Van Persie sinks Arsenal, City lose at Sunderland

Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:33pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester United striker Robin van Persie's soaring first-half header secured a 1-0 win over his old club Arsenal on Sunday that pricked the visitors' bubble and thrust the champions back into the Premier League title race.

The Old Trafford defeat checked Arsenal's breakaway and left them with 25 points from 11 matches, two clear of Liverpool who thrashed Fulham 4-0 on Saturday, with United moving up to fifth place on 20.

Manchester City suffered a stunning 1-0 setback at struggling Sunderland, who had taken just four points from their 10 previous games, and dropped to eighth on 19 points.

Ambitious Tottenham Hotspur also hit an unexpected roadblock in losing 1-0 to Newcastle United at White Hart Lane, with visiting goalkeeper Tim Krul making a stunning 14 saves to keep a clean sheet.

Arsenal's Old Trafford trip was a litmus test for both sides, with the North Londoners arriving as the form team eager to end years of hurt at United and charge 11 points clear of old rivals under new management.

Alex Ferguson may have been watching from the directors' box rather than shouting on the bench but David Moyes' side ensured the outcome remained depressingly familiar for the Gunners, who have now won only one of their last 10 league games against United.

"This was a big result for us today. Arsenal have been in terrific form this season," said Moyes after his biggest success so far at United.

AWAY DEFEAT   Continued...

Sunderland's Phil Bardsley (L) celebrates scoring against Manchester City during their English Premier League soccer match at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northern England, November 10, 2013. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis