| Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey celebrates after his second goal, on Saturday. (Getty Images) |
London: Wayne Rooney provided Alex Ferguson with a reminder of his talent as he scored a magnificent free-kick in front of his old boss to seal Manchester United’s 2-0 victory over 10-man Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
Everton forward Steven Naismith celebrated his 27th birthday by scoring in a 1-0 victory over Chelsea.
Chelsea had by far the better chances in the opening 45 minutes, but Naismith nodded home from point blank range in first-half stoppage time handing the visitors their first defeat of the season under returning coach Jose Mourinho.
Mesut Ozil gave Arsenal fans a glimpse of his creative talents in a comfortable 3-1 Premier League win at Sunderland, but Manchester City’s glittering frontline misfired in a goalless stalemate at Stoke City.
Arsenal threw £42 million signing Ozil into the fray for his debut in the north-east and he set up the opener for Olivier Giroud before Aaron Ramsey continued his excellent form by scoring twice in the second half.
It was a contrasting experience for City who handed a debut to close-season signing Stevan Jovetic and paired him in attack with another big-money striker Alvaro Negredo, but they could not find a way past a battling Stoke.
In another match, Tottenham Hotspur’s Gylfi Sigurdsson scored both the goals in his team’s victory over Norwich City and Newcastle United’s Hatem Ben Arfa scored one and created another in a 2-1 win at Aston Villa.
Ferguson was present in the directors’ box for the first time since his retirement in May after recovering from a hip operation.
And the Scot was watching on as Rooney stamped his mark on a comfortable win for United, netting his first goal since March, 10 minutes from time after Robin van Persie had put the hosts ahead with a controversial penalty just before the interval that led to Kagisho Dikgacoi’s dismissal.
It represented David Moyes’ first victory at the stadium he now calls home and, after two games without a win, allows him to approach a significant week in confident mood as United face Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Monday before next Sunday’s Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium.
It is not that long ago since Ferguson was defending Ashley Young against allegations of diving.
Now Moyes has to address the issue after the England winger was booked for going down twice under pressure from Dikgacoi.
On the first occasion, Young clearly sought contact and merited the yellow card dished out by referee Jon Moss.
The second instance was far less clear-cut. Some felt Young initiated the brush against the Palace midfielder that ended with him sprawling inside the box.
Had Moss felt the same way, Young would have been off. Instead it was Dikgacoi making the sad walk to the dressing room as the referee decided the South African was responsible.
Van Persie kept his nerve and sent Speroni the wrong way.
The goal did not quite release United’s shackles but they did start to exert pressure with more conviction.
Van Persie brought a save out of Speroni from an acute angle before Januzaj was brought down on the edge of the box and Rooney stepped up to curl the free-kick into the bottom corner.
Ozil arrived at Arsenal on transfer deadline day from Real Madrid with a reputation for unpicking defences and represented a bold move for manager Arsene Wenger.
He made his mark after just 11 minutes, killing a long ball forward with a wonderful touch before squaring for Giroud who netted with a composed finish for his fourth of the season.
Arsenal were pegged back when Craig Gardner scored from the penalty spot three minutes into the second half and the hosts had the ball in the net again from Jozy Altidore but it was ruled out for an earlier foul. (Reuters)