By TRAVIS CLARK
The highly anticipated clash of Chelsea and Liverpool turned out to be somewhat of a letdown Saturday, as Chelsea's defense reigned supreme in their 2-0 win. Even without Petr Cech, the Blues kept Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres in check all afternoon. John Terry made sure the duo had no sight of goal all afternoon, all the while ensuring Torres couldn't get a shot off.
Liverpool needed a brighter performance, and once again Rafa's selection can come into question with the inform Yossi Benayoun left on the bench. A poor midweek loss to Fiorentina hardly inspired confidence as well.
Chelsea's French connection proved to be the difference, with Nicolas Anelka and Florent Maluda scoring in the win at Stamford Bridge. Didier Droga instigated both goals, again reiterating his importance to the club as the Blues jumped back into first.
A look at all of this weekend's action after the jump.
Manchester United 2, Sunderland 2
The early season struggles for the defending champions continued against Sunderland, as United twice went behind at Old Trafford. Steve Bruce had his side fired up, and Darren Bent continues to work hard to impress Fabio Capello. Bent's shot from outside the box beat Ben Foster to open the scoring. United struggled to make their way back in the game, as it would take a spectacular overhead kick from Dimitar Berbatov to level the score. United's aura of invincibility continued to be nowhere, as Kenwyne Jones restored the visitors' lead with a second half goal. Three points were in the hands of the Black Cats, but they saw them slip away when Anton Ferdinand redirected Patrice Evra's shot into his own net.
Tottenham 2, Bolton 2
Tottenham's bright start to the season continued with a point at the Reebok. Spurs had to come from behind twice, going down in the 3rd minute on a Ricardo Gardner goal. Nico Kranjcar netted a 33rd minute equalizer, but Spurs went down once again through Kevin Davies. Five minutes after, Verdan Corluka secured at least a point for Spurs. Each side squandered a chance late in the game to steal a win, though unable to secure the finish. Tottenham showed real fight despite being unable to come away victorious on the road.
Burnley 2, Birmingham 1
A possible six-pointer come season's end? This battle of newly promoted sides saw the Turf Moor magic once again take root, as goals from Steven Fletcher and Andre Bikey were enough to ensure that Burnley took four from four at home. Birmingham had their share of chances, but a Joe Hart mistake proved costly on Fletcher's goal. Be sure to check out Sebastian Larsson's free kick goal for the losers, the last kick of a game — but what a beauty.
Hull City 2, Wigan 1
After defeating Chelsea at home, Wigan had to like their prospects against Hull City at the KC. Phil Brown's side had been struggled for essentially all of 2009, winners of just two of their last 29 matches, dating back to last December. Fortunately for Brown, speculation of his future in Hull will likely subside for the next week or two as the man with football's longest name, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink scored his first for the home side. Geovanni's goal and Hull's second was the decider, as it proved the difference when Scott Sinclair scored Wigan's lone goal in the 86th minute.
Portsmouth 1, Wolverhampton 0
Portsmouth couldn't lose an eighth game in a row could they? With all the turmoil the club has faced — new owner Sulamin Al-Fahim is already looking to re-sell the club — three points on the back of a Hassan Yebda goal was a welcome tonic for the ails of Pompey. Uncertainty mars the club's future, but for Saturday it was relief as David James reverted to solid form of the past to secure a clean sheet and to get the monkey of their back.
Arsenal 6, Blackburn 2
The weekend's most entertaining match saw the Gunners go behind twice before putting poor Paul Robinson to the sword in a rout of the Rovers. Steven Nzonzi's 4th minute goal off a Robinson long ball shocked the Arsenal faithful, but Thomas Vermaelen lashed home the equalizer to cue the goal scoring avalanche. Six different Gunners found the back of the net as Wenger's side threw caution to the wind and bombed forward, leaving Blackburn in the dust.
Everton 1, Stoke 1
Easy to blame this one on a European hangover after Everton returned to Goodison after a long trip to Belarus on Thursday. No matter what the cause, Everton couldn't manage more than a point against a determined and organized Stoke side. Robert Huth headed home the game's first goal in the 49th minute, but Leon Osman struck back just six minutes later for the hosts.
West Ham 2, Fulham 2
A London derby started out very poorly for the Cottagers, going a goal down and a man down thanks to the bizarre antics of South African Kagisho Dikgacoi, who was sent off for a bizarre off-the-ball incident. Fulham showed good fight and scored the next two through a Danny Murphy penalty and Zoltan Gera volley. But they were denied the win in the 90th minute when West Ham sub Junior Stanislas grabbed the late equalizer.
What did you think of this weekend's EPL action? Unimpressed with the Liverpool-Chelsea game? Catch Arsenal's six goal performance? Surprised to see Hull win?
Share your thoughts below.