LONDON: An own goal by Kieran Gibbs and Wayne Rooney’s fourth Premier League strike of the season lifted Manchester United to a 2-1 victory at Arsenal and into fourth place.
But maanger Louis Van Gaal, facing Arsenal for the first time since taking charge, had goalkeeper David De Gea to thank for keeping the match level in the first half.
Everything changed 11 minutes after the restart when Gibbs collided with his own goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny, while the latter was punching away a cross.
When United’s Antonio Valencia sent the ball back into the area with a cross-shot, Gibbs, who was still on the ground, stuck his leg out and deflected the cross into goal.
Szczesny was hurt in the collision with Gibbs and had to be substituted and when Rooney was put clear on the counter by Angel Di Maria, he clipped the ball over replacement Damian Martinez.
Arsenal claimed a lifeline in stoppage time through substitute Olivier Giroud’s angled drive but United held on for all three points to climb into fourth place behind leaders Chelsea, Manchester City and Southampton.
Chelsea beat 10-man West Bromwich to strengthen their grip at the top of the Premier League and also set a club record for starting the campaign with an unbeaten 12-game run.
Jose Mourinho’s side prevailed 2-0, with first-half goals from Diego Costa and Eden Hazard.
Costa, who was not called up for Spain’s last two games so he could rest, netted his 11th goal in 10 matches in the 11th minute after being set up by Oscar and the second goal came when Hazard met Cesc Fabregas’ corner with a left-footed shot into the left corner.
Four minutes later West Brom’s challenge became even more difficult when Claudio Yacob was shown a red card.
Victory put Chelsea on 35 points – 10 clear of Southampton, who play at Aston Villa on Monday.
Manchester City climbed into second place on 27 points after coming from behind at home to defeat Swansea 2-1. Wilfried Bony gave the visitors a 1-0 lead just nine minutes into the contest, chesting down Nathan Dyer’s pass before finishing neatly.
But the Blues needed just five minutes to pull level with a goal from Stevan Jovetic and, after Gael Clichy hit the bar for the home side, Fernandinho back-heeled the ball into the path of Yaya Toure in the 62nd minute and he smashed in the winner.
A win would have allowed Swansea to leapfrog West Ham after the Hammers slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Everton.
The Toffees went in front with a 26th-minute strike from Romelu Lukaku and though Mauro Zarate equalised via a deflection off Phil Jagielka, midfielder Leon Osman celebrated his 400th appearance for Everton when he slid in to convert a low cross from Samuel Eto’o on a counter-attack.
Newcastle won for the fifth straight league game and leapfrogged Swansea and West Ham in the table after Moussa Sissoko’s 78th-minute goal downed QPR 1-0.
Burnley are out of the league basement after a pair of first-half goals in quick succession from Danny Ings at Stoke.
Jonathan Walters pulled a goal back for Stoke in the 32nd minute but the visitors prevailed 2-1. Burnley are now third bottom, level on 10 points with Leicester after the Foxes ended up with a 0-0 draw at Sunderland.
Leicester had chances to score through Jeffrey Schlupp and Matt James but the club have gone five consecutive games without hitting the back of the net.