Fulham featured in an heart-stopping game at winless Reading. The Cottagers went in 1-0 down at half time. In the second half they forced their way back into winning positions at 2-1 and 3-2 but in the end had to settle for a 3-3 draw. Four of the goals came in a frantic last quarter of an hour.
Roberto Mancini's critics were silenced on Saturday as Manchester City put their midweek European troubles behind them with victory over Swansea.
Arsene Wenger also had reason to smile after Mikel Arteta struck a winner inside the final ten minutes as Arsenal plunged QPR into further turmoil, on a day when Jack Wilshere made his first start after 17 months on the sidelines.
On Sunday Chelsea suffered their first defeat of the Premier League season as they were beaten by Manchester United.
While Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was again to the fore as Everton came thundering back to earn a draw in the Merseyside derby.
Meanwhile Tottenham and Newcastle scraped past Southampton and West Brom respectively.
Saturday 27 October 2012
12:45 - Aston Villa (1) 1 v Norwich (0) 1
At the bottom end of the table, Norwich defender Michael Turner denied Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert victory against his former club with a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
The result leaves Villa in 17th, with one win from nine games this season.
Christian Benteke justified Lambert's decision to leave Darren Bent out of his starting line-up with Villa's 27th-minute opener - caressed into the corner from close to the penalty spot - but Villa were forced to defend desperately after left-back Joe Bennett's sending-off early in the second period for two bookable offences.
Turner earned the Canaries a deserved share of the spoils when he headed home from a short corner, and Villa have now won only one of their last 19 league matches.
It could have been worse, too, but for a trio of fine saves from 'keeper Brad Guzan.
: Guzan, Herd, Vlaar, Lowton, Bennett, Albrighton, El Ahmadi, Holman (Weimann 76), Delph, Agbonlahor (Lichaj 54), Benteke (Bent 70).
Subs not used: Given, Ireland, Westwood, Bannan.
: Ruddy, Russell Martin (Ryan Bennett 46), Bassong, Turner, Garrido, Elliott Bennett (Snodgrass 64), Tettey, Johnson (Morison 70), Pilkington, Hoolahan, Holt.
Subs not used: Rudd, Howson, Jackson, Barnett.
Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).
15:00 - Arsenal (0) 1 v QPR (0) 0
Arsene Wenger faced a thorny AGM in midweek following back-to-back defeats at the hands of Norwich and Schalke.
However, Arsenal reacted to their critics with a 1-0 victory against QPR at Emirates Stadium, courtesy of an 84th-minute winner from Arteta.
Wenger had described a top-four finish in the league as being the equivalent of a trophy, revealing he would rather qualify for the Champions League than win the FA Cup.
It was therefore vital that Arsenal improved on ninth place in the league, and the sight of Wilshere for 67 minutes might just have the club's fans believing they can heighten their ambitions over the coming months.
Wilshere's first real impact on the game arrived in the 20th minute when he played a one-two on the edge of the area before sending in a shot that QPR 'keeper Julio Cesar spilled.
Other than it was pretty tame stuff from the Gunners, who completed a fifth straight half of football without scoring.
There was concern for Wilshere when Esteban Granero's studs left him clutching his ankle early in the second half, and then QPR had a goal rightly ruled out for offside after Junior Hoilett ran onto Granero's lofted pass.
Wilshere left the field in the 67th minute in what appeared to be a pre-planned substitution with little over 20 minutes remaining, having completed every pass he attempted.
Lukas Podolski also departed, but nothing seemed to work as Santi Cazorla missed a late sitter for the North London side.
Stephane Mbia left QPR with ten men for the last ten minutes after lashing out at Thomas Vermaelen, but Olivier Giroud failed to capitalise immediately when missing the target from three yards.
Finally it was left to Arteta to poke home from close range to ease the tension around the ground, although the performance was far from impressive as Jamie Mackie wasted a fine chance to level for Rangers at the death.
: Mannone, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Arteta, Wilshere (Walcott 67), Cazorla, Ramsey, Podolski (Gervinho 71), Giroud, Gervinho (Arshavin 81).
