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Stalemate at Anfield, Mou fights back at Old Trafford and Chelsea cruise to victory
LONDON, Oct. 8 -- It was not a weekend for faint hearts in the Premier League and Manchester United's home win over Newcastle probably saw fans of both teams, not to mention coaches Jose Mourinho and Rafael Benitez miss more than a beat of two.
Press rumors that failure to beat Newcastle would see Mourinho sacked by United were denied by the club before kick-off, but when the two sides made their way to the dressing rooms after 45 minutes with Newcastle winning 2-0, the fact is the Portuguese coach looked to have one expensively shod foot out of the door.
Just over an hour later everything had changed as a spirited fightback saw Manchester United snatch a late winner and win 3-2 thanks to an Alexis Sanchez header to leave Mourinho clinging onto his job and Benitez wondering about his future leading a team with just two points from 8 games.
Mourinho was combative in his press conference, attacking those who had criticized him: "it seems I am to blame for Brexit and if it rains in London," he said, but he will know two players he has criticized in the past (Sanchez and Antonio Martial) played key roles in turning things around, as did Paul Pogba, who dropped deep and helped control the ball in midfield.
Sunday's big game turned out to be a disappointment between Liverpool and Manchester City as the tactics of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola cancelled each other out in a 0-0 draw.
Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez also played his part in the draw as he smashed a late penalty, which would have given his side a win, high into the stands. Credit to the courage of a player who has now failed to score four of the last six penalties he has taken, less credit for his execution.
The Anfield stalemate allowed Chelsea to move level on points with Manchester City and Liverpool, thanks to a pleasant Sunday afternoon stroll which ended in a 3-0 win away to Southampton.
Eden Hazard, Ross Barkley and Alvaro Morata scored in an easy win that keeper Chelsea very much in contention.
Arsenal may have lost their opening games under Unai Emery to Manchester City and Chelsea, but since then it's been getting better all the time for 'The Gunners' who are improving in every game they play.
Emery's men inflicted a 5-1 home defeat on Fulham, taking full advantage of their rivals' high defensive line to hurt them again and again. Aaron Ramsey's backheeled goal was a thing of beauty, while Lacazette and Aubameyang scored two goals each in Arsenal's 10th successive win in all competitions.
Tottenham recovered from their defeat to Barca with a 1-0 win over the more accessible Cardiff City, while Wolves continued their excellent season with a 1-0 victory away to Crystal Palace.
Watford won their first four matches of the season, but the bubble has burst and Bournemouth added to their deflation with a 4-0 win at Vicarage Road. Bournemouth's Eddie Howe has been mentioned as a long-term candidate to replace Mourinho and his side's performances this season can only strengthen his case.
Gylfi Sigurosson scored the sort of goal that saw Everton spend 40 million pounds on him, to give them a 2-1 win away to Leicester City, while Burnley's recent revival was halted by a 1-1 draw at home to Huddersfield Town, who climb above Cardiff and Newcastle, but still remain in the bottom three.