Sunday analysis: What Stats Zone taught us today
A scoreline that looks perfectly valid on paper is a statistical utopia beneath the surface.
That Arsenal completed only 27 passes more than their Staffordshire counterparts confirms what we'd suspected since the beginning of the campaign – Stoke are officially re-born under Mark Hughes. That said, despite a bout of second-half possession (they completed over double Arsenal's passes after the break), they never really looked like threatening a solid Gunners rearguard.
To put the Potters' potty stats into perspective, in the corresponding fixture under Tony Pulis last season they made just 233 successful passes in the entire game.
What on earth was going on? Arsenal even bagged twice from set-pieces via the noggins of Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna, and for a while it looked as though Arsene Wenger's side would shade the aerial duels battle. In end end, though, that finished 16 to 15 in Stoke's favour. Phew.
But while Steven N'Zonzi again impressed as Stoke's midfield hub – his 75 completed passes were a game high – it was Arsenal's array of genuine class that won them all three points. Mesut Özil was typically eye-catching on his Emirates Stadium debut, creating a meaty 7 chances for his team-mates and grabbing the assists for those aforementioned goals.
Aaron Ramsey, meanwhile, bagged his seventh goal of the season in yet another impressive display from the young Welshman. The 22-year-old netted the opener with an opportunistic finish after Asmir Begovic could only parry Ozil's initial effort, completed 94% of his 70 passes and weighed in with another game-high 6 tackles.
We're expecting crashing computers and aeroplanes falling from the sky tonight.
Nothing too fancy about this one, but it's another impressive away win for Michael Laudrup's Swans.
After Thursday night's terrific 3-0 win over Valencia at the Mestalla came Swansea's second consecutive 2-0 away win in the league, after a comfortable, one-sided affair at Selhurst Park.
Mainly, though, this had the work of one man written all over it: Michu. The Welsh side's Spanish sensation never allowed the Prem new boys a moment's peace as he netted the opener – his third goal in as many games in all competitions – and peppered 7 shots at Julian Speroni's goal.
Although he played nominally just behind new signing Alvaro Vasquez, the 27-year-old popped up all over the shop and, quite clearly, was the centre of attention as he received passes all over the final third. It's with little wonder, really.
Look away Manchester United fans. Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong for David Moyes on his biggest day of the season yet, just three weeks after the Reds' 1-0 defeat at Liverpool. While City were rampant at the Etihad Stadium, a hapless United side packed as much punch as a teddy bear wrapped in cotton wool – and boy did they pay the price.
It didn't help that Robin van Persie watched on from the stands, but it would have taken something superhuman for even the prolific Dutchman to have saved this one.
Though United eventually improved in the second half, by then they were four goals down. After 50 minutes the damage had already been done, United having registered just 1 effort on goal and completed 1 successful pass in City's penalty area.
While Wayne Rooney can take heart from a super free-kick and all-round battling display in Van Persie's absence, there are few others who walk away with credit in a red shirt. Danny Welbeck's impact was minimal, Marouane Fellaini failed to create any opportunities and Ashley Young was so non-existent that it his replacement, Tom Cleverley, took just seven minutes to equal his team-mate's 9 passes over 51 minutes.
Odd, then, that Moyes chose to leave Nani, Shinji Kagawa and Javier Hernandez on the bench throughout. One to forget in a hurry.
For just over 90 minutes, Andre Villas-Boas would have been wondering if he'd somehow angered the footballing gods.
Before Paulinho's late, late winner at the Cardiff City Stadium, Tottenham had hammered the Welsh side's goal for the entire game, with 28 efforts – 11 of those on target – and yet looked set to leave with only a share of the spoils thanks to David Marshall's inspired display between the Bluebirds' sticks.
Erik Lamela grabbed his first assist in the Premier League after replacing Gylfi Sigurdsson with 20 minutes remaining.
But yet again there was a demonstration of Kyle Walker's attacking influence in this top-four hunting Spurs side. For the fourth time in five games this season the England man completed the game's highest number of passes overall and, for the third time, in the attacking third too. Against Cardiff he also created 3 chances for his team-mates.