A busy weekend of Absa Premiership action ended with Mamelodi Sundowns claiming a narrow win at Golden Arrows to underline their status as title favourites, while Bloemfontein Celtic crushed rivals Free State Stars in their feature derby.

‘Downs beat Arrows 1-0 in Durban on Sunday – thanks to an excellent goal from Bangaly Soumahoro – to rise to the top of the log. The Brazilians have won four of their last five league matches and hold a two-point advantage despite having played three fewer games than their nearest chasers.

The day’s other game saw Celtic put in their best performance of the season to crush Free State Stars 3-0 at Dr Molemela Stadium, with Victor Letsoalo’s brace sandwiching a fine strike from Lucky Baloyi.

The round got underway on Friday night as Maritzburg United continued their stunning return to form with a 3-0 hammering of Baroka FC at Harry Gwala Stadium, with Evans Rusike netting a brace for the Team of Choice.

Saturday saw three of the five matches end in draws, as both SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits scored late equalisers to salvage 1-1 results at home to Cape Town City and away to Polokwane City respectively, while Orlando Pirates moved temporarily to the top of the log despite a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to AmaZulu which saw Bucs defender Ntsikelelo Nyauza score at both ends of the field.

The other two matches on the day brought huge relief for both Kaizer Chiefs and Ajax Cape Town. The former won 1-0 away to Platinum Stars thanks to a rare headed goal from Siphiwe Tshabalala, while the latter ended Chippa United’s 10-match unbeaten run with a 1-0 ‘home’ win at Bidvest Stadium.

The Absa Premiership will continue with two catch-up matches in midweek (Sundowns v Maritzburg and Free State Stars v SuperSport) before having its last full round of fixtures next weekend, December 15-17.

Absa Premiership weekend results

Friday 8 December

Maritzburg United 3-0 Baroka FC

Saturday 9 December

SuperSport United 1-1 Cape Town City

Polokwane City 1-1 Bidvest Wits

Platinum Stars 0-1 Kaizer Chiefs

Ajax Cape Town 1-0 Chippa United

Orlando Pirates 1-1 AmaZulu

Sunday 10 December

Bloemfontein Celtic 3-0 Free State Stars

Golden Arrows 0-1 Mamelodi Sundowns