Subs Not Used: Martinez, Koscielny, Coquelin, Jenkinson.
: Julio Cesar, Bosingwa, Mbia, Nelsen, Traore (Onuoha 73), Wright-Phillips (Mackie 79), Diakite, Granero, Hoilett, Taarabt, Zamora (Cisse 72).
Subs Not Used: Green, Ferdinand, Ephraim, Faurlin.
Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).
15:00 - Reading (1) 3 Fulham (0) 3
Reading failed to move above Villa and outside of the bottom three after they drew 3-3 with Fulham at the Madejski Stadium.
The Royals are one of only two sides - along with Southampton - not to have won a league game this season, but they will take some comfort from the fact they fought back twice to earn a point.
The Royals' opener was of the highest quality as Mikele Leigertwood handed the home side the lead, striding on to Jobi McAnuff's pass to sidefoot into the top corner from 25 yards.
However, Bryan Ruiz produced an effort of equal quality to level on the hour, before Chris Baird's 77th-minute effort threatened to send the Cottagers fourth.
Garath McCleary levelled for Reading only to see Dimitar Berbatov score again for Fulham, but the final say came from Hal Robson-Kanu in injury time.
: McCarthy, Cummings, Gorkss, Mariappa, Shorey, Pogrebnyak (Le Fondre 80),Tabb (McCleary 69), Leigertwood, Kebe (Robson-Kanu 78), McAnuff, Roberts.
Subs Not Used: Federici,Gunter,Pearce,Hunt. Booked
Leigertwood 26,McCleary 85,Robson-Kanu 90.
: Schwarzer, Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Duff (Dejagah 67), Baird (Sidwell 80), Diarra, Richardson, Rodallega (Ruiz 58), Berbatov.
Subs Not Used: Stockdale, Senderos, Petric, Karagounis. Booked
Ruiz 61,Baird 77,Berbatov 88.
Mike Jones (Cheshire).
15:00 - Stoke (0) 0 v Sunderland (0) 0
The match between Stoke and Sunderland finished goalless.
In a game lacking in real quality and featuring some feisty tackling, Potters wideman Michael Kightly saw a shot cleared away by the head of Carlos Cuellar in the first half.
Charlie Adam was unable to finish for the hosts from Geoff Cameron's tee-up after the break and Black Cats striker Steven Fletcher's penalty claims went unheeded after his shot looked to have hit Robert Huth's arm.
Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet then did well to deny Huth from close range and Kightly struck wide in stoppage time.
: Begovic,Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilson (Wilkinson 53), Kightly, Whitehead, Adam (Owen 79), Nzonzi, Walters (Etherington 72), Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Sorensen, Jones, Upson, Palacios.
Whitehead, Crouch. Sunderland
: Mignolet, Gardner, O'Shea, Cuellar, Rose (Bardsley 83), Larsson (Sessegnon 61),Cattermole, Colback, Johnson (Saha 89), McClean, Fletcher.
Subs Not Used: Westwood, Campbell, Kilgallon, Vaughan.
: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).
15:00 - Wigan (1) 2 v West Ham (0) 1
Villa's point briefly lifted them above Wigan but that lasted less than three hours as the Latics claimed their second win of the campaign with a 2-1 triumph over West Ham at the DW Stadium.
Roberto Martinez's Latics beat the Hammers 4-1 in the Capital One Cup earlier in the season, and they inflicted another defeat on Sam Allardyce's side thanks to Ivan Ramis and James McArthur.
Ramis netted in that September win at Upton Park and he took eight minutes to repeat the feat on Saturday, converting a set-piece for his first league strike.
Wigan then needed Ali Al-Habsi to stay alert in order to keep their lead intact as West Ham threw several dangerous corners towards Andy Carroll inside the penalty area.
McArthur doubled Wigan's advantage two minutes into the second period, converting from close range as West Ham's defence went walkabout.
Carroll then missed a glorious chance on his right foot to halve the deficit for the visitors, who were deservedly beaten despite James Tompkins' late consolation.
: Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McArthur, McCarthy, Beausejour, Kone, Di Santo (Watson 77), Maloney.
