|Wayne Rooney scored two free-kicks and a penalty to claim hat-trick for United during goal rout [GALLO/GETTY]
Arsenal went into their game against Manchester United on Sunday as underdogs but very few would have predicted the way the North Londoners would unravel.
Alex Ferguson's men were in blistering form as they eased to an 8-2 victory over the Gunners who have struggled early on in the season.
Arsene Wenger cut a desolate figure on the touchline once more and will need to quickly turn around his lacklustre and despondent squad.
"You feel terrible, it's painful," Wenger said.
"It was a special game, so it hurts."
In the English Premier League's earlier kick-offs, Manchester City were also scoring goals for fun against Tottenham with a 5-1 win and Newcastle recorded their second consecutive victory with a 2-1 result against Fulham. In the other of Sunday's games Stoke scored in the last minute to condemn West Brom to their third consecutive defeat.
But, without doubt, the game of the day was at Old Trafford.
With both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri recently leaving the Emirates and eight players out injured, Manchester United sensed blood as the Gunners fielded a weakened and inexperienced side.
And blood they got as they chased and pressurised Arsenal all over the park.
Ferguson once again fielded a youthful line-up and his gifted prodigies rose to the occasion in impressive style to record their third successive win of the season and move ahead of second placed City on goal difference at the top of the table.
However, Man United boss Ferguson was sympathetic to Wenger's plight.
"I think the criticism is unfair," Ferguson said.
"I think the job he has done for Arsenal over the years, by keeping his philosophy, has given the team some fantastic players.
"But we live in a terrible, cynical world now and when you lose a few games the judge is out, and you see managers going early in the season many, many times over the past few seasons - unfairly."
The fantastic eight
Danny Welbeck opened the scoring with a close-range header in the 22nd minute after Johan Djourou failed to clear Anderson's chipped pass.
Arsenal squandered a chance to level when Robin van Persie's penalty, awarded for a Jonny Evans foul on Theo Walcott, was saved by David De Gea.
Within a minute, new signing Ashley Young had made Arsenal pay with a brilliant curling goal from the edge of the area.
The former Aston Villa player looks like a great signing for Manchester United, fitting easily into the team and showing confidence going forward.
After Rooney had finished eye-balling and goading Wojciech Szczesny in the Arsenal goal, he increased the lead whipping in a 41st minute free-kick for his 150th United goal.
Walcott's low drive escaped De Gea's weak attempted save to reduce the deficit on the stroke of half-time.
United were not done there though adding five more goals after the break.
They scored a fourth through another tremendous Rooney free-kick in the 62nd minute.
Rooney showing the kind of calm and ability that was not always present during his 2010-2011 season with the Red Devils.
| Wenger cuts a lonely figure on the sidelines and needs some support if team are to improve [GETTY]
Nani's deft chip over Szczesny in the 67th minute made it five and South Korea's Park Ji-Sung drove in United's sixth goal three minutes later.
Van Persie scored from close-range in the 74th minute, but Gunners defender Carl Jenkinson was sent off for two bookings moments later.
United had still not finished their onslaught.
Rooney completed his treble with an 82nd minute penalty before Young curled home his second in stoppage time.
Sunday's results mean the in-form Manchester teams stormed to the top of the table with their third wins out of three after Chelsea and Liverpool, now two points back, had hit the summit on Saturday.
The future looks bright for Manchester, but perhaps not so bright for Arsene Wenger.