Frenchman Samir Nasri stung champions Manchester United with two goals at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal secured a deserved 2-1 victory to reignite their English Premier League title challenge.
|Nasri gives Wenger a much-needed good day at the office [GALLO/GETTY]
Missing several first team players, including strikers Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie, the Gunners found a new hero in Nasri who scored in each half of a breathless encounter.
Arsenal survived an early storm in a magnificent free-flowing game before the inspired Nasri struck in each half to lift the Gunners above United into third place.
Substitute Rafael's late volley for United could not prevent a second league defeat of the season as Arsenal hung on during six minutes of injury time.
Tough at the top
United have now taken just one point from their clashes with title rivals Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea this season.
Liverpool went top of the table in the late kickoff, with a Robbie Keane brace helping them to a 3-0 win over West Brom at Anfield.
Hull City's remarkable start to the season hit the buffers at home to Bolton Wanderers as they went down 1-0.
The win lifted Bolton out of the bottom three and up to ninth place.
New Portsmouth manager Tony Adams got his first victory since taking over from Harry Redknapp, with Jermain Defoe scoring a late penalty for a 2-1 win at Sunderland.
Stoke City drew 0-0 with Wigan Athletic while West Ham United's poor form under Gianfranco Zola continued as they conceded three late goals in a 3-1 defeat by Everton at Upton Park.
Lessons from a legend
Manchester United's players spent time at their training ground with Diego Maradona this week and could have done with the Argentine great's finishing ability early on against Arsenal.
|Mikael Silvestre gets one over ex-teammate Wayne Rooney [GALLO/GETTY]
With Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov up front and Cristiano Ronaldo in support the European champions bristled with firepower but were guilty of terrible finishing.
Michael Carrick volleyed wide, Berbatov had a goal ruled out after straying offside and Rooney blazed a gilt-edged chance over the crossbar in rainy London before Arsenal moved into gear.
Nasri, signed from Olympique Marseille in July, opened the scoring for Arsenal after 22 minutes with a shot that deflected off Gary Neville.
He struck again with a thumping right-foot shot just after half time to give Arsenal a cushion although Rafael's stunning late volley ensured a tense finale.
"It was fantasy football," United manager Alex Ferguson said.
"It was like playground football at times – you attack, then we'll attack.
"Our determination and drive to try and rescue a point was fantastic. It was as good a game of football as you'll see this season."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was delighted with his injury-hit side's response to being written off as title contenders in some quarters after dropping points at home to Tottenham Hotspur and away to Stoke City.
"We had one accident against Stoke and there was hysteria," Wenger said.
"I never doubted the spirit of my players. The difference today was that we took our chances and they didn't."
Keane shows mean streak
Liverpool's Keane grabbed his first Premier League goals for the club on as Rafa Benitez's men comfortably beat West Brom 3-0 to go top of the table.
|Keane breaks his EPL duck [AFP]
After a slow start Keane, signed from Tottenham Hotspur for $30million in July, put the hosts ahead on 34 minutes by chipping past West Brom goalkeeper Scott Carson
after collecting a Steven Gerrard pass.
The Ireland striker then made it 2-0 shortly before the interval, easily side-stepping the on-rushing Carson to score with an angled shot, and Alvaro Arbeloa added a third in stoppage time.
Liverpool, now on 29 points, move into the top spot for at least one night, with second placed Chelsea away to Blackburn Rovers on Sunday.
Matthew Taylor's 50th-minute goal gave Gary Megson's Bolton all three points against high-flying Hull at the KC Stadium.
The winner came when Taylor's strike crept in through a crowded area and the visitors held on thanks to several fine saves from goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Defoe's injury-time penalty gave Tony Adams his first win as Portsmouth manager as the visitors came from behind to beat Sunderland.
Djibril Cisse gave Sunderland the lead after four minutes before Nadir Belhadj rifled in a long-range shot for the equaliser and El Hadji Diouf's foul on Glen Johnson allowed Defoe to dispatch his sixth league goal of the season.
Three goals in five minutes for Everton stunned Zola's West Ham.
Jack Collison gave the Hammers the lead after 63 minutes.
|Senegalese Henri Camara is back in action for Wigan after a year away [AFP]
Saha so good
Everton levelled through Joleon Lescott's six-yard header before snatching victory with two late goals from Louis Saha.
Stoke made it three games unbeaten in the league after a dour stalemate with Steve Bruce's Wigan, who went close in the second half through Emile Heskey and Wilson Palacios.
Rory Delap's booming throw-ins were on display for Stoke but the Irishman couldn't emulate his heroics against Arsenal last week, when his mighty slings set up both goals.