United post scrappy victory

Former United defender Wes Brown, on his first return to Old Trafford since leaving in the summer, put the ball into his own net just before halftime and the three points lifted United back into second place in the Premier League.

The game was never a classic but United did enough to win on the day that chief executive David Gill announced the north stand at Old Trafford had been renamed the “Sir Alex Ferguson Stand” and that a statue of the 69-year-old Scot was being commissioned to mark his achievements for the club since he took over on November 6, 1986.

City lead the table with 28 points from 10 matches, followed by United on 26 from 11, Newcastle on 25 from 11 and Chelsea, who won 1-0 at Blackburn Rovers with a Frank Lampard header, in fourth place on 22 points.

United slipped down to third for a few hours after Newcastle United stretched their unbeaten league run from the start of the season to 11 matches with a 2-1 home win over Everton in a lunchtime kick-off.

An own goal by John Heitinga and a superbly struck dipping shot from Ryan Taylor put Newcastle in control before Jack Rodwell pulled one back with a header just before halftime.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew praised his side's resilience, especially as they lost Yohan Cabaye and Sylvain Marveaux to injuries inside the first hour.

Arsenal continued their revival by beating West Bromwich Albion 3-0 for their fifth straight league win at the Emirates with Robin Van Persie among the scorers, taking his tally to eight goals in his last four league games and 29 in his last 28.

Defender Thomas Vermaelen scored his first goal for two years and Mikel Arteta added the other as Arsenal won for the sixth time in seven matches in all competitions.

Aston Villa beat Norwich City 3-2 in a superb match at Villa Park with Darren Bent scoring twice and Gabriel Agbonlahor once to underline their claims for inclusion in the England squad being announced by Fabio Capello on Sunday for international friendlies against World Champions Spain and Sweden this month.

Liverpool had a late Dirk Kuyt goal disallowed for offside and were held to a 0-0 draw by Swansea City at Anfield.

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