player was desperately unlucky not to get into my team last week after a blistering performance at Norwich. However that’s the way it goes in football sometimes.
Against Leicester it was impossible to ignore the Brazilian again. It’s painfully obvious to me that here is a player who sets Elland Road alight, but the question is for how long.
Raphinha is a top-class player and most of them play in the Champions League. It’s only a matter of time.
Did you know? Raphinha has scored 45% of Leeds’ goals in the Premier League this season. That’s the highest percentage for a player whose team have scored 10 or more times in the competition in 2021-22.
Pablo Fornals: I saw the game, but I couldn’t believe what I was watching. Liverpool were outmuscled and outclassed. I don’t know what David Moyes is saying to his players but West Ham are flying.
It was Fornals who seemed to be the striker causing Liverpool’s defence so much concern. He’s scored against them before and it was clear from his performance against the Reds at the London Stadium that this was a fixture he relished.
Let’s be clear, Liverpool’s midweek fixture against Atletico Madrid had taken its toll, but if you’re going to be among the best, coming away with a result against teams like West Ham is what it takes.
Did you know? Fornals has scored three goals in five league appearances against Liverpool, his joint-most against an opponent in Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues.
Harvey Barnes: This was as good a goal from Barnes as you will see from the Leicester winger. His first of the season, but I’m sure it won’t be the last.
Barnes is slowly coming back to form after suffering a nasty injury. His performance against a very dangerous Leeds side was as good as I have seen from him since his return.
The point away at Elland Road was a good one for Leicester although the Foxes might consider themselves rather unfortunate not to have come away with all three. The video assistant referee had to resort to red and green lines to determine Ademola Lookman’s knee was offside. The game hasn’t always been about fine margins, but it certainly is now.
Did you know? There were just 73 seconds between Leeds opening the scoring and Leicester equalising through Barnes’ strike. It was the Leicester winger’s first goal in the Premier League since February, ending a run of nine games in the competition without scoring.
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The Crooks of the Matter
Daniel Levy may be lots of things but he’s not stupid.
What took place during Tottenham’s embarrassing home defeat against Manchester United was very telling. The chant of ‘Levy out’ didn’t last very long, but it was audible enough to have caught the attention of the chairman and his board of directors.
There is nothing more terrifying to the owners of a football club than when fans become more interested in a change of ownership than the man in charge of the team. That is what started to happen last Saturday evening once Spurs went 3-0 down.
The fans had already announced their disapproval of Nuno Espirito Santo and it was clear Levy was next in line and he knew it. The smart response was to move quickly – and for a big name that would satisfy the fans, not someone who was fourth or fifth choice.
Levy’s mistake was to go for Conte in the first place, but not land his man. The suggestion at the time that Conte felt Tottenham were not ambitious enough for him was not just a slight on Levy’s vision for the club, but a humiliation for the fans.
It would appear Levy has now re-evaluated his position by not only securing Conte’s signature, but convincing the Italian that Tottenham’s vision is now clearly aligned with their new manager.
Why did Conte pick Tottenham? If he had waited a little longer the Glazers might be forced to part company with Solskjaer.
Manchester United fans are not comfortable with their manager. United have better players, a considerably better squad and are very capable, with the right manager, of winning the Champions League. Tottenham are not even in the Champions League.
There’s a lot to do at Spurs, but given the time and money I wouldn’t bet against Conte getting it right – and that’s the point. Will Levy give Conte enough of either?
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