Chelsea maintained their flying start to the current Premier League season beating Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 away to preserve a four-point lead, while Manchester City needed a last-gasp winner to keep the pressure on the current European champions on Saturday.
Substitute Edin Dzeko, scored twice in the last 10 minutes — his second coming in injury time — to earn City a 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion, despite being down to 10 men for more than an hour.
Second-placed Manchester United remained level on points with City thanks to a 4-2 home win over Stoke City, with Wayne Rooney scoring twice — as well as recovering from scoring an own goal — to open his account for the season.
Arsenal dropped further off the pace with a surprising 1-0 loss at Norwich City, who picked up just their first win of the season. Raheem Sterling became Liverpool’s second-youngest ever scorer in the Premier League grabbing a first-half winner in a 1-0 victory over Reading at Anfield.
The win was only the hosts’ third at home this year, lifting them to mid-table.
West Ham United maintained their impressive start to life back in the top division by thrashing Southampton 4-1, while Swansea City beat Wigan Athletic 2-1 and Fulham edged past Aston Villa 1-0.
United relied on its powerful forward line to get past Stoke at Old Trafford.
Rooney nodded into his own net in the 11th minute, but the England striker, fresh off the back of scoring three times for England last week, scored either side of goals by Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck. Rooney’s second goal was his 200th club goal while Van Persie moved to eight goals for the season in all competitions.
“Most of the games at home this season, we’ve had terrible starts,” United manager Alex Ferguson said. “When we did get going, we played some terrific football.”
Ferguson was later highly critical of defender Rio Ferdinand for failing to wear a T-shirt before the match that promoted the “Kick It Out” anti-racism campaign.
Ferdinand chose not to don the top out of protest at a perceived lack of action by the campaign group in recent high-profile racism cases.
James Milner was sent off for City in the 23rd minute for a professional foul on Shane Long, who then put West Brom ahead in the 67th minute at the Hawthorns.
Dzeko, introduced in the 79th minute, equalized just a minute later, heading home Carlos Tevez’s free kick before steering home the winner in the second minute of stoppage time.
“It was tremendous how we stuck together in the second half and created so many chances,” City’s assistant manager David Platt said. “It’s a great feeling to win after playing for almost 70 minutes with 10 men.”
Grant Holt snatched Norwich’s winner over a lackluster Arsenal, who now sit 10 points behind leaders Chelsea.
West Ham scored all their goals in the second half against Southampton, with Mark Noble (two), Kevin Nolan and Modibo Maiga all on target.
Pablo Hernandez and Michu were the scorers for Swansea, ending the team’s five-match winless run in the league, while Chris Baird’s 84th-minute goal earned Fulham victory against Villa.