Once in a while, a goal is scored against the team you support that is so good that you have no choice but to accept that and enjoy the quality of it. That was the case for me as a Stoke fan on Saturday when Wigan left back Maynor Figueroa found the net with a free-kick from over 60 yards, sending the ball arcing perfectly over Stoke 'keeper Thomas Sorensen to put his side into a 2-1 lead. Emmerson Boyce had bravely headed the Latics ahead, before Tuncay levelled with his first for Stoke when Figueroa spectacularly struck, but there's no point scoring a wondergoal if you can't pick up your man from a corner, as was the case less than a minute later when the Honduran let Ryan Shawcross in to head the Potters level again. Sorensen then saved an injury time Hugo Rodallega penalty, his fifth save from the last six he has faced, to ensure an entertaining game finished with honours even.
It was a bad weekend for most of the "big four." Manchester United slipped to a home defeat against high-flying Aston Villa, with Gabriel Agbonlahor netting the only goal of the game at Old Trafford, while Chelsea were held to a 3-3 home draw by Everton. A Petr Cech own goal put the visitors into an early lead, but Chelsea quickly struck back through Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka before Yakubu equalised on the stroke of half time. Drogba's second re-opened the Londoners' lead on the hour, but Louis Saha's fortunate tenth league goal of the season minutes later completed the scoring.
There was bound to be one top four winner, as underperforming Liverpool met stuttering Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday. Dirk Kuyt put the Reds into a first half lead, but a Glenn Johnson own goal and a fine Andrey Arshavin strike turned the game in the second half to give Arsene Wenger's men the points and further darken Liverpool's position. Arsenal'snarch rivals Spurs had a far worse weekend, losing 1-0 at home to improving Wolves, Kevin Doyle heading the winner in just the third minute.
For the first time in nine years there were two 3-3 scorelines in a round of Premier League matches, the second coming at the Reebok Stadium where Bolton met Manchester City. Ivan Klasnić put the hosts in front on eleven minutes, but Mark Hughes's men hit back through Carlos Tevez. Gary Cahill's fine fourth of the season put the Trotters back ahead, but Micah Richards's strike meant the game went into half time all square. Klasnić then scored again, and, when the Blues had Craig Bellamy sent off it looked like the points were going to Bolton. Tevez found the net again to save his side though with just thirteen minutes left on the clock.
Birmingham edged out struggling West Ham in a rather less eventful match, Lee Bowyer, a player on superb form, netting the only goal, while Hull and Blackburn failed to muster a goal between them at the KC Stadium.
Fulham earned a good point at Burnley after a 1-1 draw. Bobby Zamora put the visitors into a second half lead, but Wade Elliott soon equalised for the Clarets, while the scoreline was the same at the Stadium of Light where Sunderland met Portsmouth. Darren Bent put the Wearsiders ahead mid-way through the first half, but Younes Kaboul broke Mackem hearts by netting an equaliser deep into stoppage time for the league's bottom club, for whose fans the long journey home will have seemed a lot shorter thanks to the Frenchman.