Robin van Persie scored a hat-trick as Arsenal FC won an enthralling London derby at Chelsea FC after Manchester United FC had got Saturday's Premier League action under way with a victory at Everton FC.
The Dutch striker wrapped up a 5-3 success in added time having fired the Gunners in front in the 85th minute. Van Persie's first goal, a tap-in from Gervinho's pass, came either side of headed goals by Frank Lampard (14) and John Terry (45) as Chelsea led at the break. André Santos restored parity (49) before Theo Walcott (55) and Juan Mata (80) traded superb finishes.
"You could see how happy we are at the end as we fought hard in this game," said Van Persie, the scorer of 28 goals in 27 Premier League games in 2011. "Every single one of us showed character – it's a big, big win for us." Manager Arsène Wenger added: "It was absolutley fantastic to watch, both teams went for it. I felt we dominated the second half, got tighter in midfield and showed quality and mental strength."
The win lifted Arsenal up to seventh, seven points behind a United side who had Javier Hernández (19) to thank for scoring the only goal at Goodison Park. Manchester City FC remain five points clear at the summit after a 3-1 home win against Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, but were briefly hanging on after Vincent Kompany's red card.
Fifth-placed Liverpool FC, 2-0 away to West Bromwich Albion FC in the late game, Fulham FC and Swansea City FC were the day's other winners.
Meanwhile, the draw for the League Cup quarter-finals was made today. The ties, to be played on 29/30 November, are:
Arsenal FC v Manchester City FC
Cardiff City AFC v Blackburn Rovers FC
Chelsea FC v Liverpool FC
Manchester United FC v Crystal Palace FC
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|Last updated: 22/11/2011 18:44 CET|
|Venue: West Bromwich|
Graham 73 (o.g.), 90+3
Hunt 75 (p)
|1||Manchester City FC||10||28|
|2||Manchester United FC||10||23|
|4||Newcastle United FC||9||19|
|6||Tottenham Hotspur FC||8||16|
|8||Norwich City FC||10||13|
|9||Aston Villa FC||10||12|
|10||Swansea City AFC||10||12|
|11||Stoke City FC||9||12|
|12||Queens Park Rangers FC||9||12|
|13||West Bromwich Albion FC||10||11|
|17||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||10||8|
|18||Blackburn Rovers FC||10||6|
|19||Bolton Wanderers FC||10||6|
|20||Wigan Athletic FC||10||5|