Van Persie fires Arsenal second
© AFP

Robin van Persie fired Arsenal into second place in the Premier League as his double inspired an emphatic 3-0 victory against Newcastle on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger's side made a spluttering start to the campaign but they followed Wednesday's demoliton of FC Twente with another impressive display at the Emirates Stadium to move level with leaders Chelsea.

Cesc Fabregas's return from injury has helped Arsenal get back in the groove, but it was van Persie who opened the scoring with an 18th minute penalty after Charles N'Zogbia handled Emmanuel Adebayor's cross.

Arsenal were in complete control and increased their lead in the 42nd minute with a typically flamboyant goal. Adebayor was the provider with a neat backheel to Van Persie, who lashed home from close-range.

Denilson underlined Arsenal's superiority when the young Brazilian midfielder flicked home from close range on the hour for his first Premier League goal.

Rovers hammered
Paul Ince suffered a miserable return to West Ham as the Blackburn manager ran a gauntlet of hate during his side's 4-1 thrashing at Upton Park.

Ince has never been forgiven by West Ham fans for being pictured in a Manchester United shirt before he completed a move to Old Trafford in 1989 and they gave him another hostile reception on his latest visit to east London.

Ince must have known it wasn't going to be his day when Calum Davenport scored with a powerful header from a 12th minute corner.  Christopher Samba's own goal made it two before Jason Roberts gave Blackburn a lifeline in the 22nd minute with a fine turn and finish.

Carlton Cole handled Steven Reid's free-kick in the West Ham area early in the second half but Roberts's penalty was well saved by Robert Green. That was the turning point as Craig Bellamy's late goal killed off Rovers before Cole's 90th minute strike added to Ince's agony.

The victory eased the pressure on Hammers boss Alan Curbishley. "I've been around long enough to know that when the vultures are around it gets difficult," he said. "I've never had it before but you just have to deal with it. I'd rather it was directed at me than the players."

Pompey rout Everton
Portsmouth won for the first time this season as Jermain Defoe's double-strike clinched a 3-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park.

Peter Crouch's partnership with Defoe finally sparked into life in the 12th minute. Crouch flicked on a long punt and Defoe worked space to drive home a low strike for his first goal in nine games.

Johnson played a one-two with Defoe and surged into the penalty area before flicking a sublime finish past Tim Howard.

David James preserved Portsmouth's two-goal lead early in the second half when he saved Ayegbeni Yakubu's penalty. Defoe put the result beyond doubt in the 69th minute.

Manager Harry Redknapp was pleased. "Jermain was great. The goals were two excellent bits of skill from a top-class striker," he said. "We worked hard on our system all week and getting this result should give the players a lot of belief."

Boro's Turkish delight
Middlesbrough striker Tuncay Sanli finally killed off 10-man Stoke to snatch a late 2-1 victory at the Riverside Stadium.

Gareth Southgate's side went ahead in the 37th minute after Stoke defender Amdy Faye was sent off for a two-footed lunge on Mohamed Shawky. From the resulting free-kick, Brazilian forward Alves bent a fine strike into the top corner.

Stewart Downing missed a second half penalty and Stoke levelled when Justin Hoyte turned a Liam Lawrence cross into his own net. But Tuncay stole the points in the 85th minute.

Hull's dream start to life in the Premier League came to an end as the newly-promoted Tigers were thrashed 5-0 by Wigan.

Disaster for Hull
Phil Brown's side had taken four points from their first two matches but Wigan gave them a reality check and collected their first league win this season at the KC Stadium.

The Latics got off to the perfect start when Hull defender Sam Ricketts scooped Kevin Kilane's corner into his own net after five minutes.

Antonio Valencia doubled Wigan's lead in the 13th minute. Egypt striker Amr Zaki struck in the 63rd minute before Emile Heskey rounded Boaz Myhill for the fourth five minutes later. Zaki smashed in a superb effort to put the seal on a stunning performance.

Bolton manager Gary Megson was frustrated as Kevin Davies had a late goal disallowed in his side's 0-0 draw against his former club West Bromwich Albion at the Reebok Stadium.

On Sunday Chelsea face Tottenham, Liverpool travel to Aston Villa and Sunderland take on Manchester City.