Arsenal win as Man City, Liverpool drop points
Manchester City and Liverpool endured Premier League frustration yesterday following Champions League setbacks.
Having thrown away a winning position to draw at CSKA Moscow in midweek, City was stunned 2-1 by West Ham at Upton Park.
Diafra Sakho's seventh goal in as many games provided fourth-place West Ham with their latest eye-catching scalp while inflicting City's second loss of its title defense.
"I don't think that the team felt what happened on Tuesday in Russia," City manager Manuel Pellegrini said. "Of course I'm very disappointed about the score as I don't think we deserved to lose."
City was dislodged from second place by surprise package Southampton, which followed up its 8-0 rout of Sunderland with a more mundane 1-0 win over Stoke after Sadio Mane's first goal for the south-coast club.
While Southampton's start has been astonishing after a summer of upheaval, Liverpool's has been erratic and epitomised by Mario Balotelli. The striker, whose performance and conduct was decried in Wednesday's 3-0 loss to Real Madrid, failed to score his first league goal for the club in a 0-0 draw with Hull.
But Arsenal hit back after last weekend's draw with Hull to beat Sunderland 2-0 to climb above Liverpool to fifth. Swansea are sandwiched between Arsenal and Liverpool - with the trio all on 14 points - after Wilfried Bony's double clinched a 2-0 win over Leicester.
Leaders Chelsea visit eighth-place Manchester United in today's standout fixture. A victory at Old Trafford would put JosÈ Mourinho's side eight points clear of City after eight games.