Manchester United's Dutch forward Robin van Persie leaves the field after winning 2-1 against Arsenal during their the English Premier League football match at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England. AFP Photo
Robin van Persie piled on the misery for former club Arsenal as Manchester United went top of the Premier League with a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Victory in this early kick-off match saw United replace Chelsea in first place and that is where they stayed after the European champions were held to a 1-1 draw at Swansea later Saturday.
In Manchester, van Persie needed fewer than three minutes to put United in front before Patrice Evra doubled their lead in the 67th minute.
Arsenal's day got worse when midfielder Jack Wilshere, in only his second game back following a long injury lay-off, was sent off for a second bookable offence after he caught Evra on the ankle. "It was a special day, in the end it was about the game and I think we played well," van Persie told Sky Sports.
United manager Alex Ferguson praised van Persie's goal and his all-round performance by saying: "It was an ideal start for the Manchester United cause and it was good for Robin. I thought he was fantastic today. His movement, his penetration was fantastic."
Van Persie, playing against Arsenal for the first time since his £24 million ($39 million) pre-season move from the Gunners, wasted little time in giving United the lead.
He struck in the third minute when, after Thomas Vermaelen failed to clear a Rafael cross from the right, he shot into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area.
It was the 29-year-old van Persie's 10th goal in 13 United appearances. Evra made it 2-0 when he headed in a Rooney cross following a short corner.
Cazorla pulled a goal back for Arsenal with virtually the last kick of the match, but defeat meant the Gunners were left nine points off the summit just 10 games into the season.
After a goalless first half, Nigeria winger Victor Moses gave Chelsea a 61st minute lead at the Liberty Stadium with a flick-on following Gary Cahill's header from an Eden Hazard corner.
But Pablo Hernandez's equaliser two minutes from time saw the points shared.
Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini scored twice as Everton replaced Tottenham Hotspur in fourth place on goal difference with a 2-2 draw at Fulham. Wigan won 1-0 away to Tottenham with Ben Watson scoring the only goal. Elsewhere, Gabriel Agbonlahor scored for the first time in 29 league games as Aston Villa recorded a 1-0 win against a Sunderland side managed by former boss Martin O'Neill.