Sky Sports takes a look at some of the talking points from the weekend's Premier League action
Last Updated: September 30, 2012 6:39pm
For individual match reports, statistics, player ratings and key moments from each game, click on the headers below.
Most experts and pundits alike had predicted this year's Premier League title to be a two-horse race between the Manchester giants, but after Saturday's performance from Chelsea, it's becoming increasingly harder to rule the Blues out of a challenge.
The clash with Arsenal was their hardest top-flight game of the season by some way, their previous matches coming against sides outside of the top six, and they passed with flying colours to maintain their unbeaten start to the season at the Emirates Stadium.
Ramires and John Obi Mikel were immense in limiting Arsenal's free-flowing football, while also acting as marvellous outlets to link up Chelsea's neater side of their game through Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Fernando Torres.
Torres, whose goal showed intelligence and good awareness, also proved he could lead the line for Chelsea in the big games. The striker has shown glimpses of greatness in the absence of Didier Drogba and this game went a long way to endearing himself to the Chelsea management.
For Arsenal, it was an off-day. Arsene Wenger's side will recover in their own bid for Premier League glory, but it will take a mammoth performance from any team to knock Chelsea off their perch this season.
There have been murmurings on Merseyside that the current Everton team is the strongest ever assembled by David Moyes in his decade at the club, and they produced just the kind of performance against Southampton to support that theory.
For years it has been thought that the Toffees could just be a major force if they had a prolific goal scorer, and in Nikica Jelavic they appear to have found someone capable of netting 15 to 20 goals a season after he showed his all-round quality in Saturday's 3-1 win with two very different goals.
In many ways Jelavic highlights the different strings Everton have to their bow, as they are physically strong with the likes of Marouane Fellaini but also fluent in possession, and in Kevin Mirallas they appear to have unearthed another gem.
Moyes may be playing it down but Everton are looking serious contenders for a top-four berth at present, even if they did suffer a scare against Saints when Gaston Ramirez broke the deadlock with the simplest of headed goals.
Indeed, Southampton played their part in a thrilling game and Ramirez showed glimpses of why the South Coast club paid a record-breaking £12million for his services, creating some good chances with clever passing and always willing to get forward.
Jay Rodriguez missed a glorious opportunity when Southampton were leading 1-0 and Nigel Adkins' attacking philosophy, whilst risky, looks like it will result in plenty of goals.
The biggest concern for Adkins will be how shambolic Saints were at the back during the decisive period in the first half when Everton utterly pulverised them and, having lost five of their first six games, it is looking like a long, hard season.
Manchester City looked to be heading for their third winless Premier League game on the bounce in the dying stages against Fulham but managed to snatch a win, which could provide the confidence boost they need after a stuttering start.
The season is still in its fledgling stages but refereeing decisions have already been hogging the headlines and there was more controversy at Craven Cottage as Fulham were awarded a penalty early on after referee Mark Halsey adjudged John Arne Riise to have been tripped by Pablo Zabaleta. City fans were left less than happy with the ruling, which is sure to be another decision which divides opinion.
Two Cottagers players who will feel particularly aggrieved by City's late win are Chris Baird and Steve Sidwell, who contributed battling performances in midfield, working hard throughout as City relentless applied the pressure.
Roberto Mancini admitted after the win he finds it tough picking his frontline with the options at his disposal and Edin Dzeko staked a firm claim for a more regular spot when he scored within 60 seconds of coming off the bench late on. However, the Bosnian has proved time and time again his danger as an impact substitute and Mancini will like knowing he has the frontman in reserve as a game-changer.
City's star-studded strike force got the job done in the end but it was midfield ace David Silva providing the creative support, causing the Cottagers plenty of problems. The Spaniard was at the heart of the majority of the visitors' attacks and played a key role in the champions' dominance.
With Liverpool struggling for goals and wins this season, their meeting with hapless Norwich could not have come at a better time for Brendan Rodgers.
But the inept display of the hosts, who have conceded five goals on two occasions already this campaign, should not take away from a dominant display from Liverpool and a thrilling performance from Luis Suarez.
Rodgers has been hammered for allowing the Reds to go into the season so short of strikers but, on this evidence, perhaps Suarez is all the manager needs?
The Uruguayan's pace and trickery had Leon Barnett and Michael Turner running scared from the first whistle, after which it took Suarez just 68 seconds to net his first.
His ability to make defenders look ridiculous has never been in question, but his goalscoring record certainly has. Suarez admitted on Friday that there was plenty of room for improvement with his finishing but, aside from one first-half miss which he atoned for seconds later with a brilliant second goal, the most outstanding quality in a sparkling performance was the expertise he showed in beating John Ruddy on three separate occasions before an hour had been played.
If, as Saturday's evidence suggests, Suarez has finally found the formula to hit the target rather than the woodwork, then the shallow nature of Liverpool's attacking resources may not be the threat to Rodgers' masterplan that we all thought it would be.
In addition to a hat-trick for his talisman, the manager will be equally delighted with the performances of his new boys.
Nuri Sahin shone in midfield and netted his third goal in two games, while Premier League debutants Suso and Andre Wisdom looked as comfortable on the right as any seasoned pro.
Two goals gifted to Norwich will concern Rodgers, especially another fumble from Pepe Reina, but they should not take the shine off a wonderful attacking display by the supposedly impotent Reds.
