The Monday Marks: how each team fared
An impartial FFT jury assess the weekend's top-flight performances out of 10...
(beat Spurs 3-0)
Picked up United's gauntlet by overcoming a determined and decent Spurs team. Ancelotti's diamond is giving Ashley Cole pleasing freedom and they'll need goals from everywhere if Drogba's injured.
Manchester United 8
(beat City 4-3 a.e.t.)
They just keep rollin' along. Love them or loathe them, you'd be churlish not to admire them, at least in parts Ã¢ÂÂ like the determination to score, or the manager's uninhibited delight when they do.
(beat Fulham 2-1)
At last, home is where the art is for Mick McCarthy. Fully deserved win against a team tired by Europa exertions, although McCarthy would say he doesn't give a flying eff. Quite right too.
(beat Sunderland 3-1)
They call Owen Coyle "God", and the ex-striker breathed life into David "Lazarus" Nugent. The Clarets calmly overcame the opposition with determination and decent football. Superb home form should continue against Birmingham, Wigan and Hull.
(beat Blackburn 3-0)
Set-piece - goal! Header - goal! Corner - goal! You know what you'll get at Goodison. The home fans don't care, the visitors couldn't stop it, and the Toffees won't trouble the drop-zone again.
Manchester City 7
(lost 4-3 at United)
Stood toe-to-toe with their great rivals and showed admirable guts and guile. Defence still has to gel well enough to keep out the best but Sparky's doing better than many would have expected.
Tottenham Hotspur 7
(lost 3-0 at Chelsea)
Like City, played their part as a side determined to gatecrash the big four's party. Sadly for Redknapp's men, Keane's non-penalty followed by Ballack's crucial second led to an undeserved scoreline.
West Ham United 7
(lost 3-2 against Liverpool)
Unlucky to be perched just above the drop-zone, West Ham made life as tough for Liverpool as Spurs and City did for the top two. Besuited Franco can be proud of his troops, particularly his two "new" forwards.
(beat Wigan 4-0)
Went in front in the increasingly common way Ã¢ÂÂ from a set-piece or header (both, in this instance) Ã¢ÂÂ before having fun against a rapidly-collapsing Wigan side. Impressive goalscoring distribution will help them in the long run.
Aston Villa 6
(beat Pompey 2-0)
Reo-Cokergate laughed off after five straight wins and three clean sheets, but they'd expect to beat Pompey. Mettle will be more truly tested in forthcoming games against Man City and Chelsea.
(won 3-2 at West Ham)
Let's not go overboard, Liverpool relied on fortune as much as Torres. Defensive slips aren't as easy to compensate for against top teams. That said, you know what they say about grinding out wins when playing badly...
Stoke City 6
(drew 1-1 at Bolton)
Almost did enough to get all three points from a fixture they were embarrassed in last season. Pulis may be irked by late concession but he could afford to be magnanimous to his old mate Megson.
Birmingham City 6
(won 1-0 at Hull)
Difficult to beat but often quite hard to watch, obdurate Birmingham aren't far off being good enough but need a sparky forward. Cue thousands of hopes being pinned on Christian Benitez.
(lost 2-0 at Villa)
The annoying thing for Pompey is that they're not dire. They're not being outclassed but many teams have been relegated by fine margins, and when you concede 12 in six and don't score in four of them, a long winter awaits.
(lost 3-1 at Burnley)
That man Bent breached Brian Jensen but his team couldn't kick on and could only watch Nugent's revival. A team with their aspirations Ã¢ÂÂ and money Ã¢ÂÂ shouldn't become guest stars in other people's fairytales.
Blackburn Rovers 5
(lost 3-0 at Everton)
Having broken a habit by buying a dozen full-backs this summer, Allardyce will be fuming to concede three from wide positions. Rovers need to recover last season's post-Ince form, which would see them finish in the top half (do the maths).
Wigan Athletic 4
(lost 4-0 at Arsenal)
May as well not bother turning up against the big four Ã¢ÂÂ save the effort for winnable games, like West Ham last weekend. It's Chelsea next, followed by Hull away: is Martinez ready for six-point dog-fights?
Hull City 4
(lost 0-1 to Birmingham)
No sign of summer reinvigorating the Tigers. One win and four defeats in six is relegation form, blank losses at home to promoted teams even more so. Anfield next, but the following visit of Wigan is the bigger game.
(lost 2-1 at Wolves)
After the last Europa game the Cottagers sleepwalked to defeat at Villa. This time, Uncle Roy changed every starter but Pantsil. And every starter was Pants. Losing this sort of game isn't what got them into Europe.
Bolton Wanderers 3
(drew 1-1 with Stoke)
Booed off after 45 minutes of hitting long balls to Stoke's back four, Wanderers rallied somewhat after a double substitution Ã¢ÂÂ but Megson may not have survived were it not for Taylor's penalty.
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