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Van Persie strikes against old team to put Manchester Utd top of EPL

November 3, 2012 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Robin van Persie starred against his former club Arsenal in Manchester United's 2-1 win at Old Trafford.
Robin van Persie starred against his former club Arsenal in Manchester United's 2-1 win at Old Trafford.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Robin van Persie scores as Manchester Utd beat Arsenal 2-1
  • Victory takes them top of the EPL above Chelsea
  • Chelsea held 1-1 at Swansea after Pablo Hernandez equalizer
  • Manchester City stay unbeaten but held 0-0 at West Ham

(CNN) -- Robin van Persie scored the opener against his former club Arsenal as Manchester United went top of the English Premier League Saturday with a 2-1 home win over the Gunners.

They replaced Chelsea who were held 1-1 by Swansea in a later kickoff.

The Dutchman switched to United in the summer in a $39 million move and has now scored 10 goals in 13 games to underline his enduring quality.

He was on the score sheet at Old Trafford after just three minutes when a Rafael cross was not cleared and the result rarely looked in doubt after his early strike.

It was good for Robin. I thought he was fantastic today. His movement, his penetration was fantastic
Alex Ferguson

"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," manager Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports.

United should have gone further ahead just before the break when Santi Cazorla handled an Ashley Young cross to concede a penalty.

But Wayne Rooney sent the spot kick wide of Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone's right post.

United continued to dominate after half time and Patrice Evra headed home the second from a Rooney cross.

The Frenchman was then fouled by Jack Wilshere, who was sent off for a second yellow card.

Arsenal, beaten by Norwich in the EPL last weekend before their extraordinary 7-5 League Cup win over Reading in midweek, scored a late consolation through Carzola. But they trail United by nine points early in the season.

Chelsea would have returned to the top with victory at the Liberty Stadium and Victor Moses gave the Blues a 61st minute lead as he scored following Gary Cahill's header from an Eden Hazard corner.

But Swansea were worth their point as Pablo Hernandez equalized with a superb 88th-minute strike.

Manchester City remained unbeaten but held to a goalless draw by West Ham in the last kick off.

Kevin Nolan had the ball in the net early for the home side but his effort was ruled out for a marginal offside decision.

Champions City dominated the second half possession but could not find the goal and stayed in third place, two points behind their city rivals.

Tottenham Hotspur missed the chance to take closer order on the top three with a dismal 1-0 home defeat to Wigan.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas was jeered by the Spurs supporters who had seen their side beaten by a second half goal from Ben Watson.

Everton have moved above them into fourth, but they were held 2-2 at Fulham as Steve Sidwell grabbed a late equalizer for the home side.

In other games, Gabriel Agbonlahor scored the only goal as Aston Villa secured a much needed 1-0 win at Sunderland, while fellow strugglers Norwich beat Stoke 1-0.

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