Van Persie double fires Arsenal to victory

Manchester: Robin van Persie struck twice as Arsenal began to repair the damage from their poor start to the Premier League season with a 2-1 victory at home to Sunderland on Sunday.

Arsenal went ahead with less than 30 seconds on the clock when Gervinho surged down the left and crossed for Van Persie who shot into the bottom corner.

The hosts then dominated with a confidence they have struggled to find this season before letting Sunderland into the game when Mikel Arteta conceded a free kick that Seb Larsson struck beautifully over the wall to equalise against his former club on 31 minutes.

Arsenal had goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to thank when his point-blank save denied an unmarked Lee Cattermole`s header shortly before halftime and they had to wait until eight minutes from time for Van Persie to snatch the victory.

The Dutchman more than matched the quality of Larsson`s free kick with one of his own that curled over the wall and into the goal to lift Arsenal up to 10th in the league with only their third victory in eight games.

Defeat leaves Sunderland just above the relegation zone in 17th and turns up the heat on already under-fire manager Steve Bruce.

Earlier in the day, West Bromwich Albion claimed the Midlands bragging rights with a 2-0 win at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The hosts took an early lead through Chris Brunt, whose first-time shot flew into the roof of the net in the eighth minute after he was set up by Billy Jones.

Wolves had chances to level in an open game with Roger Johnson heading wide midway through the second half but West Brom secured the points when substitute Peter Odemwingie drove a low shot into the bottom corner on 75 minutes.

Victory propelled Roy Hodgson`s side out of the relegation zone to 12th in the table, while Wolves hover one point above the drop area in 16th.

Newcastle United will be looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season at home to Tottenham Hotspur later in the day.

Manchester City overtook champions Manchester United at the top of the table on Saturday with a 4-1 victory over Aston Villa after United could only draw 1-1 at Liverpool.

Bureau Report

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