Premier League round-up
Manchester United hit back to beat Aston Villa, Arsenal were involved in a six-goal derby thriller and West Brom collected their first win on the road.
Last Updated: 10/11/12 7:46pm
Manchester United hit back to beat Aston Villa, Arsenal were involved in a six-goal derby thriller at Emirates Stadium, while West Brom collected their first win on the road.
Elsewhere, Sunderland ended their long barren run in front of goal at Goodison Park but were left with nothing to show for their efforts, Stoke piled more pressure on beleaguered Queens Park Rangers boss Mark Hughes and a costly error denied Southampton a much-needed success.
Javier Hernandez inspired Manchester United to come from behind and claim a thrilling 3-2 victory over Aston Villa which extends their lead at the top of the table to four points.
Andreas Weimann fired Aston Villa in front on the stroke of half-time with a powerful finish after Christian Benteke had proved too strong for Chris Smalling down the left wing and laid the ball back to the edge of the area.
Weimann struck again five minutes after the interval with a finish from close range following good work by Stephen Ireland and Gabriel Agbonlahor, but the goal only sparked United into life.
Half-time substitute Hernandez reduced their arrears in the 58th minute when he ran on to Paul Scholes' long pass and slipped a shot past the onrushing Brad Guzan.
United drew level just five minutes later as the Mexican volleyed in Rafael's cross from a tight angle, with the help of a deflection off Ron Vlaar.
United piled on the pressure in the closing stages and were rewarded three minutes from time when Hernandez showed good movement to lose his marker and head home a Robin van Persie cross.
Arsenal wasted the opportunity to close on the top four after suffering yet more defensive woe during a topsy-turvy London derby with Fulham.
It appeared as though everything was going to plan for the Gunners 23 minutes into an all-capital clash, but once again Arsene Wenger was forced to watch on as his troops shot themselves in the foot.
Arsenal edged in front on 11 minutes as Olivier Giroud met a Theo Walcott corner to nod in his first Premier League goal at the Emirates, and 12 minutes later it was two as another summer signing, Lukas Podolski, got across Aaron Hughes to turn a Mikel Arteta cut back past Mark Schwarzer.
Fulham had played the better football up until that point, though, and deservedly pulled one back on 29 minutes when Dimitar Berbatov was left all alone to connect with a Bryan Ruiz corner - with the Bulgarian barely getting off the floor as he glanced into the net from six yards.
Former Tottenham frontman Berbatov was causing the Gunners all sorts of problems and it was from his floated delivery that substitute Alex Kacaniklic - on for the injured Kieran Richardson - was able to force a header into the turf and past the weak wrists of Vito Mannone.
A remarkable turnaround was then completed on 67 minutes as Arteta hauled Ruiz down inside the box and, after a stuttering run-up, Berbatov stroked the calmest of spot-kicks into the bottom corner.
Martin Jol's Cottagers could only hang onto their lead for a matter of minutes, though, with Giroud able to grab his second header of the game moments after seeing an effort cannon back off the woodwork.
A debateable penalty award deep into stoppage-time handed Arsenal the opportunity to snatch a barely-deserved success, but Arteta fluffed his lines from 12 yards as Schwarzer sprawled to his left to parry the ball to safety.
Everton started the weekend clinging onto a Champions League spot, after four games without a win, but were able to cement that standing after coming from behind to overcome out-of-sorts Sunderland.
The Black Cats arrived on Merseyside having failed to find the target in three of their last four top-flight fixtures, with an own goal from Newcastle's Demba Ba all they had to show for their efforts in those games.
Martin O'Neill's men were, however, able to get back on the scoresheet at Goodison, with Adam Johnson sweeping home on the stroke of half-time to become the first man other than Steven Fletcher to net a league goal for the Black Cats this season.
Everton needed someone to step up and grab the game by the scruff of the neck, and Marouane Fellaini answered their call.
The talismanic Belgian levelled matters himself on 76 minutes, with Sunderland allowing him to spin on the edge of the box and drill low into the corner, and three minutes later his clever flick freed Nikica Jelavic to offer another masterclass in clinical finishing.
Few would have tipped West Brom to be challengers for a UEFA Champions League spot this season, but they sit level on points with Everton after seeing off Wigan 2-1 at the DW Stadium.
The Baggies' success this term has been built on an almost faultless record on home soil, but they proved that they can collect points on their travels by putting in a professional performance against the Latics.
Chris Brunt's pinpoint delivery from the left allowed Steve Clarke's side to open the scoring just past the half-hour mark, with James Morrison rising highest in a crowded penalty area to power home a header from close range.
Two minutes before the interval the Baggies doubled their lead, with Gary Caldwell inadvertently turning a Billy Jones cross past his own goalkeeper.
Arouna Kone grabbed a lifeline for Wigan seconds later, as he converted a teasing Jean Beausejour delivery to the back post, but Roberto Martinez's men were brought back down to earth with a bump following back-to-back successes.
Stoke desperately needed to get back to winning ways against struggling Queens Park Rangers, and they collected just their second success of the season at the Britannia Stadium.
Charlie Adam picked the perfect time to open his goal account for the club, with the Scotland international bringing a lacklustre contest to life on 52 minutes.
QPR's back four focused their attention on dealing with the threat posed by Peter Crouch, forgetting that Adam had been left all alone to rifle in a half-volley when the ball dropped his way.
Hughes' men remain without a victory this season and find themselves back at the foot of the table following events at St Mary's.
Southampton will be pleased to be off the bottom, following a 1-1 draw with Swansea, but Nigel Adkins will be left scratching his head as to how to go about plugging the division's leakiest defence.
The Saints gave themselves hope of picking up a welcome three-point haul when Morgan Schneiderlin took full advantage of hesitancy within the Swans' back four to flick the ball into the air and nod past Gerhard Tremmel.
Luck has not been on Adkins' side this season, though, and once Maya Yoshida had his pocket picked by Nathan Dyer on 73 minutes there was only going to be one outcome, with the Swans winger making no mistake when presented with a clear sight of goal.
On another breathless afternoon of top-flight action, Reading and Norwich failed to join the party as they played out a goalless draw at the Madejski Stadium.
The Royals have now gone 11 games without a win, and remain inside the drop zone as a result, while the Canaries are unbeaten in four and heading in the right direction under Chris Hughton.