Old boy shows no mercy

Sports

MARTYN HERMAN

Robin van Persie was on target against his old club as Manchester United brushed Arsenal aside for a 2-1 victory that sent them to the top of the Premier League on Saturday.

The prolific Dutchman, who joined United from Arsenal in August having scored 37 league goals for the Gunners last season, needed less than three minutes to put the hosts ahead after a mistake by Thomas Vermaelen and Patrice Evra wrapped up a comfortable win with a 67th minute header.

Santi Cazorla netted in injury time for an otherwise disappointing Arsenal, who were reduced to 10 men after the break when recently returned midfielder Jack Wilshere was sent off for a second yellow card.

Wayne Rooney also missed a penalty for United on the stroke of halftime but it never looked like proving costly.

Without Van Persie's goals Arsenal have looked toothless in the Premier League this season and Wenger's side are already falling well off the pace, having picked up 15 points from 10 games.

Almost inevitably it was Van Persie who was their tormentor.

He rarely needs any help in finding the back of the net but former team mate Vermaelen provided it in the third minute when he made a hash of trying to clear a cross from Rafael and the ball fell to Van Persie who struck a first-time shot past Vito Mannone.

"A special day, in the end it was quite a game," Van Persie, who did not celebrate his goal, told Sky Sports.

"It speaks for itself (why he did not celebrate). I played eight years there and had a fantastic time. I wanted to respect the fans, the manager and the whole club."

Chelsea knocked off perch

Chelsea lost the top spot in the League for the first time in more than two months after conceding a late equalizer to Pablo Hernandez in a 1-1 draw with Swansea. Hernandez drilled the ball into the corner of the net in the 88th minute at Liberty Stadium, to leave Manchester United two points above Chelsea. Victor Moses scored his first league goal for Chelsea when he heading in Garry Cahill's flick on from a corner in the 61st minute.

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