In England, Chelsea remain two points clear at the top of the Premiership despite being held to a 2-2 draw at home to Bolton.
Damien Duff got the leaders off to a first minute flier and Tiago looked to have secured all three points when he scored for the second consecutive game. Goals from Kevin Davies and Jaidi, with three minutes remaining, earned Bolton a point though.
Arsenal continued to stutter in the absence of the injured Sol Campbell with a one-all draw at home to struggling West Brom. Robert Earnshaw came off the bench to fire an equaliser with his first touch. It cancelled out Robert Pires’ 53rd minute opener.
Both Arsenal and Chelsea will now be looking over their shoulders as Manchester United look to be firing on all cylinders again. Ryan Giggs rejected a new one-year contract earlier this week and maybe felt that he had a point to prove as he put United ahead against Charlton. Paul Scholes secured the points with an acrobatic second half volley.
Surprise team of the season to-date are undoubtedly Everton. Despite the sale of Wayne Rooney they notched their ninth league win of the season and their fifth one-nil margin. Duncan Fergusson headed the winner.
Rafael Benitez bemoaned Luis Garcia’s controversially disallowed second half effort as his Liverpool side slumped to another away defeat. The return of Steven Gerrard after an eight-week lay off was the Reds manager’s only consolation as Middlesborough retained fourth spot with goals from Chris Riggott and Zenden, on target for the fifth time in the last six games.
After 14 league games Norwich City finally registered their first three points of the season with a two-one win against Southampton. The defeat once again put the Saints boss, Steve Wigley, under the spotlight. He has registered just one win since taking over from Paul Sturrock. Damien Francis fired his third and fourth league goals of the season for Norwich as they overturned James Beattie’s strike and moved off the bottom of the table.
Alan Shearer’s absence allowed Craig Bellamy to resume his preferred role up-front alongside Patrick Kluivert. The Welsh striker certainly staked his claim for a permanent place in attack, laying on Kluivert’s cute back-heeled opener and then crashing home the second with two minutes remaining in the Geordie’s two nil win at Crystal Palace. The result eased the pressure on manager Graeme Souness who had seen his side slump to three consecutive defeats.
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp collected Octobers Barclay’s manager of the month award before the game at home to Man City and then saw his side slump three-one. Shaun Wright-Phillips, centre of attention for all the wrong reasons in the week during England’s infamous defeat in Spain, scored City’s first.
In the final game of the weekend Blackburn secured a point in a six-goal thriller with Birmingham. Trailing three-one at half time to strikes by Anderton, Savage and ex-Rover David Dunn, Blackburn stormed back with goals from Reid and Gallagher. Blackburn drop to the bottom of the table due to Norwich’s win though.