English Premier League Weekend Review: Manchester Plays Chicken While London Struggles On

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates his second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Wigan Athletic at Etihad Stadium on September 10, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

A look back at the weekend's action and discussion of some key points, including Manchester's continued dominance, Daniel Sturridge, Phil Jones, and Emmanuel Adebayor.

* Neither may have faced the sternest test at the weekend, but Manchesters United and City continued to make the Premier League title race resemble a game of chicken as both maintained their perfect starts to the season, and United maintained their uncanny ability to better any Manchester City achievement. Both results were, however, significant - for City, yet further signs that Aguero could be the world-class player which can win league titles, and for United, a sign that some of the away troubles of yesteryear could remain there. Aguero was frighteningly clinical as well as exciting and creative, whilst United were not even at their best against Bolton - Anderson did not have his best game for the club, while Carrick continued to offer a lack of mobility in midfield and Young and Nani turned in average performances. Yet the ruthlessness of Rooney, the energy of Hernandez, and a jaw-dropping display by Phil Jones overpowered Bolton and ensured United would remain top of the table.

* Speaking of Phil Jones, many had used him during the summer as an example of the 'English Premium' that clubs must pay when buying domestic players, with new home-grown rules threatening to push prices for English players into the stratosphere. Sometimes, however, it might just be because the player happens to be very good - Jones is just 19 years old, and, given his first ever start at right-back, was terrifying, a rock in defence, United's most efficient player at moving the ball forwards from the back, and the creator of two goals. He looks a remarkably complete player, and on current form should be starting for both United and England. He looked far better at right-back than Chris Smalling, and whilst he will surely, in time, take his position at the heart of defence for club and country, this display at right-back means England should certainly be starting the youngster ahead of the erratic Johnson. If Carrick remains out of favour with Ferguson, then he may just get a start in midfield, too - where he played on several occasions for Blackburn - for United's game against Chelsea next weekend.

* Meanwhile, Arsenal got their first win of the season against Swansea, with a display which was hardly any better than the ones they have served up so far. The clean sheet will be welcome, though it did of course come against a team that has yet to score this season, whilst their only goal came from a remarkable error from Swansea's goalkeeper Michel Vorm. It remains desperately poor for a team of Arsenal's standing, though time is on their side - easily winnable games at Ewood Park and then at home to Bolton follow before they face an away trip to White Hart Lane - just enough time for their local rivals to also regain their form. Mark that date in your diary - there will be fireworks.

* When Spurs spent the summer having their name in lights along with various £30m strikers, before eventually settling on Emmanuel Adebayor, many of their fans were disappointed. Ridiculous - Adebayor is still one of Europe's best strikers, and he looked exactly the player Spurs have been missing yesterday. Superb at leading the line and calm in front of goal when the rest of Spurs' frontline may have buckled, his addition could be one of the most important of the season. It would be insane to write them off for fourth place.

* In Liverpool, the old problems were back as they failed to take advantage of any of their dominant periods and fell to a Stoke City side that was hardly at their best. Jordan Henderson was the biggest culprit, making three terrible misses within about five seconds during one particularly hectic passage of play, and his unthinking lashing of the ball at a prone Asmir Begovic betrayed a panic that had set in amongst Liverpool when the chips were down. It would be premature to read too much into the defeat, but there is at least a sign that Liverpool have a long way to go before they can be considered title challengers.

* Finally, for Chelsea, Daniel Sturridge showed that he does indeed have what it takes to be an influential figure at a club of Chelsea's size, and cast futher doubt around Fernando Torres. He offers something which the rest of Chelsea's frontline does not have - unpredictability. It may have been a scraped win for the West London outfit, who will know, like Arsenal, that they must improve - and quicker, as their next Premier League game is a visit to Old Trafford - but there were positive signs here. The comparison of Chelsea's start last season to United's now may be incongruous - Chelsea had been champions by a far more slender margin, had bought modestly in the summer, and were racking up the goals against weaker opposition - but to write them off is curious. They will not get much worse than they are at the moment, yet the wins keep on coming. That alone should be enough to send a warning to Manchester.

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