Premier League round-up

Image: Sir Alex's 'worst ever day' in football is realised as United are hit for six by neighbours City

On a remarkable afternoon of Premier League action Manchester City inflicted upon Sir Alex Ferguson his 'worst ever day' in football.

Fireworks at Old Trafford as City hit six; double delight for Dutch duo; Saha returns to haunt Fulham

On a remarkable afternoon of Premier League action Manchester City inflicted upon Sir Alex Ferguson his 'worst ever day' in football as Roberto Mancini's side left Old Trafford with a stunning 6-1 victory. Elsewhere, Queens Park Rangers stole West London bragging rights after a 1-0 defeat of nine-men Chelsea, Rafael van der Vaart was at the double for Tottenham at Blackburn and Robin van Persie underlined his importance to Arsenal with a brace of his own against Stoke. In the capital Everton pulled off a classic smash-and-grab job on Fulham in leaving Craven Cottage with a 3-1 victory secured late on. In the early sparring there was precious little wrong with Manchester United's neat possession play but after Mario Balotelli's 22nd minute opener for Manchester City and more decisively Jonny Evans' dismissal early in the second half, the home side unravelled in a manner rarely seen in the champions' rich history. After a weekend in which Balotelli decided he couldn't wait until Nov 5 to host a fireworks spectacular, it seemed almost inevitable that he'd make the headlines on derby day. True to the script then it was his brilliantly controlled daisy-cutter from James Milner's cut-back that put City into the lead, before he became the first Premier League player in history to be booked for posing a rhetorical question, as his unveiling of a T-shirt adorned with 'Why Always Me?' was given short shrift by match officials. The Italian was also involved in the game's key moment as Evans was dismissed in the 46th minute for hauling down the City front-man just outside United's box. As United chased the game a brilliant interchange between the majestic David Silva and Milner allowed Balotelli to double City's advantage on the hour mark. Sergio Aguero got in on the act after further inventive City attacking play to make it three, before Darren Fletcher's fine finish ten minutes from time gave United hope of the unlikeliest of comebacks. Ferguson conceded post-match he was amazed at how open his side were thereafter in attempting to reduce the deficit further, as a kamikaze gung-ho approach allowed City to pick them off at will. David de Gea was beaten a remarkable further three times in the game's dying embers, as City's travelling supporters were left in dreamland. A brace from substitute Edin Dzeko sandwiched an effort from Silva to inflict City's biggest win at Old Trafford in 85 years. Chelsea completely lost their discipline in Sunday's second derby of the day as two sending offs, seven yellow cards and a penalty handed QPR a first win over their arch-rivals for 16 years. Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba both saw red in a frenetic first half at Loftus Road, while Ashley Cole also picked up a suspension for his fifth booking of the season. The rot set in when David Luiz needlessly conceded an tenth-minute penalty which Heidar Helguson scored, but the nine men wasted more than one chance to level, most notably when Nicolas Anelka headed straight at Paddy Kenny. The defeat saw Chelsea blow the chance to capitalise on Manchester United's derby humiliation and move second in the Premier League, while also leaving them six points adrift of Manchester City. That merely added to the jubilation for the home fans as they celebrated their side's first home victory since promotion. Robin van Persie climbed off the bench to rescue Arsenal with two goals to sink Stoke at the Emirates Stadium. Arsene Wenger's decision to start his captain on the bench almost backfired as they only had Gervinho's strike to show for their dominance in the first half. To add to their problems, former Tottenham striker Peter Crouch marked his return to North London with an equaliser 10 minutes before the interval. With the Gunners labouring against their battle-hardened visitors, Van Persie was let loose with 25 minutes remaining. And within a quarter of an hour he had scored twice to bail out his shot-shy team-mates and take his goal tally to a remarkable 29 in his last 34 appearances for the club. It was hardly a convincing performance from Arsenal, and yet a sixth win in their last seven matches is not exactly the record of a club supposedly in crisis not so long ago. Former Fulham striker Louis Saha returned to haunt his former club with a late goal which inspired Everton to a dramatic victory at Craven Cottage. The 33-year-old netted from an acute angle for the Toffees before Jack Rodwell scored in stoppage time to ensure they ended their three-match losing streak. Saha's strike came seconds after Bobby Zamora somehow managed to hit the bar despite rounding Tim Howard. Everton took a third-minute lead after Royston Drenthe hit an audacious shot from long distance that snuck in the far corner. It looked like Fulham had earned a share of the spoils, though, thanks to substitute Bryan Ruiz's exquisite chip three minutes after coming on. However, Zamora's extraordinary miss allowed Saha and Rodwell to score and secure victory for the Merseysiders. Rafael van der Vaart's brace earned victory for Tottenham at struggling Blackburn to increase the pressure on Rovers boss Steve Kean. Another protest was staged outside Ewood Park by disgruntled Blackburn fans prior to kick-off, and the heat was turned up further on Kean when Van der Vaart put Spurs in front inside the opening quarter of an hour. The hosts equalised through Mauro Formica's fierce strike in the 28th minute, but Van der Vaart produced a brilliant winner from outside the box eight minutes after the restart. The result leaves Rovers bottom of the Premier League with just five points from nine games, and the calls for owners Venky's to dismiss Kean are only getting louder. The club's supporters again made their unhappiness known after the final whistle, with a section in the Ronnie Clayton End remaining in their seats, unfurling 'Kean Out' banners and chanting for the Scot to be sacked. Tottenham, meanwhile, are up to fifth, their unbeaten run extending to six games in all competitions.

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