Liverpool supporters will be dreaming of a title challenge after their team put together a solid comeback performance against Swansea City. It was ugly, and they were terrible in the first half, but the old cliche is that it's winning the games where you play poorly that makes you champions. Of course, it's better to just not play poorly, but we're not saying Liverpool's going to win the title. We're just saying that's what Liverpool fans will think of the result.
Elsewhere, Chelsea had no problem with Hull City, while some of the league's lower-table teams played out entertaining draws.
Swansea City 1-2 Liverpool
Hull City 0-2 Chelsea
Sunderland 1-1 West Bromwich Albion
Watford FC 2-2 AFC Bournemouth
West Ham United 1-1 Middlesbrough
Manchester United 1-1 Stoke City
Leicester City 0-0 Southampton
Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Manchester City
Burnley 0-1 Arsenal
Roberto Firmino wins it for Liverpool
Roberto Firmino got off to a tough start at Liverpool, and while his second half of last season under Jürgen Klopp was solid, he was still a bit inconsistent. This year, he looks much more sure of his role in the Liverpool team, and he was their best attacking player in a comeback win over Swansea. He scored the opening goal, then drew a penalty for the winner.
If Firmino is a consistent threat and understands his role, it could be the difference between Liverpool sitting at the bottom of the league's big six and breaking through to win a Champions League place.
Chelsea switches to a back 3
Antonio Conte used both 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 formations with Juventus and Italy on a regular basis, but he's usually preferred a back three. He went with a bit of a hybrid on Saturday, playing Willian and Eden Hazard drifting around behind Diego Costa in a 3-4-2-1. The results were mixed, but the defense was ultimately decent. From We Ain't Got No History:
- Three-man defense featured David Luiz in the middle, with Cahill left and Azpilicueta right. Will be interesting how this plays out once Terry and Zouma return.
- A clean sheet, after a few minutes of initial shakiness. One great save from Courtois to keep it scoreless on Snodgrass's free kick.
Victor Moses was also asked to play wingback, and given his relative inexperience in the position, did a decent job. Him and his opposite wingback, Marcos Alonso, worked hard, supporting the attack and tracking all the way back on defense. It's possible that this is the way forward for Chelsea, especially if Hazard is comfortable playing inside as a pure No. 10. Playing a back three could lead to Michy Batshuayi coming in to play up top next to Costa as well.
Watford and Bournemouth are always worth your time
The boards and managers of Watford and Bournemouth have ambition, but also some understanding of who they are. They stayed in the Premier League last year, added some talent, and are now in a bit of a transition period. They're a tier above the bottom five or six teams in the league, but highly unlikely to challenge for Europa League. Since they're in limbo, they're trying to play some attacking soccer, and they're both succeeding. Their 2-2 draw showed off the attacking intent and talent that both teams have, and reminded everyone that when the slate of games doesn't have a clear must-watch game, it's always a decent idea to pick out the Watford or Bournemouth match.
Dimitri Payet is still absolutely magic
Even if West Ham is terrible and won't be challenging for a European place this season, at least they still have one of the best players in the Premier League. Here's the best goal of the day by some margin, scored by Payet after he beats most of the Middlesbrough midfield and defense.
The Hammers' defense was improved on Saturday, but that's not saying much. They still conceded a soft set piece goal and dropped points at home against a likely relegation battler.
Sunderland and West Brom both show signs of improvement
Neither of these teams is particularly good or entertaining, but we'll try to be a little positive. Nacer Chadli looks like a very good signing for WBA and scored his third goal of the season on Saturday. The Baggies are still playing a direct, defensive-oriented style under Tony Pulis, but they look more potent going forward than they have in previous years. Sunderland won't be pleased with dropping points at home against one of the teams that they could be fighting to stay up this season, but they responded well to going down and fought back to win a point. After a week where David Moyes criticized his players for not being good enough, everyone will be happy to see that they didn't fold when the game got tough.
David De Gea gives points away for Manchester United
During the painful David Moyes and Louis van Gaal years, United supporters had one thing to stay positive about: they had one of the best goalkeepers in the world. And, of course, they still do, but De Gea won't escape criticism for the errors that led to Stoke's goal.
That's some really poor goalkeeping from a player who's been virtually flawless for years.
Claude Puel is getting the most out of Oriol Romeu
The man of the match in Southampton's 0-0 draw against Leicester City was Romeu, a defensive midfielder who struggled during his first season at St. Mary's. He's pretty slow for a central midfielder and struggled when asked to play in a double pivot by Ronald Koeman, but he's excelled this year in a more limited role with more numbers around him. He had two big blocked shots while leading his team in interceptions and tackles, and also kept his turnovers to a minimum, completing 90 percent of his passes. Southampton fans will be thrilled to see that Romeu was just misused, not poor.
Arsenal scrapes three points
Arsenal was poor against Burnley. They scored a 93rd minute winner off a corner when a shot by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that was heading over the crossbar hit the hand of Laurent Koscielny without the referee spotting it, then rolled over the line. Arsenal fans do not care.
A WIN IS A WIN IS A WIN— The Short Fuse (@TheShortFuse) October 2, 2016
The Ox hits it in off "The Hand of Kos"— The Short Fuse (@TheShortFuse) October 2, 2016
And why should they? All of the Premier League's big six teams look capable of pushing for the title this season. The race for fourth place is going to be extremely tight. Everyone needs all the points they can get.
Spurs shock the league and outplay Pep's City
Did anyone see this coming? Not only did Tottenham Hotspur defeat Manchester City, they shut them out. Spurs could have won by more too -- they won a penalty in the second half, which they failed to convert. Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min were particularly impressive in attack, benefitting from having more free roles with Harry Kane out and Vincent Janssen left on the bench.
Suddenly, City look beatable and Spurs look just as much like title contenders as anyone else. We appear to be in for a wild Premier League season.