A full month-by-month review of the twists and turns in the hunt for the title…
Chelsea start with a bang as the champions win their first two games 6-0 (against West Brom and Wigan) while United, who win both home fixtures, are pegged back at Fulham after Nani misses a penalty and Brede Hangeland claims an equaliser. Arsenal need a late leveller at Liverpool in their opener but then also hit six against newly-promoted Blackpool. Month-end positions: 1.Chelsea played 3 / points 9, 2.Arsenal 3/7, 3.United 3/7.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side continue to look the part with comfortable wins over West Ham and Blackpool but come unstuck in their first really testing fixture away to City. United can only draw entertaining matches at Everton and Bolton but get the better of Liverpool in a five-goal thriller. The Gunners concede a last-gasp Darren Bent leveller at Sunderland and are then surprisingly beaten 3-2 at home by West Brom. 1.Chelsea 6/15, 2.United 6/12, 3.Arsenal 6/11.
West Brom do more damage with a draw at Old Trafford but the Reds finish the month strongly by seeing off Stoke and Tottenham. Chelsea extend their lead at the top with an important win against Arsenal but are held to a goalless draw at Villa Park. Arsene Wenger’s team, bounce back from the Stamford Bridge setback to record three straight wins and climb above United in the table. 1.Chelsea 10/25, 2. Arsenal 10/20, 3.United 10/20.
There’s a real change at the top as United pounce with three home wins, including a 7-1 battering of Blackburn. Draws at City and Aston Villa don’t prove too costly as Chelsea pick up only one win all month and lose three times, including 3-0 at home to Sunderland. Arsenal crash at home to Newcastle and Spurs to show cracks of their own. 1.United 15/31, 2.Chelsea 15/29, 3.Arsenal 15/29.