Chelsea and West Brom squeaked to home victories while Southampton got on the board with a resounding victory over struggling Villa. Here's what the Soccer Saturday panel had to say about another action-packed day in the Premier League...
Last Updated: September 23, 2012 2:32pm
Thommo on Southampton's first win of the season - over Aston Villa
"It has been hard for Nigel Adkins. He needs time and he's done exceptionally well - two promotions and you can't just write him off after four games of the season.
"It was two poor teams in the first half - particularly offensively. I couldn't have seen where a 4-1 scoreline was going to come from at that point. Villa actually looked the better team and the goal was a cross from Barry Bannan and as we saw against Arsenal, the Saints defence was all over the place. Darren Bent was the only one alive to it and the defenders were just left looking at eachother.
"The change he made at half-time changed the whole look of Saints. I said I didn't know a goal was going to come from but it was that man Rickie Lambert again. They feed off him and he never gives up. He's what Grant Holt was for Norwich - everyone was looking for him as a leader. He's probably not the most gifted of players but he's always working.
"He took his goal well - chest control, takes another touch... Not sure why there was nobody around him but he blitzed the shot in. Nathaniel Clyne then got his first goal in three years. He finished like a centre-forward and they were flying by then.
"Villa were all over the place defensively. Ron Vlaar had a tough time of it but it wasn't just him - everybody was poor defensively for Villa."
Le Tiss looks at Chelsea's narrow victory over Stoke
"I was a struggle for Chelsea. They didn't really create too many clear-cut chances. Tony Pulis set his side up with a 4-5-1 formation and although that sounds a bit negative, they were right in this game. Jon Walters hit a bar with a header and they were unfortunate not to go ahead.
"t was all a bit tight and a bit too intricate. Everything was going through the middle with the three creative midfielders in there - they just didn't have the space to create clear-cut opportunities. They could've done with a bit of width at times. They struggled from that point of view, but I suppose on the balance of play they deserved to edge it.
"Fernando Torres had one chance in the first half which he took on his chest and took an air shot. That was the one sniff of goal he had during the whole 90 minutes and when you're the lone man up front, it's quite a tough job. He didn't really get the chances and it may have to be looked at but they haven't go many options. There wasn't really an out-and-out forward on the bench.
"Ashley Cole took the goal very well. Ivanovic rolled in the cross and Juan Mata produced a lovely little flick, Cole popped up eight yards from goal and netted. Maybe he'd heard Leighton Baines was being touted as the best left-back in the world and wanted to prove otherwise!
"I can only assume that resting John Terry was because he's not 100% fit. It's the only reason I can think of because if you've got him fully fit, you don't put him on the subs bench against Stoke."
Merson on West Brom rising to third by beating Reading
"West Brom played well in patches. James Morrison, who I'm a big fan of, played in the hole today but a few times today his final ball wasn't good enough. If they'd have been more clinical, they could have beaten Reading by five or six.
"In the end, it was two very good subtitutions - he brought Shane Long and Graham Dorrans. When those two came on, they provided the goal with a diagonal ball and a nod-down.
"Romelu Lukaku hit it well. It went through legs so you can't really blame the goalkeeper. Lukaku sometimes looks very good and then sometimes you can see why Chelsea let him go on loan because he does give the ball away sometimes. I think in a year or two, he could be a real player.
"Reading had only one dangerman and that was Jobi McAnuff out wide. The 'keeper made two very good saves but I don't really see where their goals are going to come from. They're going to have to go for it a bit more. Pavel Pogrebnyak was quiet today... which was a relief for me!"
Charlie on Fulham's impressive away win at Wigan
"Wigan were as poor as I've seen this season. They never got going in the first half. They hit the bar through Jordi Gomez but there was no fluency to their play - Shaun Maloney couldn't link up with Gomez and Arouna Kone.
"The little bits of class we did see today were from Dimitar Berbatov. He was even nicking it in his own half and linking up with Hugo Rodallega. Berbatov made the goal too - he dinked it in with a little bit of check spin on it. They deserved to be in front.
"If you look at it properly, all the boys appreciate the touch and the talent of Berbatov. All the boys agree that he's top drawer. All top players want the ball and make the ball do the work. He's got technical gifts that we all drool over.
"In the second half, Damien Duff made it 2-0 despite Wigan starting the half much better. The hosts had two good chances just before that goal - Mauro Boselli's was a bad, bad miss and Duff went up the other end and scored.
"Mark Schwarzer was outstanding again. The nerves were there and they hung on, but they just about deserved it for me."