There was an important lesson to be learnt in the Premier League this weekend: Do not get sent off!
Manchester United were the first to learn that lesson the hard way this weekend. They travelled to the Blue side of town for the Manchester Derby against City. City were without David Silva and had just suffered back to back losses, while United were missing Falcao and a few defenders, though Wayne Rooney returned from his suspension.
It was a really entertaining game, with both teams having early chances and if it was not for the heroics of Man Utd goalie David De Gea, City would have led early on. United had a few chances too, RVP had a shot well saved by Joe Hart and Adnan Januzaj volleyed an effort wide. However the game changed entirely when Chris Smalling picked up two silly yellow cards in the space of seven minutes and United were reduced to 10 men. The first was for blocking Joe Hart's attempted kick and the second for diving in on James Milner on the edge of the box.
City came alive and completely dominated for the next half an hour or so. They had a few penalty shouts turned down but the goal finally came when Sergio Aguero turned in a cross from the impressive Gael Clichy (who only played because of a late injury to Kolarov). Man U came back into things after that, pushing hard for an equaliser despite the numbers and despite Marcos Rojo having to be subbed off after falling hard on his shoulder. Wayne Rooney made a magical run but got shut down, while Angel Di Maria and RVP had a few chances that did not come off. There were crosses that could not be finished and some quality Joe Hart saves too. 1-0 was the final score, a valiant effort from United who will be wishing Smalling could have kept his head while the game was still even while Manchester City got a much needed morale booster.
It was not enough to get City ahead of Southampton on the table though. The Saints narrowly edged past Hull thanks to an early Victor Wanyama goal after Hull’s GK Eldin Jakupovic got caught off his line.
Chelsea are four points clear at the top following a 2-1 win over QPR. Diego Costa returned though the goals came from Oscar and Eden Hazard. Charlie Austin equalised in between the two. Chelsea travel to Liverpool next week.
Arsenal cruised past Burnley 3-0 with a double from Alexis Sanchez to move up to fourth place. West Ham drop down slightly after they had to come from 2-0 down to draw with Stoke. Winston Reid came off injured, and Alex Song was lucky not to be sent off in the lead up to the first WHU goal. Liverpool, meanwhile, lost 1-0 to a resurgent Newcastle.
West Brom held off Leicester for a 1-0 win, Chris Wood came off the bench but could not find an equaliser like he did against Everton earlier in the saeson. Everton themselves drew 0-0 with Swansea and Crystal Palace lost 3-1 at home to Sunderland.
And then we have Aston Villa. The Villians had not scored a goal in their last 5 games, not a single goal in all of October! But Andreas Weimann snapped that streak to put them 1-0 up over Spurs. Unfortunately then Christian Benteke reacted angrily with a hand to Ryan Mason’s face and that earned him a red card and the second major lesson this week in 'DON'T GET SENT OFF!'. Spurs went on to equalise through Chadli in the 84th and then Harry Kane put the winner in from a deflected free kick right at the end.