Liverpool vs. Manchester United provided top billing in the EPL this weekend and it was Daniel Sturridge who stole the show with the winner to send Brendan Rogers’ men to the summit of the table.
The England striker’s fourth minute effort proved enough for the Reds to see off a United side woefully off colour for large parts of the encounter as Lucas and Steven Gerrard gained control of the midfield.
Red Devils boss David Moyes now heads into the international break with much to ponder with his team already five points off the pace just three games into his first campaign in charge.
Spurs sought to join Liverpool on nine points at the top of the league ahead of their North London derby with Arsenal but a first half Olivier Giroud strike stopped AVB’s men in their tracks.
And despite a decent response in the second period, Arsenal closed out a 1-0 victory to move onto six points alongside Spurs who looked void of the creativity and guile once provided by the outgoing Gareth Bale.
Manchester City went into their Saturday lunchtime match against Hull desperate for a riposte following last week’s defeat at Cardiff – and they found just that, albeit belatedly, with a 2-0 success at the Etihad.
Summer signing Alvaro Negredo broke the deadlock for City with a header shortly after the hour mark before Yaya Toure curled in a marvellous free-kick at the end of the ninety.
City are now also on six points with Stoke holding the same tally after a battling 0-1 triumph at West Ham.
Journeyman Jermaine Pennant, seeking to rebuild his reputation with the Potters, went some way towards getting the fans on side with an 82nd minute strike that left Hammers boss Sam Allardyce full of frustration.
Hatem Ben Arfa got Newcastle United’s season up and running with a late goal at St James’ Park against Fulham – the 1-0 result delighting manager Alan Pardew who has come under the spotlight regularly in recent weeks, whilst Norwich City also recorded the same score line at home to Southampton as young striker Nathan Redmond starred with the crucial goal.
Elsewhere, newly promoted Crystal Palace experienced their first Premier League victory in 2013/14 with a 3-1 success over struggling Sunderland at Selhurst Park with Danny Gabbidon, Dwight Gayle and Stuart O’Keefe on the mark for the hosts.
Cardiff City and Everton played out a goalless draw – the only stalemate of the weekend which was absent of Chelsea and Villa who brought forward their fixture to accommodate for the Blues participation in the UEFA Super Cup on Friday night.
The EPL now breaks for two weeks to make way for the International fixtures and the domestic action resumes a week on Saturday at Old Trafford when Manchester United host Crystal Palace in the lunchtime fixture.