Champions Manchester City stay top of the Premier League after thrashing Burnley, while the fireworks at the end of the meeting between Chelsea and Manchester United dominated the weekend headlines.
There were strong performances for Cardiff and Watford, while Tottenham and Liverpool continued their fine starts.
But which players shone enough to make it into my team of the week?
Goalkeeper – Hugo Lloris
I might be a Tottenham fan, but I’m not a fan of Hugo Lloris. For a top-class goalkeeper, he makes too many errors in the games that matter. The World Cup final was a typical example.
That is a damning indictment of the France World Cup winner, I admit, but readers of my team of the week will know I have been a consistent critic of his for the past two seasons.
Nevertheless, he makes my team because of an excellent performance against a West Ham side who should have got something from the game.
Saves by Lloris were the reason why they didn’t, but the claim from Mauricio Pochettino that Lloris is one of the best goalkeepers in the world is extremely generous.
Did you know? Lloris made four big saves against West Ham in Spurs’ 1-0 win at the London Stadium.
Defenders – Joe Gomez, Shane Duffy, Nathan Ake
Joe Gomez: Everybody was talking about the ball from Xherdan Shaqiri to Mohamed Salah which provided Liverpool with their winning goal at Huddersfield, but not me. It was the ball from Gomez to Shaqiri that unlocked Huddersfield’s gates and let the Reds in the back door.
It was yet another outstanding performance from Gomez. I also notice that my colleagues on Match of the Day are beginning to notice this lad’s performances. And not before time – I’ve been singing his praises every week since the start of the season.
Did you know? Gomez registered the highest passing accuracy in the opposition half of 88% in Liverpool’s 1-0 win at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Shane Duffy: Talk about keeping the ball alive. That’s precisely what Shane Duffy did when he brilliantly headed the ball back across the box to help create Brighton’s winning goal against Newcastle.
The central defender went on to provide a commanding display at the back in order to give manager Chris Hughton a special return to St James’ Park.
This could be the turning point for Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez. When Newcastle fans start streaming out of the stadium before the end of the game, the writing is on the wall.
Did you know? Irishman Duffy made a Premier League-best for this season of 19 clearances in Brighton’s 1-0 win at Newcastle.
Nathan Ake: This player has developed from a rookie at Chelsea to a very competent Premier League defender.
I remember seeing the Ruud Gullit lookalike in an U21 game at Selhurst Park and thinking that, while he might not be good enough for Chelsea, who were winning trophies at the time, there was a player in there somewhere.
All credit to Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe for investing in the Dutchman and Ake for taking charge of his own career. He is a dependable professional.
Did you know? Ake had more touches (87) and attempted more passes (75) than any other player in Bournemouth’s 0-0 draw with Southampton at the Vitality Stadium.
Midfielders – Etienne Capoue, Juan Mata, Fernandinho, Josh Murphy
Etienne Capoue: What a strike! The ball literally flew past the Wolves goalkeeper. The last time I mentioned Capoue in my team I was less than complimentary. The Watford midfielder singled out Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha for special treatment and should have been sent off in August.
This was an entirely different performance from the Frenchman, who is capable of producing sparkling displays when he’s in the mood. As for Wolves, their day seemed to collapse in two crazy minutes.
Did you know? No player made more passes in Watford’s 2-0 win at Wolves than Etienne Capoue (87), while the Frenchman also netted his first Premier League goal since August 2017.
Juan Mata: Going back to your old club and getting a standing ovation when you leave the field is not something that is not afforded to ordinary footballers. Then again Juan Mata is no ordinary player.
Against Chelsea, Mata steered Manchester United into a situation that should have yielded them all three points but didn’t.
However, it did give the Spain international, in his post-match interview, the opportunity to remind the viewers why United never give up. They do it for themselves, for the club and especially for the supporters. Shouldn’t the manager be in there somewhere?
Did you know? Mata played a United-high three crosses against Chelsea, while only Paul Pogba (27) and Nemanja Matic (23) played more passes in the opposition’s half than Mata (22).
