Team of the Week
Penalty-saving expert Jose Reina denied Kanu from the spot in Livepool's tricky fixture at Fratton Park and, in the absence of any other stand-out goalkeeping displays this weekend, that is enough to secure him the coveted number one spot for our TOTW. The Spaniard also had to look lively to keep out a Benjani effort and sneak a point for the visitors. Kolo Toure captained Arsenal in the north London derby and had a busy afternoon with Spurs dominant for periods of the game. It was fortunate for Arsenal that Toure was on hand to thwart the home side with a last-gasp challenge after Dimitar Berbatov had rounded Manuel Almunia and seemed poised to grab his second of the season. Stephen Kelly put aside the midweek misery of Ireland's trip to the Czech Republic to produce a sterling show at right-back for Birmingham City against Bolton. One tackle on Daniel Braeten probably secured all three points for Seve Bruce's men. With the Bolton substitute poised to stroke home an equaliser, Kelly rushed to block him with a last-ditch effort. Nemanja Vidic was the Manchester United hero at Goodison Park with his late darting header beating Everton keeper Stefan Wessels at the near post. Vidic powered in to the Everton area to meet Nani's curling corner and bullet home an unstoppable header. It was another narrow victory for United but their early season form has improved. Lee Bowyer opened the scoring for West Ham against Middlesbrough, doubling his tally for the season in the process. His goal came in the first minute of the second half and Bowyer both started and finished the move, showing the sort of pace and drive he has always been capable of. Rumours he dedicated the goal to the injured Kieron Dyer are unconfirmed. Cesc Fabregas has struck an early claim for Player of the Year with his consistently superb performances for Arsenal this season. Five goals in eight games so far from midfield answers those doubts about his scoring abilities, and his thirty-yard screamer in the north London derby was as good as any of those. He also set up two for Adebayor and strolled away with another MOTM award. He might not have got on the score sheet, but Birmingham City have Sebastian Larsson to thank for their vital win against Bolton. The ex-Arsenal man was an inspiration, showing some delightful touches with both feet. He set up Olivier Kapo with a wonderful cross, struck the Bolton crossbar with a free-kick, took the corners. Michael Johnson added to his strike against Derby with an expertly timed run and shot to open the scoring for Manchester City. The youngster received the ball in midfield, executed a neat one-two with Elano, then showed strength and pace to hold off Nigel Reo-Coker as he broke in to the Aston Villa penalty area and slid the ball past Scott Carson. Emmanuel Adebayor was guilty of missing several sitters that could have been costly in his side's trip to White Hart Lane but he reminded everyone in emphatic style that he knows where the goal is. Twice. For his first he towered over Gareth Bale to head home but his second was probably the goal of the day, a last-minute volley from well outside the Spurs penalty area to compound Martin Jol's anguish. On a day when the Stadium of Light rose to remember one goal-scoring hero, they were soon on their feet again cheering a new one. Roy Keane's £6m man Kenwyne Jones had a home debut to remember, leading the line for his side and scoring a great goal. Jones cut inside Ingimarsson before firing home from twenty-five yards. He then found space to cross towards Wallace for the winning goal. Dean Ashton has had a torrid time with injuries since scoring in the 2006 FA Cup Final, but Hammers fans will hope he has put all that behind him as their big money purchase scored his first goal in the claret and blue since that defeat to Liverpool. Ashton converted Matthew Etherington's cross after a flowing move and his goal elicited wild celebrations in the Upton Park stands. Arsene Wenger and his team have shrugged off early season predictions of their imminent demise following the sale of a certain Thierry Henry and are playing the sort of football that earned them the tag Les Invincibles a few seasons back. They top the table for the first time since the winter of 2004 after dismissing bitter rivals Spurs on Saturday, and look as if they have the legs to mount a challenge for what promises to be one of the tightest title races in years.