It was a weekend for the big guns, as the fancied teams took three valuable points against their opponents – well not quite all the big guns, but we’ll get to that.
The first big gun to line up this weekend was Premier League champions Chelsea, and it took just 12 minutes for them to shoot in front, Pedro with a quite brilliant effort which hit the post on its way in. But the Blues would be pegged back on the stroke of half-time, as Abdoulaye Doucoure pounced on some uncertain defending to draw Watford level, and after the break Roberto Pereyra would put the visitors in front. Suddenly Chelsea were on the verge of three league losses in a row, but with 19 minutes to go Michy Batshuayi stooped to head home Pedro’s cross and equalise, before Cesar Azpilicueta delivered with his bonce as well on 87 minutes. Batshuayi crowned the victory with his second of the game in stoppage time, as Chelsea climbed back to fourth on the log.
Chelsea’s London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham had to wait on Sunday to play their games, but they made the wait worth it, as they respectively dispatched Merseysiders Everton and Liverpool with consummate ease.
Arsenal fell behind at Everton thanks to a Wayne Rooney strike in the 12th minute, almost 15 years after he announced himself to the game with a ‘worldie’ against the same club at the same ground. But this time there would be no such joy for the home crowd, as goals from Nacho Monreal – four minutes before the break and Mesut Ozil – eight minutes after the restart – turned things around in Arsenal’s favour. Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez added to the scoreline while Oumar Niasse also scored for Everton as the eventual 5-2 result keeps the pressure on Toffees boss Ronald Koeman.
For Tottenham, it only took four minutes for Harry Kane to give them the lead against Liverpool, and seven minutes later, Kane turned provider as Son Heung-Min doubled Spurs’ lead. Mohammed Salah pulled a goal back for Liverpool, but Dele Alli and a second from Kane left Reds manager Jurgen Klopp reeling in a 4-1 scoreline.
Right, the big gun that failed. No, it wasn’t Liverpool; but rather Manchester United, the Red Devils suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Huddersfield, as goals from Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre ensured a first win for the Terriers over United in 65 years.
In Serie A, Juventus returned to winning ways in the league despite conceding first and playing most of the game with 10-men, Mario Mandzukic’s red card doing little to hamper their 6-2 win at Udinese, where Sami Khedira bagged an unlikely hat-trick.
Barcelona eased past Malaga in La Liga with a 2-0 thanks to goals from Gerard Deulofeu and Andres Iniesta, while Real Madrid put three past Eibar, Marcelo with the pick of the goals in that one.
Elsewhere, Paris Saint-Germain rescued a point at Marseille in Ligue 1’s ‘Le Classique’, where Neymar saw himself get on the scoresheet but was later sent off, Manchester City maintained their lead atop the English Premier League table with a win over Burnley, and Chievo won the Verona derby by beating rivals Hellas 3-2 in Italy.
Dortmund were guilty of letting a two-goal lead slip at Frankfurt in the Bundesliga while a goalless draw with Inter Milan saw Napoli’s 100% start to the Serie A season come to an end and Valencia trounced Sevilla by four goals to nil in Spain to stay second on the table.
Premier League: Chelsea 4-2 Watford; Southampton 1-0 West Brom; Manchester City 3-0 Burnley; Newcastle 1-0 Crystal Palace; Swansea 1-2 Leicester; West Ham 0-3 Brighton; Huddersfield 2-1 Manchester United; Everton 2-5 Arsenal; Tottenham 4-1 Liverpool; Stoke 1-2 Bournemouth.
Bundesliga: Schalke 2-0 Mainz; Borussia Monchengladbach 1-5 Leverkusen; Hamburg 0-1 Bayern Munich; Wolfsburg 1-1 Hoffenheim; Koln 0-0 Werder Bremen; Frankfurt 2-2 Dortmund; Augsburg 1-2 Hannover; RB Leipzig 1-0 Stuttgart; Freiburg 1-1 Hertha BSC.
La Liga: Real Madrid 3-0 Eibar; Barcelona 2-0 Malaga; Levante 1-1 Getafe; Valencia 4-0 Sevilla; Real Betis 2-0 Alaves; Leganes 1-0 Athletic Bilbao; Celta Vigo 0-1 Atletico Madrid; Villarreal 4-0 Las Palmas.
Ligue 1: Monaco 2-0 Caen; Nice 1-2 Strasbourg; Amiens 1-0 Bordeaux; Metz 1-2 Dijon; Nantes 2-1 Guingamp; Rennes 1-0 Lille; Troyes 0-5 Lyon; Marseille 2-2 PSG; Angers 0-1 Toulouse; St. Etienne 0-1 Montpellier.
Serie A: Napoli 0-0 Inter; Milan 0-0 Genoa; SPAL 0-1 Sassuolo; Chievo Verona 3-2 Hellas Verona; Sampdoria 5-0 Crotone; Udinese 2-6 Juventus; Benevento 0-3 Fiorentina; Lazio 3-0 Cagliari; Torino 0-1 Roma; Atalanta 1-0 Bologna.