As the #Premier League clubs now take a rest from their domestic strains and many of their players join up with their respective international squads ahead of the European qualifiers and friendlies coming up later this week, there were a full set of league fixtures played at the weekend to look back upon.
The Saturday lunchtime pick saw #Chelsea continue their seemingly relentless march towards the title, as they overturned an early deficit at Anfield to come out 2-1 winners. Liverpool are by no means the force they were last year, yet one of their new signings opened the scoring as German under-21 midfielder, Emre Can scored his first goal for his new club. The league leaders soon drew level with a rather messy goal by Gary Cahill, who was also involved in a moment of contention when the ball seemed to hit his hand but no penalty was awarded. The game was decided midway through the second- half when the Blues' star striker Diego Costa was on target yet again to maintain Chelsea's unbeaten run.
Southampton continue to defy the critics and remain only four points behind Chelsea, after a solid 2-0 victory over Leicester City was achieved thanks to two Shane Long goals. Long is often a willing worker for his team without much reward for himself, so a first goal after nine games off the score-sheet was a welcome bonus for the Republic of Ireland striker. Manager Ronald Koeman has been working wonders with his new side, but also knows that a testing run of fixtures now lies ahead with games against both Manchester clubs, Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea before the New Year.
Third placed #Manchester City lost more ground on the league leaders (they trail by eight points), but it could have been even worse as they twice had to come back against QPR, before securing a point in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Loftus Road. Sergio Aguero scored a brace to make it twelve league goals for the season, in response to Rangers' goals from Charlie Austin and an headed own goal from Martin Demichelis.
Burnley stay bottom of the table but at least got their first win of the season, as they edged a disappointing Hull City side 1-0. Ashley Barnes was the hero of Turf Moor with his headed goal five minutes into the second-half, as the away side finished the match a player short through Curtis Davies' back injury. Manager Steve Bruce was surprised by his side's performance and clearly concerned by a run of just one win in the league since the middle of August, that leaves them just two points above the bottom three.
West Ham stay in the Champions League places after a goalless draw at home to Aston Villa, with a welcome return from the bench for long term absentee Andy Carroll almost yielding instant dividends for the Hammers as he twice came close to the winner. They lie above Swansea City only on goal difference now, after the Swans came back against Arsenal on Sunday to take a 2-1 victory. In echoes of the capitulation of the Gunners in the Champions League against Anderlecht, they had led yesterday through Alexis Sanchez's goal with only 15 minutes remaining but by the end had lost and had Arsene Wenger admitting that the title looks Chelsea's already. Their undoing was down to a marvellous free-kick from Gylfi Sigurdsson and an inspired substitution from Swansea manager Garry Monk, as Bafetimbi Gomis took all of a minute to score from the bench.
Manchester United gained a vital three points at home to Crystal Palace, with a Juan Mata strike on 67 minutes proving sufficient. Manager Louis van Gaal shuffled his pack yet again, with Daley Blind being asked to cover at centre-half given his side's recent injuries and suspensions.