Manchester United and Chelsea make bizarre table-toppers after pretty unconvincing campaigns against poor opposition, while Manuel Pellegrini was a silly boy...
On a weekend when just about everybody else around them dropped points, why should Liverpool's title hopes be dismissed? David Moyes is a loser, of course...
The performance that we had been waiting for against a West Brom side that may look rather ordinary on paper, but have already taken four points off Arsenal and Manchester United this season.
When Luis Suarez is in the form he displayed on Saturday it's impossible to subdue the striker, and his two splendid headers were only outdone by Wayne Rooney's measured flick at the weekend. Suarez has already scored six goals in just four top-flight appearances since his return from suspension, helping Liverpool out-score their strike total in the first five fixtures of the campaign by 12:5.
Daniel Sturridge also chipped in with a sumptuous finish against West Brom as the Reds recorded their first second-half victory of the campaign, but Saturday's clash away to Arsenal will provide a much stiffer test. One wonders how much Liverpool will be able to rely on their attacking prowess against the Gunners, who have been equally incisive in the Premier League despite a difficult night against Borussia Dortmund in Europe.
As I wrote here, both Liverpool and Arsenal have been willing to cede control in search of better chances this season, but Brendan Rodgers will be concerned by defensive lapses that have seen his team fail to keep a clean sheet in their last seven matches in all competitions.
"We started the season with three clean sheets and we just need to get back to that mentality because we know that we can get goals," said Rodgers before the win over West Brom. "It is something we need to improve on."
The Reds have lost only two points from winning positions so far (in the 2-2 draw at Swansea), but Rodgers will remember last year's trip to the Emirates - and the following fixture away to Man City - when his team threw away two leads to draw 2-2 on both occasions. Not only would those four dropped points have moved Liverpool into sixth in the final standings, they might also have instilled a belief that would have seen the Reds overcome West Brom (0-2), West Ham, Reading and Everton (all 0-0) as they sought to mount a late push for a top-four spot.
Strikers win matches, but defences create an unbeatable aura, and Liverpool must work to cut out the mistakes that saw them pick up just a point in should-win games at home to Southampton and away against a frail Newcastle side. As Rodgers has acknowledged, defending set-pieces has been a major issue, with Simon Mignolet continuing to look shaky when the ball is crossed into the box.
Only Cardiff, Fulham, Hull and Norwich have conceded more shots per game on average than Liverpool thus far, and finding a balance between attack and defence will be key to Rodgers helping his team to kick on.
Liverpool need look only two places below them for an example of how a team should defend, as the Premier League's press-masters recorded their sixth clean sheet of the campaign to maintain their current status as the second best defence in Europe's top five leagues.
(Incidentally, Roma won 1-0 away to Udinese on Sunday to make it nine wins in a row at the start of the Serie A season, with 23 goals scored and only one conceded. Wow.)
While Southampton were never really tested by a pitiful Fulham side that managed just two attempts on Saturday (neither from a striker and both off-target), it will have been hugely encouraging to Mauricio Pochettino to see his team open up their opponents at will and play some of the brightest football they have exhibited thus far. The flip-side for the manager is that Saints delivered arguably their most complete performance in the absence of record-signing Dani Osvaldo.
With Osvaldo missing due to a knock he picked up in training, Rickie Lambert returned to the starting line-up to prove that not only is he Pochettino's best option in attack at the moment, he is better without Osvaldo selfishly slowing down the play alongside him. That Lambert claimed a goal and an assist should tell Pochettino everything he needs to know about his striker predicament, but whether he is prepared to drop a fully fit Osvaldo is another matter.
Chelsea and Fernando Torres
Daniel Storey has covered Chelsea's victory over Manchester City in more depth in 16 Conclusions, but special praise is due to Fernando Torres after a display that encapsulated his time at Stamford Bridge.
Despite missing a gilt-edged chance to open the scoring, the striker's run and cross to set up Andre Schurrle provided a rare glimpse of his former self, with more hope a comeback encouraged by Torres' shot against the bar and determination to poke in the winning goal.
Of course, it's a fool's game to overstate Torres' latest revival, but he certainly seemed to have more confidence on Sunday as he completed his second 90 minutes in a week and notched his third goal in two matches. It is particularly telling that Torres attempted nine shots in those two fixtures against Schalke and City, compared to ten in his previous nine appearances, as he hints at rediscovering his finishing touch, if not his blistering speed.
"It was a fantastic performance from Fernando because it was built after an easy miss and that makes it even more valuable," said Mourinho. "He could have been affected for the rest of the game but it looked like that was the moment he said 'I will be man of the match'."
Just two points behind Chelsea after picking up their fifth win in six matches since the Blues decided to loan out Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian was missing for the first of those fixtures - the 1-0 win over Chelsea at Goodison - but he has since scored a goal every 75 minutes to help Everton maintain their promising start.
The transition to Roberto Martinez's style of play has been seamless so far - with the Toffees averaging more possession and a better pass completion rate than last year under David Moyes - but forthcoming matches against Spurs and Liverpool will provide more answers about the manager's first quarter.
Winners because of a fightback that brought fond memories of the Ferguson era; losers because of the need to fight back against Stoke at Old Trafford. United may have firmly nestled themselves in the top eight as they bid to return to the title race unfolding above them, but there is still a strong feeling that the performances of Wayne Rooney are papering over the cracks.
