Top team: Stoke did a brill job in their hard-fought draw against Manchester United, especially after the hammering they had received against Sunderland. Unlike in their win against Liverpool, they stayed on top, kept control and players in all areas, frustrating the hell out of their visitors, the stats showing and confirming their strength and competitiveness at home: Attempts 11:10, On target 5:4, Corners 8:8, Bookings 1-0, Possession 47%-53%. The question is whether they can keep this up week in, week out, home and away.
Top player: Obviously Robing van Persie needs a shout out in this category for scoring his 100th goal for Arsenal, only the 17th Gunner to do so and it was a cheeky one he coolly tucked in with the outside of his left boot, top notch. However, for scoring his first goal for his club and making a hat-trick out of it, my vote goes to Newcastle's Demba Ba. One beauty and a couple of headers and it could have been more, Ba showed he is top of the show right now, like the Magpies who are still unbeaten sitting comfortably in 4th place, two points ahead of Liverpool in 5th, only one behind Chelsea in 3rd. Nice.
Top goal: So many beauties to pick from: Fernando Torres' right-footed, on turn, first touch beauty; Nani's buildup and shot side-stepping Jonathan Woodgate to open the score for Manchester United at Stoke; but my vote goes to Ba again with his first goal for Newcastle, a fine drive, right-footed turn off Leon Best's cross from the left, smash-boom-bang, he went on to get a hat-trick in his side's 3-1 win against Blackburn. Sweet.
Top news: I loved Jeff Stelling's rant against the Southampton Chief Executive Nicola Cortese on Sky Sports News' Gillette Soccer Saturday, defending his colleague, friend and Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier and Lawrie McMenemy... Good on ye!
Flop game: The goalless draw between West Brom and Fulham was not much to shout about. Manchester City's win against Everton was not much of a competition either though. Apart from the goals, there was not much going on...
Flop player: Again, Torres went from top to flop, hero to zero within minutes! Last week he missed an open goal against Manchester United, this week he got himself sent off with a stupid two-footed tackle on Mark Gower minutes after he scored the opener for Chelsea against Swansea.
Flop goal: Liverpool were lucky with the opener to take the lead against Wolves at Anfield. It was a fine cross from the left by Charlie Adam which looked to go wide before Roger Johnson's intervention, his header putting it into his own net. Ouch. Liverpool went on to dominate after that and won the game not comfortably but convincingly 2:1 which shows what a difference a goal/an error makes.
Flop news: Can Carlos Tevez still call himself a football player (payed around £250k per week!!!) after refusing to play football?!?!?! He's a joke! I think the suspension he has received is the least the club can do, with their hands tied on money and market matters, the question is, how can they punish him without punishing themselves with it? And for once in my life I agree with what Fifa said!!!
My predictions - Actual results
Man City 3:2 Everton - 2:0
Arsenal 3:1 Bolton - 3:0
Chelsea 3:0 Swansea - 4:1
Liverpool 2:1 Wolves - 2:1
Newcastle 1:2 Blackburn - 3:1
West Brom 2:1 Fulham - 0:0
Wigan 0:2 Tottenham - 1:2
Stoke 0:1 Man Utd - 1:1
QPR 0:0 Aston Villa - 1:1
Norwich 1:1 Sunderland - 2:1