Subs: Pollitt, Jones, Gomez, McManaman, Boselli, Stam.
Ramis 8, McArthur 47.
Ramis, Di Santo, McCarthy.
: Jaaskelainen, Tomkins, Reid, Collins, McCartney, Noble (Cole 63), Diame (O'Neil 72), Benayoun (Maiga 45), Nolan, Jarvis, Carroll.
Subs: Spiegel, O'Brien, O'Neil, Chambers, Hall.
Maiga, Noble, O'Neil.
17:30 - Man City (0) 1 v Swansea (0) 0
Mancini employed a back four at the end of a week that saw his tactics heavily criticised following Manchester City's loss to Ajax, but Joleon Lescott - viewed by certain observers as a scapegoat - was benched for the visit of Michael Laudrup's Swansea.
Carlos Tevez came in for Edin Dzeko, and the Argentina forward produced a wonder goal in a 1-0 win.
A lacklustre atmosphere paved the way for a forgettable first half at the Etihad, punctured only in the 36th minute when Michu had a superbly taken goal correctly disallowed for offside.
Moments later the Spaniard broke the offside trap again - this time legally - but, with City's defence carved wide open, Joe Hart smothered his effort.
Michu continued to prove a handful in the second period, sending a poor header towards Hart when he really should have scored, but Manchester City eventually found a breakthrough on the hour.
Tevez, benched for the defeat in Amsterdam, received the ball 30 yards from goal and sent a hammer of a right-foot drive dipping beyond the dive of Michel Vorm.
The Swansea 'keeper appeared to injure his groin while diving and had to be stretchered off.
City were not without their own injury concerns as Micah Richards also needed a stretcher for a serious looking knee injury, and the champions had to negotiate 12 minutes of injury time before celebrating a victory that lifts them within a point of Chelsea.
: Hart, Richards, Nastasic, Kompany, Clichy, Nasri, Yaya Toure, Barry, Kolarov (Balotelli 46), Tevez, Aguero.
Subs not used: Pantilimon, Lescott, Kolo Toure, Evans, Sinclair, Dzeko.
: Tevez 61.
: Vorm (Tremmel 66), Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Ki, Routledge, Britton (Graham 73), de Guzman, Hernandez (Dyer 78), Michu.
Subs not used: Monk, Shechter, Tiendalli, Agustien.
Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).
Sunday 28 October 2012
13:30 - Everton (2) 2 v Liverpool (2) 2
Everton displayed all the qualities which have kept them in the top four this season to battle back and draw 2-2 with Liverpool, who blew a two-goal lead the 219th Merseyside derby.
When Luis Suarez headed in his sixth goal in eight league matches in the 20th minute, after Leighton Baines had earlier turned the Uruguay international's cross-shot into his own net, the Reds appeared in control at Goodison Park.
However, in a pulsating first half Leon Osman pulled one back almost immediately before Steven Naismith equalised 10 minutes before half-time.
: Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Naismith (Oviedo 85), Neville, Osman, Mirallas (Gueye 46); Fellaini, Jelavic.
Subs not used: Mucha, Hibbert, Heitinga, Hitzlsperger, Vellios.
Osman, Neville, Jagielka.
Osman 22, Naismith 35.
: Jones; Wisdom (Henderson 70), Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Gerrard, Allen, Sahin (Coates 46); Suso (Shelvey 46), Suarez, Sterling.
Subs not used: Reina, Assaidi, Downing, Carragher.
Sterling, Agger, Suarez.
Suarez 14, 20.
15:00 - Newcastle (1) 2 v West Brom (0) 1
Papiss Cisse deflected home a fortunate injury-time winner for Newcastle as Alan Pardew's men recovered from Romelu Lukaku's equaliser for West Brom to grab three Premier League points with a 2-1 victory at St James' Park.
Substitute Sammy Ameobi struck a left-foot shot from the edge of the box which took a heavy deflection off the back of Cisse and was cruelly diverted past Baggies keeper Ben Foster to seal the home side's win.
