Arsenal moved to the top of the Premier League table on Saturday, but there was more misery for Chelsea who suffered a fifth defeat of the campaign.
Arsenal appeared to be cruising to victory at the Emirates Stadium after two goals in the space of three first half minutes put them 2-0 ahead against Everton, with Olivier Giroud reinstalled to the starting line-up to open the scoring before Laurent Koscielny added a second. But Ross Barkley’s shot was deflected past Petr Cech just before the interval to set up a tense second period.
Yet despite a spirited performance from the Toffees they were unable to find an equaliser, and had their night capped off when Gareth Barry was shown a second yellow card in stoppage time. This resulted puts the Gunners top of the league table, although they could relinquish this position on Sunday afternoon when United play host to neighbours City in the Manchester derby.
The headline earlier in the day came from another part of London, when West Ham United continued their fine start to the season to inflict yet another defeat on Chelsea. The home side went ahead through Mauro Zarate, and the champions saw their task become all the more difficult when Nemanja Matic was sent off for two bookable offences towards the end of the first half.
When the second half began it emerged that Jose Mourinho had also been dismissed, but the Portuguese found reason to be cheerful when Gary Cahill levelled before the hour mark. The Blues would likely have settled for a point at this stage, but substitute Andy Carroll grabbed a winner with a little more than 10 minutes remaining to send Slaven Bilic’s side into second place.
Tim Sherwood’s position at Aston Villa is coming under increasing pressure following after they surrendered a 1-0 lead at home to Swansea City. Jordan Ayew put the home side ahead, but his brother Andre grabbed the winner for the visitors after Gylfi Sigurdsson had equalised. The Midlands giants will be bottom of the table if Sunderland beat Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon.
West Bromwich Albion moved up to eighth in the table following a 1-0 win at Norwich City, delivered courtesy of Salomon Rondon’s second goal for the Baggies. Jamie Vardy, meanwhile, became the eighth player to score in seven consecutive Premier League matches when his goal was enough to give Leicester City a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium.
Perhaps the most impressive result of the day came at the Britannia Stadium, where Mark Hughes marked his 100th match in charge of Stoke City with a 2-0 defeat against Watford. The top-flight new-boys have made a fine start to their return to the big league, and goals from Troy Deeney and Almen Abdi sees them up to 13th in the standings and seven points above the drop.