There were more signs of encouragement in United's attacking display in the second half, but only five teams have conceded more goals than the champions this season after Stoke were twice allowed to take the lead. Before Saturday, the Potters had scored more than one goal in only four fixtures in the Premier League in 2013 - against Palace in August, and QPR, Wigan and Reading (all relegated) last year - but United made them look like equals in a first half that could have brought more embarrassment for David Moyes.
The manager has been praised for the substitutions that helped his team sneak a late victory, but there should be questions over his decision to start Tom Cleverley alongside Michael Carrick in central midfield as Stoke were allowed to breeze through on several occasions before the break. Marouane Fellaini became United's fourth most expensive signing in history in the summer to provide protection for Michael Carrick in the middle, but it seems Moyes is still unsure about how to use his £27million acquisition after preferring Ryan Giggs and then Cleverley in the past week.
As Mark Hughes alluded to last Friday, United look vulnerable at the moment and that feeling is compounded almost every time Moyes opens his mouth. "It was a win in the Premier League. They are hard to come by and they are not easy," said the manager in his post-match interview. "Let's hope we can keep on winning. I understand that you have to win in style here and I thought we did that in the last 15 minutes today."
Someone might want to tell him that wins shouldn't be that hard to come by for a team that marched to the title last season - especially against the likes of Stoke, West Brom and Southampton - while turning on the style for 15 minutes is simply not enough to entertain supporters who have become accustomed to so much more.
Hardly a comprehensive performance, but a first step on the road to recovery and rekindling the bond with a fanbase left cold by a succession of false dawns.
All's Fer In Love And War
While Leroy Fer has received a great deal of criticism for trying to steal three points at the death against Cardiff, he should be applauded for his honesty and win-at-all-costs mentality. There is no room for kindness in the Premier League relegation battle, and should Norwich suffer the drop this year they will be left to rue Mike Jones' 'common sense'. More subversion and less false moralising, I say.
Lauded for showing 'common sense' at Norwich, but were his actions within the rules? The referee had signalled for play to commence, so it's difficult to understand why Fer's goal was disallowed.
Likely the recipient of more Twitter abuse after a poor decision from his nearly-namesake to send off Mikel Arteta.
Do you really want the Palace gig, Tone? Wait for Norwich or Fulham.
Another home match without a clean sheet, another inept performance that suggests this is a team fit for the Championship. How on earth have they beaten Arsenal and Man City this season?
You've heard it all before, so there is no need to repeat the over-analysis of Joe Hart's errors since the start of last season. After he was caught in no man's land against CSKA Moscow on Wednesday, you would have thought that Hart might have learned his lesson. But no, out he rushed against Chelsea, beyond the edge of the penalty area, shouting at the very last moment for Matija Nastasic to leave the clearance to him. It was another calamity and one that cost City dear.
As Daniel Storey said in 16 Conclusions, it was rather disappointing to see Manuel Pellegrini break up his brilliant strike partnership of Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo to bring the underwhelming Javi Garcia into midfield at Chelsea, and City paid for that decision by lacking the killer instinct they have exhibited recently.
"We are not going to be a team who will score a goal and then go back waiting for a counter-attack. We will always try to play at the opposite end of the pitch, and play attractive football," said Pellegrini in June, but on Sunday he showed greater caution than was necessary against a Chelsea side who are vulnerable in defence and central midfield.
Pellegrini continued: "I'm sure we have the best squad in the Premier League" - a statement which Jose Mourinho agreed with after Chelsea's victory - but City must start to prove this claim on a weekly basis if they are to climb back into the thick of things at the top of the table.
They must also bolster a defence that looks increasingly uneasy without Vincent Kompany, with the decision to add only Martin Demichelis to the back line in the summer looking more ludicrous by the week.
There is nothing more boring in football than managers who repeatedly blame referees. Nothing.
Spurs Fans And Andre Villas-Boas
Seven new signings that need time to gel and the loss of last season's star player, yet Spurs still lie in fourth and only three points off top spot. What do those self-entitled fans at White Hart Lane expect?
Well, more goals is one thing after a third win of the season courtesy of a Roberto Soldado penalty, while more chances wouldn't go amiss as Spurs continue to make hard work of carving out clear-cut opportunities.
While Andre Villas-Boas had a point with his spicy remarks after Sunday's victory, the supporters' concerns are as legitimate as the frustration is palpable. Ultimately, they are there to be entertained, and 34 home goals in the top flight during Villas-Boas' reign leaves much to be desired.
Of course, it was silly for fans to boo at half-time in the third match of last season - a 1-1 draw with Norwich - and equally they should show patience as the team find their rhythm to harmonise results with better performances. However, that only seven teams have scored fewer home goals in the Premier League since the start of 2012/13, most of them strugglers - Southampton, Newcastle, Villa, Fulham, Stoke, Norwich and Sunderland - is a cause for concern. There is nothing wrong with wanting to win and win in style.
Perhaps that would be a more achievable aim if Villas-Boas could work out how to utilise Christian Eriksen, who has been on the bench in the last two matches, and £26million summer signing Erik Lamela. Two months into the Argentine's spell at Spurs, he is yet to start a Premier League fixture. If a home match against Hull isn't the perfect opportunity, then one wonders when his chance will come.
Horses Of Tyneside
It might be best to lay low for the next few days.
Matt Stanger - he's on the Twitter.
Tempted to put Mata in the losers section, seems like he's finding it very hard to break into Mourinho's counter-attacking plans.- tk421