Premier League: Manchester United, Arsenal cruise in marquee matchups

    Story highlights

    • United avoid third straight EPL defeat
    • Arsenal break drought against Chelsea
    • Liverpool rock Hull
    • Manchester City maintain lead

    (CNN)The way they played on Saturday, it looked like Leicester City players had been out celebrating last season's Premier League title until the wee hours of Friday night.

    Manchester United arrived for the early kickoff at Old Trafford determined to avoid a third consecutive league defeat, and came out guns blazing.
      With Wayne Rooney dropped, captain for the day Chris Smalling blasted in a header in the 22nd minute to go one goal up. It was the precursor to a thoroughly dominant first half by United, who won 4-1.
      "It's a nice honor the manager gives me, and I just try and play up -- armband or not -- but it's a nice touch," Smalling said on Sky Sports after the match.
      The Red Devils withstood a couple of near misses -- one by Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the 27th minute on a spectacular turnaround miss, and another from Marcus Rashford on a clear breakaway -- before Juan Mata's 37th minute left-footed strike hit the mark from the edge of the penalty area.