- Premier League round-up
Champions strike late, Chelsea & Utd win, Arsenal lose
Chelsea and Manchester City produced stirring comebacks on Saturday as the top three all won after coming from behind in the Premier League. Elsewhere, Arsenal were stunned by Norwich, Liverpool ended their Merseyside drought, and West Ham, Fulham and Swansea all picked up three points.
Manchester City are yet to lose in league competition this season and they struck deep into injury-time - with ten men - to beat West Brom 2-1 at the Hawthorns. Roberto Mancini had to make do without the injured David Silva for Saturday's trip to the Midlands, and City's task was made even more difficult when James Milner was sent off midway through the first half.
However, after Shane Long had given the Baggies a second-half lead, Edin Dzeko stepped off the bench to net a match-winning brace for the champions.
It was Milner's red card that provided the highlight of the first half as the England man received his marching orders for fouling Long as the last man. Mancini disputed the call, pointing to the covering presence of Joleon Lescott, but referee Mark Clattenburg appeared to have got it right.
City continued to try and win the match despite the setback, but West Brom took the lead through Long's 67th-minute opener. Peter Odemwingie scuffed a shot goalwards, and Long stole in to poke the ball past Joe Hart as the City keeper tried to collect.
City looked a beaten side, but Mancini threw Sergio Aguero and Dzeko into the action and it resulted in a dramatic turnaround. Carlos Tevez tempted Ben Foster from his line with an inswinging free-kick as Dzeko levelled, and then the Bosnian struck again after Aguero's assist for what may prove a crucial result at the end of the season.
Manchester United remain four points off the pace after they overcame a stubborn Stoke side 4-2 at Old Trafford. Stoke had only been beaten by Chelsea prior to their trip to the Theatre of Dreams, but were undone by goals from Wayne Rooney(2), Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck after a Rooney own goal had given Stoke the lead.
Sir Alex Ferguson started with a three-pronged strike force as Rooney, Van Persie and Welbeck all got the nod, but the greater pre-match talking point was provided by Rio Ferdinand, who did not wear the Kick It Out T-shirt, which promotes anti-racism in football.
Once the opening whistle was blown Rooney, who was still to score in the league for United this season, actually notched one against his own team as Stoke took an 11th-minute lead. Michael Kightly was the man to deliver the dangerous cross, and Rooney could do little as Ryan Shawcross' presence saw the ball find its way past David De Gea.
The England forward quickly made amends as he found the United equaliser 15 minutes later, heading home Van Persie's lovely cross. Van Persie then ensured United took a lead into half-time, smashing home in unerring fashion after Antonio Valencia's assist.
United then flew out of the blocks after the interval, netting immediately when Welbeck's diving header converted Rooney's cross, although Stoke continued to fight, reducing the deficit to one when Kightly advanced unchallenged to make it 3-2. Rooney, though, quickly restored the two-goal cushion as United remained second in the table.
Juan Mata struck twice in three second-half minutes as Chelsea came from behind to beat Tottenham 4-2 at White Hart Lane. Victory means the Blues now have the same points total as Manchester City had at the same stage of the 2011-12 season.
Gary Cahill, in for the suspended John Terry, gave the Blues the lead in the first period, seizing on William Gallas' poor defensive header to fire a first-time volley into the roof of the net.
But Gallas made amends shortly after half-time, steering in from close range at the far post having collected Jan Vertonghen's hooked centre. England striker Jermain Defoe then turned the game on its head, diverting Aaron Lennon's mishit shot beyond Petr Cech.
That was the cue for Mata to swing the momentum back towards his side: first with a 20-yard drive following another poorly-directed clearance from Gallas, then with a fine finish after a brilliant defence-splitting pass from Eden Hazard. Mata also made Chelsea's fourth, robbing Kyle Walker before squaring for substitute Daniel Sturridge to slot in as Andre Villas-Boas was left empty-handed by his former employers.
Arsenal's Premier League title challenge already looks as good as over after they were beaten 1-0 by Norwich at Carrow Road. Defeat leaves the Gunners 10 points behind the league leaders, although they did at least see Jack Wilshere return to the bench after 14 months out of action.
Norwich, who started the day 19th in the table, took the lead in the 19th minute when Grant Holt punished Vito Mannone's error. Alexander Tettey sent a speculative long-ranger towards goal, and Mannone pushed the ball directly out to Holt, who had the simple job of tapping home.
Arsenal pressed for an equaliser but Norwich arguably created the better chances to grab the game's second goal, and Wenger opted not to use Wilshere as the Canaries leapt up to 15th.
Liverpool ended their wait for a first home league win under Brendan Rodgers, beating Reading 1-0 at Anfield. The Reds last triumphed on home soil in league competition on May 8 against Chelsea, but Raheem Sterling's strike finally gave their fans something to sing about.
Rodgers went into the game without fresh injury absentees Fabio Borini and Pepe Reina, but his side coped well with those setbacks as they moved up to 11th in the table. The opener saw Sterling become the club's second youngest scorer behind Michael Owen as he ran onto Luis Suarez's flick, taking a touch before drilling into the far corner.
It was fitting that Suarez was the provider as the Uruguayan once again caused chaos in the opposition defence all afternoon, but it was the same old story for Liverpool as a plethora of chances went astray. In the end they were grateful to a couple of fantastic saves from Brad Jones as Reading threatened to nick a point in the second half.
Southampton fell into the drop zone after they lost 4-1 to West Ham at Upton Park. The result leaves Saints on four points in 18th place in the table after strikes from Mark Noble(2), Kevin Nolan and Modibo Maiga.
After a dour first half, West Ham exploded from the opening whistle of the second, netting first when Noble's dangerous free-kick found its way past Artur Boruc under pressure from James Collins, and then adding a second a minute later when Nolan tapped in at the far post.
Adam Lallana gave Saints hope with 25 minutes remaining, but Noble converted from the spot to kill the game off 18 minutes from time before Maiga added the extras.
Paul Lambert is a manager firmly under pressure after Aston Villa were beaten 1-0 by Fulham at Craven Cottage. Villa are only a point clear of the bottom three after winning one of their opening eight games, with Chris Baird doing the damage from a John Arne Riise corner for Fulham with an 84th-minute winner.
And in the other 3pm kick-off, Swansea claimed a 2-1 win over Wigan to move into the top half of the table. Pablo Hernandez and Michu did the job for Swansea in the second half, although Emmerson Boyce's cheeky back-heeled effort made for a tight finish.