- Plays of the Day
Arsenal not letting Tottenham out of their sight
Look out Spurs, the Gunners are right behind
When Tottenham defeated Arsenal in the North London derby last month they moved seven points clear in third spot in the table. How quickly things can change. The Gunners closed the gap to their rivals to just a single point on Saturday after Tomas Rosicky scored twice in a 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion. Arsene Wenger' men battled with ten-men following the red card shown to Per Mertesacker, but the Frenchman will be thankful to Rosicky for grabbing his maiden brace in the Premier League.
With such a lead Spurs could easily be forgiven for thinking the race for the automatic place for the Champions League was over. Arsenal were not sharing those same thoughts, and have secured a third straight win to get themselves right back into contention. Tottenham might be suffering from sweaty palms right now.
Mertesacker makes moment of the day
The German at times has looked like a fish out of water in the Arsenal defence, but before his sending off he used every inch of his giant frame to make a tackle in unconventional style, with his back. Assistant coach Steve Bould was right in saying Arsenal have improved at the back, literally.
Lowton volley for Villa sinks Stoke
Matt Lowton will no doubt be rushing to his Sky+ box and setting his planner for Match of the Day, as the Villa full-back is going to be watching and rewinding his goal against Stoke over and over again. Stoke thought they had escaped danger when clearing a corner, but how wrong they turned out to be, as Lowton fired the ball back with interest to net a brilliant long-range volley. Go easy on the remote controller Matt.
Breathe easy Boruc
During his time at Celtic, Artur Boruc was prone to the odd eccentric moment. But, there is a school of thought that says you have to have a crazy streak to be a keeper. The good and the bad of Boruc were on show in Southampton's win over Reading. He made a fine early save to keep his side on level terms and also did well to come out and claim a cross. But there were hearts in Southampton mouths with the side 2-0 ahead. Adam Le Fondre headed the ball goalwards but it looked easy for Boruc. However, his balance was not perfect and he looked like carrying the ball over his line, but he had the presence of mind to throw it away before falling into the back of the net.