|Van Persie scored a hat-trick as Chelsea conceded five goals for the first time at home in the league since 1989 [EPA]|
Arsenal’s run of good form continued on Saturday with an impressive 5-3 victory over London rivals Chelsea in the English Premier League.
In a thrilling end-to-end affair, Arsenal rediscovered their confidence against the big sides as they condemned Chelsea to back-to-back defeats.
Wenger, whose team have been dismissed as title challengers following their poor start, said: “We needed to win with style and class and we did that against a big team and it was a big win for us.”
Skipper Robin van Persie once again proved priceless, scoring two crucial goals with the score level at 3-3 to secure his second hat-trick of the season.
“We needed to win with style and class and we did that against a big team and it was a big win for us”
The astonishing victory was Arsene Wenger’s 500th since he became Arsenal manager in 1996 and was Arsenal’s first away win in the league this season.
It also consigned Chelsea to a second successive defeat in a London derby after they lost at Queens Park Rangers last weekend and was the first time Chelsea had conceded five at home in a league match since Liverpool beat them 5-2 in December 1989.
Chelsea lead through Frank Lampard after 14 minutes before Van Persie scored his first in the 36th minute before Chelsea skipper John Terry took advantage of some woeful Arsenal defending to put his side 2-1 up in the last minute of the first half.
Andre Santos struck Arsenal’s second equaliser early in the second half before Theo Walcott scored a brilliant solo goal to put Arsenal 3-2 ahead after 55 minutes.
Juan Mata equalised for Chelsea with a brilliant swerving shot to make it 3-3 after 80 minutes but then Dutch striker Van Persie took advantage of Chelsea’s disorganised defence to make it 4-3 five minutes later and wrapped up the points with an outstanding shot from a tricky angle in stoppage time.
Arsenal players looked more like cup winners at full-time as they jubilantly celebrated a win that will silence many of their critics.
Van Persie told Sky Sports: “You could see how happy we were at the end. We fought so hard for it, every single one of us – it’s a big, big win for us.”
Back on track
Earlier on Saturday, Manchester United held off Everton’s strong challenge to win 1-0 and move on from their derby-day humiliation against Manchester City.
Javier Hernandez’s close-range finish in the 19th minute was enough to earn the Premier League champions their first victory at Goodison Park since 2007.
|Hernandez ensured United got back to winning ways at Goodison Park with first win since 2007 [GETTY]|
Alex Ferguson’s side kept up the pressure on Manchester City at the top of the league and also went some way to erasing the memory of the 6-1 humiliation a week ago.
If Ferguson was looking for a response from his players, in the wake of the heaviest loss of his long rule at Old Trafford, then he got that.
The Manchester United manager’s decision to make wholesale changes paid off, with the recalled Hernandez scoring the early winner.
The Mexican finished off a well-worked four-man move to tap in Patrice Evra’s cross at the far post for his fourth goal of the season.
United appeared headed for a comfortable victory but, despite controlling large periods, their inability to finish off Everton kept the game competitive.