Best of the weekend
Sky Sports casts an eye over the weekend's Premier League action and picks out some of the key highlights.
Last Updated: 19/01/14 7:20pm
Game of the weekend
The eyes of the sporting world turned on Stamford Bridge for another epic tussle between two Premier League heavyweights, and they were not to be disappointed. United, with plenty still to prove under David Moyes, made a bright start and could have been in front inside the opening two minutes - but saw Petr Cech deny Ashley Young. Chelsea were always going to come back into the tie on home soil and in Samuel Eto'o they boast a proven marksman who knows his way to goal. He got a helping hand from the boot of Michael Carrick as he saw a deflected effort from the edge of the box arch over David de Gea to open the scoring, but displayed all of his killer instincts shortly before half-time as he turned home a drilled cross from Gary Cahill to double the Blues' advantage. His first hat-trick in English football was completed four minutes into the second half as he found himself in the right place at the right time to bundle over the line after De Gea could only block a Cahill header with his legs. Substitute Javier Hernandez pulled one back for United 12 minutes from time, turning in a shot from Phil Jones, but the visitors had left themselves with far too much to do and ended the game with 10 men as Nemanja Vidic saw red for a lunging challenge on Eden Hazard - and Rafael could have followed him.
Player of the weekend
There can be only one winner of this weekend's award. Santi Cazorla, Yohan Cabaye and Emmanuel Adebayor all put in notable displays for Arsenal, Newcastle and Tottenham, respectively, but none of them were able to get their hands on a match ball. Eto'o is now the proud owner of one such piece of Premier League memorabilia after single-handedly guiding Chelsea past Manchester United. His treble keeps the Blues firmly in the title picture, and would appear to have all but ended the Red Devils' faint hopes of clinging on to their top flight crown. Much has been made of the lack of goals provided by Chelsea's frontmen this season, so the fact that Eto'o may have finally found his spark should set alarm bells ringing at the Emirates and Etihad Stadiums.
Goal of the weekend
Trailing 2-0 to Aston Villa heading into the final few seconds of the first half, Liverpool picked the perfect time in which to snatch a lifeline at Anfield. Their defending had been suspect for much of the opening 45 minutes, but one flash of attacking quality hauled them back into the tie. Jordan Henderson produced the deftest, and cleverest, of touches to send Sturridge in on goal, and the England man made no mistake as he calmly lifted the ball over the onrushing Brad Guzan and into the back of the net. Belief was restored to the Reds' ranks and they were ultimately disappointed to end the game all square, having restored parity from the penalty spot early in the second half - more on that later.
Save of the weekend
The Stoke shot-stopper may be an outsider for one of three goalkeeping berths in England's World Cup squad, but he did his cause no harm with an eye-catching display at Crystal Palace. Butland found himself on the losing side at Selhurst Park, but the final scoreline would have been considerably more demoralising had it not been for his efforts between the sticks. The highly-rated youngster produced a string of fine saves, but the pick of the bunch was a triple stop in the second half which saw him parry a deflected effort from Joel Ward and bounce back to his feet to deny Jason Puncheon and Stuart O'Keefe on the rebound.
Controversy of the weekend
Was he touched? If so, did he need to go down? Questions asked of Liverpool's talismanic striker after another display which saw him hit the headlines. The incident which sparked heated debate arrived eight minutes into the second half of the Reds' home date with Aston Villa. Suarez was freed into the box by an arrowed pass from Steven Gerrard and tumbled over Brad Guzan as the American goalkeeper slid out to meet him. Suarez left his boot in and would have felt contact, but does that necessarily mean he has to go down and force the referee into making a big call? Whatever side of that argument you may be on, he did, Jonathan Moss pointed to the spot and Steven Gerrard converted from 12 yards out.
Miss of the weekend
Not the worst misses you will see this season, but they could be two of the most costly. Having been handed a lifeline shortly before half-time during a meeting with Newcastle, West Ham went in search of a leveller after the interval. Cole, fresh from agreeing a new deal at Upton Park, should have restored parity when meeting a Matt Taylor cross, but somehow diverted the ball past the post on the slide. Carroll then had the opportunity to make himself a hero against his former club, but he ballooned a volley over the crossbar with his right foot when presented with a clear sight of the target and the Hammers would go on to concede again late on, lose 3-1 and slip back into the relegation zone.
History-maker of the weekend
Not only did Dzeko record Manchester City's 100th goal in all competitions this season as he broke the deadlock in a 4-2 victory over Cardiff, he also etched his name into the history books as the first man in the Premier League to benefit from the newly-introduced goal-line technology system. The Bosnian striker hooked the ball goalwards after being picked out by David Silva but saw Bluebirds defender Kevin McNaughton do his utmost to deny him on the line. All eyes turned towards referee Neil Swarbrick and his nifty piece of wristwear informed him that, via the aid of Hawk-Eye, a goal was to be awarded. The right decision was reached and the debate for technology in football was further vindicated.
Zero to hero story of the weekend
This time last week Crystal Palace forward Puncheon was burying his head in the sand after a quite shambolic penalty miss during a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Fast forward seven days and he is now the toast of Selhurst Park. Puncheon swung the tide back his favour with a match-winning display against Stoke. He had considerably more to do against the Potters than beat one man from 12 yards out, but succeeded in cutting in from a tight angle and drilling a low effort through a maze of legs to hand boss Tony Pulis an emotional success against his former employers.