Best of the weekend
Sky Sports casts an eye over this weekend's Premier League action and picks out some of the key highlights
Last Updated: 29/09/13 7:39pm
Game of the weekend
Manchester City fell to defeat on the road yet again as Aston Villa twice came from behind to secure an impressive 3-2 win. A close-range Yaya Toure effort had given the visitors the lead just before the break before Karim El Ahmadi levelled proceedings with a smart finish despite calls for offside. Edin Dzeko headed Manuel Pellegrini's side back in front moments later, but a superb Leandro Bacuna free-kick left Joe Hart rooted to the spot to make it 2-2. Just two minutes later, confusion in the City defence allowed Andreas Weimann to poke past the onrushing Hart to send Villa Park delirious and claim back-to-back Premier League wins. The result saw Villa rise to ninth in the table despite being without striking duo Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor, leaving Paul Lambert full of praise for his team's efforts. "I thought we were outstanding," he told Sky Sports after the game.
Player of the weekend
Since his deadline day loan switch from Marseille, French winger Morgan Amalfitano has wasted no time in settling into Steve Clarke's side, with the case-in-point being his goal scoring display in West Brom's 2-1 win at Old Trafford. The 28-year old ensured that Alexander Buttner would be in for a torrid afternoon down United's left with his repertoire of trickery and endless running, but it was the experienced Rio Ferdinand who was left chasing the Frenchman's shadow as he put the Baggies into the lead. After a run from deep, Amalfitano knocked the ball through the legs of the United captain before nonchalantly dinking it over David De Gea. He then turned provider for West Brom's winner with a deft touch to lay-off Saido Berahino whose powerful strike found the bottom corner much to the delight of the travelling supporters.
Goal of the weekend
There were several contenders this weekend, from exquisitely crafted team goals to Morgan Amalfitano's magical solo effort against Manchester United, but there were two spectacular strikes at Craven Cottage and it is Mutch's winner that gets the nod as our best of the weekend. Bryan Ruiz's curling shot in the first half would have been the highlight of most games, but Mutch stole his thunder to seal a thrilling 2-1 victory for Cardiff City. With the game seemingly drifting towards a draw in the second minute of stoppage time, substitute Mutch conjured something from nowhere. He brought down a long free-kick from goalkeeper David Marshall, got a lucky break off Kieran Richardson and curled an unstoppable strike into the top corner past a helpless David Stockdale.
Controversy of the weekend
No matter what he does or how hard he tries, life at Chelsea is still proving to be difficult for Fernando Torres. The Spain international caused Spurs endless problems during his time on the field, but a continuous tussle with Jan Vertonghen ultimately saw the striker dismissed in what seemed like harsh circumstances as he clashed with the Belgian in mid-air, with replays showing that contact was minimal. However, the Spurs fans have every right to feel a sense of justice being done after Torres appeared to scrape his nails down Vertonghen's face following a confrontation between the two earlier in the afternoon. The build-up to the game was somewhat overshadowed by the apparent feud between Andre Villas Boas and Jose Mourinho, but Torres' antics meant that the headlines were made on the pitch, just not in the way he would have hoped.
While the two Manchester clubs fell to defeat and Chelsea could only manage a point this weekend, Arsenal extended their Premier League winning run to five games as they defeated Swansea 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium. The Gunners are now two points clear at the top of the table and are visibly growing in confidence with every three points collected. The capture of Mesut Ozil seems to have reignited Arsene Wenger's side and with Aaron Ramsey firing on all cylinders and Serge Gnabry improving by the week, they are starting to look like a squad genuinely capable of challenging for silverware. A tough fixture list awaits them in the run up to the Christmas period but Wenger will undoubtedly be delighted with how his men have fared so far. With fellow contenders United, City and Chelsea all yet to find any real momentum so far this season, there appears to be an opportunity for someone to shake things up at the top and if Arsenal can maintain this level of performance, they will surely be right in the mix for the Premier League crown come next May.