Austin, Coutinho, Debuchy and Silva star in team of the week
This weekend's selection managed 11 goals between them and only conceded eight
Man City couldn't quite do enough to dislodge Chelsea at the top of the Premier League this weekend, falling one goal short of the four they needed to leapfrog the Londoners. But they remain level on points with the Blues.
Further down the table, third-placed Man Utd saw their winning run come to an end as they were held by Aston Villa, while pretenders to the top four West Ham and Southampton both returned to winning ways to keep up the pressure on their more illustrious rivals.
Arsenal's draw with Liverpool on Sunday elevated the Gunners above local rivals Spurs and into sixth place and the Reds also benfitted from their point as they jumped a place to tenth in the table.
As ever there were some outstanding performances this weekend, but who makes the team of the week? Here's our pick of the experts' picks:
Goalkeeper: Costel Pantilimon (Sunderland)The Romanian kept a clean sheet in the North East derby and produced a sensational save seconds before Sunderland scored the winner. "An outstanding performance by the big man and the catalyst for a famous win for Gus Poyet," says Garth Crooks of the BBC.
Defence: Pablo Zabaleta (Man City), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Jores Okore (Aston Villa), Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal).Zabaleta proved his worth for Man City against Crystal Palace, providing an assist and pegging the visitors back with his attacking runs. According to ESPN he is "everyone's favourite right-back" and pundit Gab Marciotti calls him the "most involved full-back in the Premier League". Yoshida got on the scoresheet for Southampton against Everton and caught the eye of Garth Crooks of the BBC who was "not only impressed by the way he dealt with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Steven Naismith and Samuel Eto'o, but the danger he posed in the opposition's penalty area".
Okore had a fine game for Aston Villa as they held on for a draw against Man United. Paul Lambert's side were "resolute" and Okore was "outstanding at the back" says The Guardian, which makes him man of the match. The final berth goes to another goal scorer, Debuchy, who scored Arsenal's equaliser against Liverpool and "played well for long spells of the game" according to the Daily Express.
Midfield: David Silva (Man City), Stewart Downing (West Ham), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool), Adam Johnson (Sunderland).Silva is back to his best for Man City and scored twice against Palace. The Guardian makes him its man of the match and approves of the fact that that a player "who does not score quite enough for such a sublime talent, finished with two [goals]". Downing is "playing the best football I think I've seen him play", says Garth Crooks. He is "providing the Hammers with some wonderful moments", including his goal against Leicester.
Coutinho was the best player on the pitch as Liverpool took on Arsenal, according to the Daily Mail, which makes him man of the match. "Much more like what you would expect from the Brazilian," it says. "Took his goal confidently and his passing kept Liverpool on the front foot." The final berth goes to Sunderland matchwinnter Adam Johnson, who felled Newcastle in injury time. He "is making a real habit of scoring in North East derbies", says Caughtoffside.
Attack:Charlie Austin (QPR), Christian Benteke (Aston Villa)
Austin's hat-trick for Rangers made him the week's top-scoring player on fantasy football. "Nobody in this league makes more of his ability than Charlie Austin does. Nobody. Blue-collar hat trick hero," says Gab Marcotti of ESPN. Benteke gets the nod alonside him. The big Belgian "is very tough to handle when he is on form – and he was right on it from the first whistle at Villa Park", says Caughtoffside.