Van Persie scores again as United tops Arsenal
Manchester, England (Sports Network) - Robin van Persie needed less than three minutes to remind his former team what it was missing on Saturday as the Dutchman scored the first goal in Manchester United's 2-1 win over Arsenal at Old Trafford.
The Gunners have missed Van Persie's prolific scoring ability and it was on display on Saturday inside of three minutes as the striker took advantage of a poor clearance from Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen to slot his shot past goalkeeper Vito Mannone from inside the penalty area for his eighth goal of the campaign..
Wayne Rooney had a chance to put United 2-0 up just before the break when Santi Cazorla was called for handling the ball inside his own box. However, Rooney dragged his shot wide from the spot and Arsenal remained within a goal.
Things didn't get much better for Arsene Wenger's side after the break as Rooney's cross picked out Patrice Evra in front of goal and the Frenchman headed home to double the advantage for the home side in the 67th minute.
Arsenal's Jack Wilshere picked up his second yellow card two minutes later, reducing the visitors to 10 men, and it wasn't until the final kick of the match that the Gunners pulled a goal back as Cazorla curled home a shot from the edge of the area.
United has now won its last four league games to move to the top of the league, one point clear of Chelsea while Arsenal has lost three of five and resides in sixth place.
West Ham 0, Manchester City 0
London, England - Manchester City fell two points back of Manchester United on Saturday after being held to a 0-0 draw at Upton Park by a stubborn West Ham side.
City won its last four games in the league to join United in second place at the start of the weekend, but the Citizens failed to score for the first time in almost seven months as West Ham certainly deserved a share of the points.
The Hammers thought they had taken the lead in the early minutes when Kevin Nolan had a header ruled out for a questionable offside decision, while Yossi Benayoun saw a rocket tipped onto the crossbar by City goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Fulham 2, Everton 2
London, England - Steve Sidwell's late equalizer forced Everton to settle for a fourth straight draw on Saturday at Craven Cottage as the two sides finished locked at 2-2.
Fulham jumped out to the lead in the seventh minute when a shot from Bryan Ruiz struck the post and went in off the back of Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.
But after that, the Toffees took over and went in front with a pair of goals from Marouane Fellaini 17 minutes apart, giving the Belgium forward five goals in 10 games.
After being second best for much of the match, Fulham snatched a late equalizer when Sascha Riether sent a low ball into the area that skipped past Dimitar Berbatov and found Sidwell at the post.
Norwich City 1, Stoke City 0
Norwich, England - Norwich City climbed six points clear of the bottom three on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Stoke City at Carrow Road.
Bradley Johnson was responsible for the lone goal of the contest in the 44th minute when his flicked header from a Robert Snodgrass free kick found the back of the net.
Stoke entered the contest with six draws in its first nine games and put together a better effort after the break, but Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy was up to the task and he helped preserve a second straight home win in league play for the Canaries.
Aston Villa 1, Sunderland 0
Sunderland, England - Gabriel Agbonlahor netted his first goal of the season in the 57th minute to help Aston Villa snap a five-game winless run with a 1-0 victory over Sunderland.
Agbonlahor's goal came after Christian Benteke nodded the ball into the six- yard box, where the striker pounced on the ball ahead of defender Carlos Cuellar to deposit the ball into the roof of the net.
The Black Cats hardly managed to threaten the Villa net and the best chance came from long range as Lee Cattermole saw his shot saved by goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
Swansea City 1, Chelsea 1
Swansea, Wales - A goal from Pablo Hernandez in the 88th minute knocked Chelsea off the top of the Premiership table on Saturday as Swansea City held the Blues to a 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium.
A tight affair was broken open just after the hour mark by Victor Moses' first league goal for Chelsea when Gary Cahill's header deflected off the former Wigan man and into the Swansea net.
But the visitors failed to add to their advantage and paid the price a few minutes from time as Hernandez found space at the edge of the area to fire the ball through traffic and into the lower right corner of the net.
The result drops Chelsea one point back of leaders Manchester United.
Wigan 1, Tottenham 0
London, England - Tottenham's run of five wins in six games came to a halt on Saturday at White Hart Lane as Spurs suffered a surprising 1-0 defeat to Wigan.
The good run of form helped Tottenham jump into the top four, but the display from the home side on Saturday was well below par, and Wigan took advantage by claiming a big win to go seven points clear of the relegation zone.
Ben Watson's 56th-goal made the difference in the match as Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel could only parry Shaun Maloney's corner kick, allowing Watson to score on the rebound.