Fernandinho: I absolutely adore this player. Fernandinho has been as important to Manchester City as Yaya Toure, David Silva and Vincent Kompany over the years. He’s ever-present, seldom gets the plaudits and is always in the midst of the action for City.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche can whinge all he wants about possible red cards and debate whether the ball is in play or out, but if his players can’t observe the most fundamental rule of football and play to the referee’s whistle then invariably they will pay the price. And they did.
Did you know? Fernandinho scored and assisted in a Premier League game for only the second time, also doing so against West Brom in October 2017.
Josh Murphy: I heard about this lad when he was a kid at Norwich, along with his twin brother Jacob, but he seems to be developing into an exciting prospect at Cardiff.
What impressed me about Murphy was the way he took his goal against Fulham – the finish oozed class and suggests he has a lot more to offer, although it may not be with Cardiff.
As for Fulham, what a shambles. Fulham have three top-class forwards but a shocking defence. They are the only team not to keep a clean sheet this season and have conceded 25 goals in just nine games. Need I say more?
Did you know? Josh Murphy scored in consecutive home league appearances for the first time in his career.
Forwards – Mohamed Salah, Erik Lamela, Anthony Martial
Mohamed Salah: The win at Huddersfield wasn’t one of Liverpool’s greatest performances but it was the sort of game that seemed to allow Mohamed Salah to gently get back to his goalscoring ways.
After an unbelievable season when everything he touched flew into the back of the net, Salah looks mortal again and is having to work at his game to find the Midas touch.
Did Huddersfield deserve a penalty when James Milner appeared to handle the ball? Well, that’s normally the case when you practically catch it.
Did you know? Salah’s opener for Liverpool was his 50th goal for English sides (48 for Liverpool, two for Chelsea) – in just 83 games in all competitions.
Erik Lamela: This is a player with extraordinary ability. We’ve seen flashes of it before and who can forget his rabona against Asteras Tripolis in the Europa League? Erik Lamela seems back to the player he was before he had his long lay-off with injury.
He dominated proceedings against West Ham and his efforts deserved to be rewarded with the winning goal. Dele Alli had better be careful – Lamela is very capable of taking his place.
Did you know? Lamela has been directly involved in 10 goals in his past nine games for Spurs in all competitions (seven goals, three assists).
Anthony Martial: I keep forgetting Anthony Martial is only 22 and yet so much is expected of him. I suppose that comes from wearing a Manchester United shirt. Well, the Frenchman took his two goals brilliantly at Stamford Bridge and looked like a player.
It’s not often you hear of a manager apologising for the behaviour of his staff but Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri did after the scuffle on the sidelines. He apologised for the “impolite” behaviour of one of his coaches towards United boss Jose Mourinho.
Impolite! I don’t speak Portuguese but those who do tell me that Mourinho was very impolite after United’s victory against Newcastle last week. Impolite indeed. Read more of what I have to say about Mourinho and his antics in The Crooks of the Matter below.
Did you know? Martial scored twice for United for the first time since November 2016 against West Ham.
Now it’s your turn
You’ve seen my picks this week. But who would you go for?
Pick your XI from our list and share with your friends.
Pick your Team of the Week
Pick your XI from our list and share with your friends.
The Crooks of the matter
The “impolite” comment directed towards Jose Mourinho by a member of Chelsea’s coaching staff did not warrant his reaction.
In my view, Mourinho was more offended by the timing of the equaliser and having two points snatched from his grasp at a ground that means so much to him than he was by the comment.
Did the comment add insult to injury? Of course it did, but he should know better than anyone – that’s football.
Think about it. How on earth could Mourinho not recognise the irony of the passing comment when his career has been littered with rudeness and barbed comments directed at others?
He had the temerity to call Arsene Wenger a “specialist in failure”, poke another coach in the eye, and often leaves the pitch after shaking the hand of his opposite number before the end of the game, which is as impolite as sticking two fingers up to them.
And who can forget that sunny afternoon at Stamford Bridge involving the the former Chelsea manager and his physiotherapist Eva Carneiro?
No, Mourinho is not the victim here. He has simply reaped what he has sown.