RVP sends Man United top
A review of Saturday's action in the Barclays Premier League, including Manchester United's victory over Arsenal.
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Robin van Persie struck inside three minutes against his former club as Manchester United went top of the Premier League table with a comfortable 2-1 victory over 10-man Arsenal at Old Trafford.
The prolific Dutchman was taunted throughout by visiting fans but reminded them of his talents in the opening moments of a contest United dominated from the outset.
Wayne Rooney missed United's fourth penalty of the season but Patrice Evra added a second and Arsenal's misery was compounded by the sending off Jack Wilshere before Santi Cazorla hit an injury-time consolation.
England midfielder Wilshere had been making only his second appearance for the Gunners after a 14-month injury lay-off.
The result took United top and they stayed there after Swansea's Pablo Hernandez struck an 88th-minute equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw against previous leaders Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium.
Much of football's focus this week has centred on the fallout of Chelsea's 3-2 loss to Manchester United last week, which caused consternation on the pitch as well as off it - in the wake of the allegations the Blues have made against referee Mark Clattenburg.
Roberto Di Matteo would no doubt have been relieved he could put those matters to one side and although Victor Moses' 61st-minute header put them in charge, they were forced to settle for a share of the spoils when Hernandez levelled with a magnificent low strike from outside the area.
The day got better for United when defending champions Manchester City blew the chance to join them at the top following a frustrating goalless draw at West Ham.
Ten days after Roberto Mancini's three-at-the-back experiment in City's shattering Champions League defeat at Ajax, the City boss was at it again at the other end of the pitch at Upton Park.
But the decision to start with Mario Balotelli, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko in the same XI for the first time failed just as spectacularly as they failed to score for the first time in almost seven months.
It could have been even worse for Mancini's men had Kevin Nolan not seen an early goal controversially ruled out for offside as West Ham more than held their own and were marshalled brilliantly by Winston Reid and James Tomkins.
Steve Sidwell's last-gasp goal helped Fulham salvage a 2-2 draw against a Marouane Fellaini-inspired Everton.
The Cottagers looked on course to claim their fourth home victory in five league matches when they took the lead after Bryan Ruiz's exquisite 25-yard free-kick came back off the upright before cannoning off Tim Howard's back and into the net.
But a brilliant brace from Belgian Fellaini turned the match on its head before substitute Sidwell struck from close range.
Toffees' captain Phil Neville last week expressed his desire to see his side claim a Champions League place this season and they moved into the top four after Tottenham suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat to Wigan.
The Latics, who had won just two of their nine opening fixtures before today, were not content to sit on the back foot and had three decent chances to open the scoring, with Spurs keeper Brad Friedel keeping the scores level at half-time.
But after the interval, the American punched clear an inswinging Shaun Maloney corner into the path of Ben Watson to volley over the line.