Demba Ba had netted his seventh goal in nine starts to give the Magpies a 35th-minute lead, but the dangerous Lukaku looked to have snatched the visitors a point when he headed home a Zoltan Gera cross 10 minutes into the second half.
The remaining 55 minutes subsequently failed to match what had gone before, and although both sides could have won it after the break, the point was enough to keep Everton in fourth, six points ahead of their near-neighbours.
: Krul, Simpson (Cisse 61), Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Perch, Gutierrez, Ba (Sammy Ameobi 72), Shola Ameobi (Obertan 61).
Subs Not Used: Harper, Anita, Steven Taylor, Ferguson.
Perch, Cabaye, Gutierrez.
Ba 35, Cisse 90.
: Foster, Tamas, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Morrison, Gera (Popov 88), Mulumbu, Dorrans (Rosenberg 72), Odemwingie, Lukaku (Long 65).
Subs Not Used: Luke Daniels, El Ghanassy, Jara Reyes, Fortune.
: Lukaku 55.
15:00 - Southampton (0) 1 v Tottenham (2) 2
Gareth Bale returned to haunt his former employers as Tottenham held on to win 2-1 at Southampton.
Spurs had not even scored - never mind won - on their five previous trips to St Mary's but dominated the first half on the south coast.
Bale gave the north Londoners the lead just 15 minutes into the match against the club with whom he began his career, heading home on his return to action following the birth of his first child.
Spurs deservedly doubled their advantage as half-time approached through Clint Dempsey, who directed home into an empty net after Jose Fonte's clearance off the line fell straight into his path.
A vastly-improved Saints side re-emerged for the second period and they reduced the deficit in the 66th minute when Jay Rodriguez lashed home his first Premier League goal.
Southampton continued to press for a leveller as the clock wound down but could not find an elusive second goal, much to the frustration of under-pressure manager Nigel Adkins.
: Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Fox (Reeves 79), Puncheon (Mayuka 58), Schneiderlin, Steven Davis (Guly 78), Lallana, Lambert, Rodriguez.
Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Chaplow.
: Rodriguez 66.
: Friedel, Walker, Caulker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Sandro, Huddlestone (Livermore 63), Lennon, Dempsey, Bale, Defoe (Sigurdsson 78).
Subs not used: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Falque, Townsend.
Bale 15, Dempsey 39.
Lee Mason (Lancashire)
16:00 - Chelsea (1) 2 v Man Utd (2) 3
Manchester United closed the gap to a single point at the top of the Premier League as they got the better of nine-man Chelsea, triumphing 3-2 in a dramatic encounter at Stamford Bridge.
After battling back from two goals down to level, Chelsea had Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres sent off before Javier Hernandez netted the winner to seal all three points for the visitors.
United, who started the day four points behind the Blues, burst out of the blocks with an early goal; Van Persie's strike clattering off a post and rebounding off an unsuspecting David Luiz inside four minutes.
They were soon two goals to the good when Van Persie netted his seventh league goal of the season, the former Arsenal striker lashing home Antonio Valencia's low cross from the right.
Juan Mata inspired Chelsea's fightback as he curled home a free-kick from the edge of the area after Wayne Rooney clattered Eden Hazard before Ramires nodded in Oscar's cross to equalise.
But the momentum soon swung firmly back in United's favour as Chelsea had two players sent off inside five minutes; Ivanovic was given a straight red for bringing down Ashley Young as the last man and then Torres was handed a second yellow for diving after Jonny Evans' challenge.
United immediately looked to capitalise on their numerical advantage, and Hernandez scored his third goal in two matches as he poked home from close range after Van Persie's initial attempt was cleared off the line.
: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Mikel, Ramires, Hazard (Sturridge 82), Oscar (Azpilicueta 66), Mata (Bertrand 72), Torres.
Subs not used: Turnbull, Romeu, Moses, Marin.
Torres, Mikel. Sent off:
Mata 44, Ramires 53.
De Gea, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley (Hernandez 65), Young, Rooney (Giggs 74), van Persie.
Subs not used: Lindegaard, Anderson, Nani, Welbeck, Scholes.
Luiz (OG) 4, Van Persie 12, Hernandez 75.
Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)