The North London derby between Arsenal and Spurs once again was full of goals and fireworks.
The scoreline showed that Arsenal won 5-2, but the game might have turned out so differently if Emmanuel Adebayor had not been shown a straight red for a reckless challenge on Santi Cazorla, minutes after giving Spurs the lead.
Forced to play with 10-men for 80 minutes, Spurs wilted under the Arsenal pressure as the Gunners replicated the scoreline from the fixture last season.
The defeat was Tottenham’s fourth in its last five league matches. Another London side enduring a similar autumn swoon is Chelsea which lost 2-1 to West Brom thanks to goals from Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie. Long opened the scoring in the tenth minute before Eden Hazard equalised for Chelsea on the stroke of half-time, however, Odemwingie headed past Petr Cech from Long’s assist to earn the Baggies another win. The defeat extends Chelsea winless streak in the league to four games and makes next weekend’s match against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge a must-win.
Speaking of Man City, they warmed up for the midweek visit of Real Madrid by thrashing Aston Villa 5-0.
David Silva scored the opener from close range just before half-time before Sergio Aguero scored from the penalty spot after Ciaran Clark handled the ball in the area. Carlos Tevez added City’s third from the spot when Barry Bannan was also adjudged to have handled the ball before Aguero fired his second and Tevez did the same in a resounding win at the Etihad Stadium. The win sent City top, while the defeat dropped Villa int the bottom three.
Goals for Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon helped to seal a vital 3-1 win for struggling Southampton against QPR at Loftus Road. Lambert headed in from close range before Puncheon added the second from 20 yards, with Junior Hoilett’s second-half header not enough for Mark Hughes’ side, as Anton Ferdinand’s own-goal in the 83rd minute compounded QPR’s woes. I cannot see how Mark Hughes can continue at QPR after this defeat, especially with Harry Redknapp waiting in the wings to take over.
Luis Suarez scored a brace as Liverpool beat Wigan 3-0 at Anfield. The Uruguay international beat Ali Al Habsi twice in the second half with strikes from the middle of the area as Liverpool moved closer to the top half of the table, with Jose Enrique’s tap-in sealing the win for Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.
Reading came from behind to earn their first Premier League win this season with a 2-1 win over Everton at the Madejski Stadium. Poor defending by Reading allowed Steven Naismith to open the scoring for the Toffees before Adam Le Fondre marked his return to the Royals side by equalising with a glancing header.
Everton’s Seamus Coleman then conceded a penalty which Le Fondre duly converted to earn a much-needed three points for coach Brian McDermott. A result that moves Reading out of the bottom three for the first time this season.
Elsewhere, Swansea beat Newcastle 2-1 St James’ Park thanks in part to a mistake by Magpies keeper Tim Krul. Krul miscued a clearance straight to Pablo Hernandez, who picked out Michu with a great cross, allowing the Spaniard to head the ball into the net.
Jonathan de Guzman sealed the win late in the game when he followed up substitute Danny Graham’s blocked strike with Demba Ba’s stoppage time score not enough for Newcastle. St. James Park was such a fortress for Newcastle last season but that is now two defeats on the bounce at home as Alan Pardew’s side are finding it much more difficult than they did a year ago.