Everton and Tottenham blew an opportunity to go second in the English Premier League by playing out a lacklustre 0-0 draw yesterday while Cardiff beat fierce rivals Swansea 1-0 in the English top flight's first-ever Welsh derby.
Arsenal kept their five-point lead after 10 games following a stalemate at Goodison Park, which raised doubts about the top-four credentials of both Everton and Tottenham.
The day's other game - played amid a heavy police presence in south Wales - was also heading for a goalless draw when Steven Caulker met Craig Bellamy's corner with a downward header in the 62nd minute, lifting Cardiff above Swansea in the bottom half of the standings.
Swansea was reduced to 10 men in second-half stoppage time when goalkeeper Michel Vorm was given a red card for a professional foul on Fraizer Campbell. With the visitors having used all their substitutes, right back Angel Rangel donned the gloves for the final minutes and was forced into action from the resulting free kick, tipping over Peter Whittingham's effort.
Police were on a high alert for a fixture that has been blighted by fan violence in recent years. In 1993, Swansea fans ripped up seats and threw them at Cardiff supporters in violent scenes that led to the game being referred to as the 'Battle of Ninian Park'. Visiting fans were banned for the next four years.
Swansea fans had to travel to the match from their home city on special buses that had a police escort - a tactic the police call a 'bubble trip'. The supporters did not receive their match tickets until they were on board one of the buses.
The contest appeared to pass off without serious trouble - and bragging rights will reside in Cardiff until the return match between the rivals on February 8, thanks to Caulker's meaty header.
Caulker spent a year on loan at Swansea in the 2011-12 season, and didn't celebrate his goal.
"I've always respected the teams I've played for," said Caulker, who joined from Tottenham over the summer. "I'm a Bluebird now and thankful to get the win for us."
Swansea dominated the early exchanges, with Spain forward Michu having two shots saved, but barely threatened after the break.
"It is always easy to brag when you are winning, but there is always a next time," Swansea manager Michael Laudrup said. "You have to remember that - there is always a next time."
With second place up for grabs after defeats on Saturday for Chelsea and Liverpool, the Everton-Tottenham match failed to live up to expectations.
Neither goalkeeper was seriously tested, although Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris was involved in the biggest incident of the match when he was knocked unconscious after his head collided with the knee of Romelu Lukaku in the 77th minute.
After a lengthy spell of treatment, it looked like Lloris was about to be substituted but the France captain chose to play on despite medics advising him to leave the pitch.
"Hugo still doesn't remember the incident with Lukaku so he lost consciousness there but he seemed assertive and determined to continue and showed great character and personality. We decided to keep him on based on that," Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas said.
Tottenham jumped two places to fourth and Everton stayed seventh.
SATURDAY, NOV 2
ARSENAL 2 LIVERPOOL 0
GOALS:-ARSENAL: CAZORLA 19; RAMSEY 59.
Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League to five points with victory over Liverpool at Emirates Stadium. Santi Cazorla gave Arsenal the lead with a fine first-half strike after his header struck the post and Aaron Ramsey scored his 10th goal of this campaign with a spectacular long-range effort on the hour. Luis Suarez later hit the post for Liverpool.
MANCHESTER UNITED 3
GOALS:-FULHAM: KACANIKLIC 65. UNITED: VALENCIA 9, VAN PERSIE 20, ROONEY 22.
Manchester United scored three goals in 13 minutes at Craven Cottage. Antonio Valencia had an easy finish early on after Wayne Rooney's cutback. Robin van Persie became the leading Dutch goal-scorer in the Barclays Premier League by rifling in at the near post before Rooney tapped in after 22 minutes. Fulham responded via Alex Kacaniklic's deflected shot off Rooney.
HULL CITY 1 SUNDERLAND 0
GOALS:-HULL: CUELLAR OG 25.
