English Premiership: Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal

Robin van Persie reminded former club Arsenal just what it is missing, scoring the opening goal as Manchester United won 2-1 Saturday to pile the pressure on Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.

Playing against Arsenal for the first time since his big-money move to Old Trafford in August, Van Persie fired home after just three minutes for his 10th goal of the season to set United on its way.

Wayne Rooney dragged a penalty wide in first-half injury time for United, but the England striker crossed for Patrice Evra to head in the clinching goal in the 67th minute.

Arsenal, which played the final 21 minutes with 10 men after Jack Wilshere was sent off for two bookings, grabbed a consolation goal through Santi Cazorla with the final kick of the game. But the loss marks the team's worst start to a season after 10 games since Arsene Wenger took charge in 1996.

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With 15 points, Arsenal is already nine behind United and is sorely missing the marksmanship of Van Persie, who left the Gunners after eight seasons for 24 million pounds in search of silverware.

He was received warmly by the visitors - Arsenal left back Andre Santos even asked the Dutchman to swap shirts at half time - and didn't celebrate his goal that came after Thomas Vermaelen scuffed his clearance from Rafael da Silva's cross.

"It's the first time I've ever played against a former club," Van Persie said. "So it's a special day but it's about the game and we won it.

"I played there for eight years, I had a fantastic time there and I respect the fans, manager, players and the whole club so that is why I didn't celebrate."

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