Manchester United reinvigorated their Premier League title defence by winning 1-0 at home to leaders Arsenal yesterday to close to within five points of the early-season pace-setters.
Robin van Persie claimed the game’s only goal in the first half, scoring against his former club for the third match running, to condemn Arsene Wenger’s side to a first league loss since their defeat by Aston Villa on the opening day.
Victory allowed United to climb to fifth in the table, with defeats for Tottenham Hotspur and local rivals Manchester City earlier in the day enabling them to move above both of their fellow title contenders.
Having seen his side pick up just a point from earlier games against Chelsea, Liverpool and City, United manager David Moyes will hope yesterday’s
victory marks the end of an awkward bedding-in period at Old Trafford.
White Hart pain
Earlier, Tottenham Hotspur missed out on the chance to go level on points with second-placed Liverpool in the Premier League as goalkeeper Tim Krul inspired Newcastle to a 1-0 win at White Hart Lane yesterday.
Loic Remy scored the only goal of the game in the 13th minute of the early kick-off match when, played in by Yoan Gouffran, he rounded Spurs keeper Brad Friedel before producing a composed finish.
Man City stumble
Elsewhere, Man City, so imposing at home, saw their away form prove fallible once again as Sunderland beat them 1-0 for the fourth season in a row at the Stadium of Light.
City’s title aspirations were also dented when Phil Bardsley scored a 21st minute curler after the visitors failed to deal with Wes Brown’s long ball. City pushed for an equaliser but could find no way through.