Sunderland suffered their eighth defeat in 10 Barclays Premier League games after Lee Cattermole and Andrea Dossena were sent off in the first half at Hull. An own goal by Carlos Cuellar, under pressure from Yannick Sagbo, earned Hull manager Steve Bruce victory over his former club at the KC Stadium. Visiting keeper Kieren Westwood was injured before Cattermole was dismissed for a foul on Ahmed Elmohamady. Dossena was shown a red card for a shocking challenge on David Meyler.
MANCHESTER CITY 7
NORWICH CITY 0
GOALS:-MANCHESTER CITY: JOHNSON OG 16; SILVA 20; NASTASIC 25; NEGREDO 36; TOURE 60; AGUERO 71; DZEKO 81.
Manchester City highlighted their credentials as title contenders with an emphatic win over lacklustre Norwich. Bradley Johnson's own goal put City ahead before David Silva, Matija Nastasic and Alvaro Negredo struck. Yaya Toure scored a free kick, Sergio Aguero fired in before substitute Edin Dzeko swept home a seventh to confirm City's best ever win in the Barclays Premier League.
NEWCASTLE UNITED 2
GOALS:-NEWCASTLE: GOUFFRAN 68; REMY 89.
Yoan Gouffran and Loic Remy scored second-half goals to give Newcastle a deserved victory over in-form Chelsea at St James' Park. Chelsea, on the back of six straight wins, edged the first half as John Terry hit the bar and had a header cleared off the line. However, the Magpies dominated after the break and went ahead when Gouffran headed home Yohan Cabaye's free kick. Victory was sealed when Remy curled in a shot from Vurnon Anita's pass.
STOKE CITY 1
GOALS:-STOKE: BEGOVIC 1. SOUTHAMPTON: RODRIGUEZ 42.
Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic became only the fifth goalkeeper in the Barclays Premier League to score - with the fourth fastest goal in the competition's history. Begovic's long kick forward after just 13 seconds cleared the Southampton defence before bouncing over visiting goalkeeper Artur Boruc. But Jay Rodriguez headed Saints level before half-time.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION 2
CRYSTAL PALACE 0
GOALS:-WBA: BERAHINO 44; McAULEY 83.
West Brom condemned Crystal Palace to a seventh successive league defeat as they withstood the visitors' second-half revival at the Hawthorns. Saido Berahino calmly fired the hosts ahead just before the break after taming Stephane Sessegnon's low cross. Palace's Mile Jedinak headed wide when well placed before Marouane Chamakh's miscontrolled shot almost trickled in. Gareth McAuley headed in to snuff out the visitors' hopes, before Boaz Myhill denied Yannick Bolasie late on.
WEST HAM UNITED 0
ASTON VILLA 0
West Ham ended a run of three home Barclays Premier League defeats as they were held to a goalless draw by Aston Villa. Christian Benteke came closest to scoring for the visitors when he headed Matthew Lowton's deep cross against the crossbar from six yards out. Jack Collison shot wide from a quickly taken free kick for the hosts and Stewart Downing and substitute Joe Cole both had shots saved by Brad Guzan.
SUNDAY, NOV 3
CARDIFF CITY 1 SWANSEA CITY 0
GOALS:-CARDIFF: CAULKER 67.
Steven Caulker's header was enough for Cardiff to move above rivals Swansea in the Barclays Premier League after the top-flight's first south Wales derby. Michu miscued an early volley after Jonjo Shelvey's cross in a first half where other chances were at a premium. An energised Cardiff went ahead after the break when ex-Swans loanee Caulker headed in Craig Bellamy's corner. Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm saw red late on for tripping Fraizer Campbell as their hopes of a leveller faded.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0
Everton and Tottenham both passed up the chance to go second in the Barclays Premier League after a frustrating stalemate. Roberto Soldado missed with a header from Aaron Lennon's cross as Tottenham had the better of the first half. The hosts improved after the interval and Everton saw a penalty appeal rejected when Seamus Coleman went down under Jan Vertonghen's challenge.