Chelsea survived an early setback after skipper John Terry's own goal at home to Swansea on Saturday to surge clear at the top of the Premier League. Their impressive 4-2 victory against the Swans was the battle between the only two teams in the division with perfect form going into the game, yet few expect the Welsh club to be battling for Champions League places come lext May. Diego Costa had been a doubt with a hamstring problem going into the match, but yet again showed his predatory instincts to score a hat trick (fellow new man Loic Remy got the fourth), and demonstrated what had been all too evidently missing for his new side last season.

The lunchtime kickoff between last season's 1st and 4th placers was a topsy turvy affair, swaying one way and then the other before both sides settled for a point apiece. Manchester City took the lead at Arsenal after sloppy defensive covering, when Argentinian Sergio Aguero was allowed to slide in, before the London club responded in kind. Quick feet by Jack Wilshere brought them level with a cool finish to score (despite strong protestations that there had been a foul in the build up by the opposition) before Alexis Sanchez put them ahead. However they could not hold last year's Champions out and a Martin Demichelis header made it 2-2 before the end and probably a fair result.

Last year's runners up,Liverpool displayed their defensive frailties of old in a tepid display at home to Aston Villa.

In truth they were fortunate to scrape a draw last season against the same opponents, but there was to be no reprieve this time around as an early scrambled Gabby Agbonlahor goal from a corner was enough to give the Midlanders all three points and lift them to second in the 'fledgling' table. They were good value for their victory as the Reds never created the tempo that characterised many of their home matches last season, with Daniel Sturridge injured while on England duty and Raheem Sterling only on the bench.

The best they could manage was a late effort by Philippe Coutinho that hit the post, but they would no doubt point to a Philippe Senderos hack on Mario Balotelli in the first half that could have resulted in a red card if spotted by the officials.

Manchester United seem to be gathering some momentum after a shaky start to the season.

They convincingly overcame QPR on Sunday 4-0 and in truth could have had more. Once the first goal had been scored by Angel Di Maria there was only one winner and it was merely a matter of damage limitation long before the final whistle. New signing Herrera added a second and was impressive throughout the game along with Blind in midfield. England skipper Wayne Rooney netted the third before half time, before Juan Mata bagged the fourth. Bigger challenges lay ahead, but the team's push for the top four at least this season will (like Liverpool last season) be assisted by no European competition to distract them. The early signs are good for the bedding in of the expensively assembled cast list, although there were still one or two causes for alarm at the back.

Elsewhere in the Premier League the daggers are being sharpened even more for Alan Pardew, as Newcastle suffered a 4-0 mauling at Southampton.