LONDON – Chelsea came unstuck as Crystal Palace finally found the scoring touch, while Arsenal were exposed in a shocking loss at Watford.
Manchester City ran riot against Stoke, but Manchester United took the safety-first approach at Liverpool.
Here are five things we learned from the Premier League this weekend…
Mourinho cannot change his spots
With his side flying high at home and abroad, Manchester United’s trip to a fragile Liverpool seemed to represent an opportunity for Jose Mourinho to mastermind a statement victory that would send out a resounding message about the strength of United’s title challenge.
This being Mourinho, he saw things differently, setting his side out to sit deep and defend and coming away with a point after a 0-0 draw that was every bit as forgettable as the previous goalless stalemate between the teams at Anfield 12 months previously.
United have matched their record points tally after eight games of a season in the Premier League era, but with Manchester City destroying Stoke City 7-2 to move two points clear at the top of the table, they have lost the initiative in the title race.
Eriksen ends Wembley woe
Christian Eriksen finally ended Tottenham’s Wembley jinx as the Danish midfielder sealed a 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.
Tottenham had struggled badly at the English national stadium in recent years and their temporary move there while White Hart Lane is being rebuilt was turning in a nightmare after they failed to win their first three league games there.
Aside from a Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund, Wembley has been a house of horrors for Tottenham, who were unbeaten at home in the league at White Hart Lane last season.
Eriksen’s 47th-minute winner gave them some home comfort at last and the north Londoners will hope it’s more than a brief respite.
Fragile Arsenal exposed again
Arsene Wenger raged at the “scandalous” penalty decision that sparked Arsenal’s shock 2-1 defeat against Watford, but Hornets striker Troy Deeney had a more convincing answer to the Gunners’ woes.
Beaten for the first time in eight games in all competitions after Tom Cleverley’s stoppage-time strike, Arsenal once again looked painfully fragile when Watford began to test them physically in the second half at Vicarage Road.
So, while Wenger felt Richarlison’s theatrical fall under Hector Bellerin’s challenge shouldn’t have led to the penalty that Deeney converted for Watford’s equaliser, it was the goal-scorer’s suggestion that Arsenal lack fight that rang true.
“I’m not going to be the one to tell Mr Wenger about himself, but there’s a reason why they lost and it wasn’t because of one penalty,” Deeney said.
Man City may be even better than we thought
Manchester City are frightening. Very frightening.
Pep Guardiola’s team have caught the eye this season with some devastating attacking football, which reached a new high on Saturday in a 7-2 demolition of Stoke.
The visitors clawed their way back into the game from 3-0 down to trail by a single goal, but City merely shrugged and stepped up a gear, scoring another four in a spell of sumptuous football – and that was without their main striker Sergio Aguero.
They are the first top-flight team to score 29 goals in their first eight league games of the season since Everton in 1894-95.
Some said Guardiola – trophyless in his first season at City – could not successfully import his brand of possession-based football into the Premier League.
At the moment, he’s enjoying proving his critics wrong.
Palace know where the goal is after all
Crystal Palace were getting used to breaking unwanted records left, right and centre.
Pointless and scoreless after seven games, Chelsea would not have been their ideal opponents. But in the shock of the season so far, the champions were beaten 2-1 at Selhurst Park, courtesy of a Cesar Azpilicueta own goal and a Wilfried Zaha winner.
Suddenly, their situation does not appear quite so perilous – they are still rock bottom of the Premier League, but are not far from safety and the clubs immediately above them are not setting the world alight.
Manager Roy Hodgson has previously saved Fulham when they looked doomed to relegation in 2008, taking nine points from his final three games.
Could his team have started their great escape?