Did Demba Ba mean to handle the ball when scoring his second goal? No, it was accidental and he was almost apologetic in his celebration when tapping his hand. A better question from a Reading perspective would be regarding the interpretation of rules by match officials.
Four goals in the second half and the quality and controversy of Ba's efforts made it an entertaining story but the first half had been dreadful. Newcastle will be concerned by the lacklustre performance of Papiss Cisse while Reading completely lacked any cutting edge before half-time.Newcastle's absence of strength in depth was exposed at the Madejski Stadium. Both of Reading's goals came minutes after Steven Taylor was substituted due to injury. James Tavernier was introduced at full-back with James Perch moving to centre-back. And with Fabricio Coloccini already missing through injury, Newcastle fell apart. Their remodelled back four were very insecure and that will be a concern for boss Alan Pardew when competing in four competitions this season.
Did Ben Davies dive? Almost impossible to tell from replays (and therefore leaving the official blameless in any decision made). Davies certainly went to ground easily, but this is the grey area in Tony Pulis' suggestion of retrospective bans. Just how much contact is enough contact?
Stoke looked a side that knew this was their golden opportunity for a first victory. They harried Swansea across the field, never allowing the Swans to settle in possession. As Everton showed last weekend, this is the key to beating Swansea; upset their rhythm and a soft underbelly soon shows.
Michael Laudrup will be worried after a third game without registering a victory, point or goal. Pablo Hernandez looked woefully off the pace, and Michu was crucially unable to link midfield and attack, leaving Danny Graham isolated up front.
For Stoke, Michael Kightly was a threat throughout, clearly displaying why Matthew Etherington has been relegated to a place on the bench. It was also interesting to see Charlie Adam playing in an advanced role, often the beneficiary of Peter Crouch's knockdowns.
Final word must go to the striker, who scored his third and fourth Premier League goals of the season on his 500th appearance in club football.
In a largely unimpressive match between two pretty average sides, one man stood out from the rest...Steven Fletcher!
He was rightly lauded by his manager Martin O'Neill after the match for his movement off the ball and the way he found space in between defenders. The Northern Irishman said the centre-forward's display was 'incredible', and with five goals in four games he deserves the plaudits.
If I were in Craig Levein's shoes, I'd drive down to the North East of England and quite simply beg the 25-year-old striker to come back and play for the national team. He's exactly what Scotland need to kick start their World Cup qualifying campaign!
During the match, he demonstrated his awareness of players around him and held the ball up like a colossus during the dying embers of the match.
Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet closely followed Fletcher in the man of the match stakes after he made a couple of saves - one of them world class - to keep the Black Cats in the game during the first half. The Belgium international has nailed down that No.1 spot in the side after being lambasted for some of his performances last campaign by some of his own fans, but on this display he looks right at home at the Stadium of Light.
Wigan, on the other hand, were pretty dismal and the straight red card shown to Jordi Gomez summed up their day.
Dare I say it, but Robert Martinez's side look like a team that are destined for yet another relegation battle as they struggled to cope at the back when they did go down to 10 men.
The Latics do have players that can score goals in Arouna Kone, Franco Di Santo and Mauro Boselli, but Martinez reluctantly decided against using his midweek League Cup hero Boselli at all during the match which seemed a rather bizarre decision, unless he was carrying a knock of course.
It looks very much as if they'll have to rely on picking up points from their home games if they have any chance of staying in the top flight for an eighth successive season.
There are lies, damned lies and statistics. And the numbers which emerged in the wake of Manchester United's clash with Tottenham would back up that statement.
The Red Devils enjoyed 74 per cent of the possession over the 90 minutes - Spurs had a paltry 12.8 per cent in the second half - completed 700 passes to their opponents' 243 and put in 43 crosses to just seven from Andre Villas-Boas' men.
Yet the only statistic which truly matters went in favour of Tottenham as they ended a 23-year wait for a league victory at Old Trafford with a thrilling 3-2 success after goals from Jan Vertonghen, Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey.
In the first period, United were simply not at the races. Their midfield was over-run by Mousa Dembele, Dempsey and Sandro, prompting Sir Alex Ferguson to hook Ryan Giggs at the interval and send on Wayne Rooney.
The move paid immediate dividends with Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick suddenly bossing the play and Spurs being forced further and further back towards their own goal. But for all United saw of the ball they could not get back on terms, leaving Sir Alex Ferguson to astonishingly bemoan the lack of added time from referee Chris Foy.
A sense of optimism engulfed Villa Park after the Villans' shock victory over Manchester City midweek, but while a draw would have satisfied both camps at full-time, it was West Brom who will surely leave the more enthusiastic after yet another point under new boss Steve Clarke.
While Villa have made their worst ever start to a Premier League campaign, West Brom have lost just one in six and sit just outside the European places to justify their current tag as the best team in the Midlands.
In Jonas Olsson, James Morrison and Shane Long, the Baggies have a spine capable of winning against any team, and all three were exceptional at Villa Park. Long proved a thorn in Villa's side throughout, while Olsson's composure and reading of the game kept his side in it under waves of late Villa pressure.
West Brom recorded their best ever Premier League finish under Roy Hodgson last season but their fans would be justified in hoping for grander achievements this season, such is the start they have made.
For Villa, the euphoria of the Man City triumph will have calmed, but at least in rescuing a late point they may have a rejuvenated striker in Darren Bent who was initially left on the bench before producing a goalscoring cameo.