EPL: Van Persie hat-trick helps United to thrilling 3-2 win

Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal (FT)
Southampton 2-3 Man United (FT)
Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa (FT)

FULL-TIME: Incredible stuff at St. Mary's. Of course everyone will be talking about Van Persie but spare a thought for Southampton. They have probably played the best football they will this season and still come away with absolutely nothing to show for. But that's what you get when you play Manchester United... and they're not letting go of the 'Comeback Kings' tag. Not after this.

GOAL!! 92 minutes: OH MY WORD!! Nani takes a corner and Robin van Persie thumps in a brilliant header to lead a United fight-back which surely goes down in history as one of 'those games'. Stunning! Just stunning!

GOAL!! 87 minutes: What a match this is turning out to be! Ferdinand comes up for a corner which doesn't get to him. He stays up and Rafael's cross is straight to him... the header clatters the post before rebounding to Van Persie who slams it in.

85 minutes: Rafael plays in an early cross and Chicarito gets on the end of it... it's wide. Looks like it's just not United's day.

81 minutes: United are getting the lion's share of possession but the sheer number of bodies in the way of goal is too much to penetrate. Nani takes a corner but it's cleared away. Southampton, who look the taller and stronger team are defending with all they have. Van Persie takes a right footed shot but it's been blocked. Alex Ferguson is on the touchline.

75 minutes: Javier Hernandez has come on for Welbeck. For Southampton, Emmanuel Mayuka from Zambia is on for his debut. Star man Puncheon is off.

PENALTY MISS!! 70 minutes: Absolutely shocking, this. Nani plays in RVP in space but he's tackled from behind sloppily. Referee points to the spot and the Dutchman steps up. But he's tried to be a wee bit too clever, going for a chip which was executed half-heartedly and Davis slaps it away and out of danger. Crazy stuff.

66 minutes: United are on the back foot. Southampton attack with Lambert in space but his cross is slid into by Vidic.

61 minutes: Paul Scholes and Nani are on for Tom Cleverley and Shinji Kagawa. Scholes immediately threads a pass to RVP but the shot is saved by Davis with his legs. Southampton meanwhile are on an all-out attack. United living dangerously.

GOAL!! 56 minutes: A clear miss from RVP on one end is worked into a goal on the other. United's striker missed an easy side-footed shot but Southampton attack on the other end, cross from the left and Schneiderlin capitalises on an Evra slip to slam in a header. Southamton 2-1 United.

 EPL: Van Persie hat-trick helps United to thrilling 3-2 win

Van Persie scored a goal but missed a penalty for United. AFP

53 minutes: Southampton have slowed down things a bit. They win a long freekick but United see it off. Cleverley and Carrick have steadied the ship for United in the middle, but they need to find that goal quickly rather than leave it late against a confident Saints side.

48 minutes: Back up and running then. Nice little link-up between Kagawa and Valencia. The right-winger softly cushioning it for United's new acquisition but his shot fizzes wide.

HALF-TIME: RVP has been the focal point of United's attacks. They have a target man to aim for and are making full use of it. Carrick tried to find him again, and the striker, playing off the shoulder of the last man fails to control it in the box. Good 45 minutes of football at St. Mary's and there's certainly more goalmouth action in store.

39 minutes: United finally get a string of passes going. Kagawa releases Valencia on the right and he aims for the far post again, where Evra came in to head towards goal. Davis has beaten it away though.

33 minutes: Southampton are not making it easy for United. Lambert and Lallana are absolutely massive for the Saints. Vidic and Ferdinand have had to deal with some impressive football from the home team.

28 minutes: He's at it again! RVP takes a freekick just outside the box and instead of going full blast, just dinks it towards goal. It brushes past the post but if that was in... it would just be exquisite.

Meanwhile, Ciaran Clarke has scored for Aston Villa.

GOAL!! 22 minutes: Guess... guess... guess who scored? It's that man again... Robin van Persie collects a lovely chipped cross from Valencia on the right, waits for it to bounce and smashes a left-footer beyond the keeper. Two in two now for the new signing.

GOAL!! 17 minutes: For the second game in a row, Manchester United fall behind early on. Ricky Lambert easily beats Rafael to a header on the far post and it's a typical goal for the towering striker. Southampton 1-0 Man United!

12 minutes: Nothing much of note at the moment. United looking very composed in midfield with Carrick back in there, but the left-wing, taken by Danny Welbeck hasn't seen any action. Valencia on the right has also been devoid of supply.

7 minutes: Arsenal fans will relate to that very easily. Ball from midfield to RVP's well-timed run. Carrick does it and the Dutchman, in United colours takes it down on his chest before shooting-- but it's wide.

3 minutes: A corner and a freekick already for United. Nothing off them. Carrick resumes his place in midfield as Ferdinand and Vidic are paired at centre-back.



Southampton: Kelvin Davis, Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox, Puncheon, Steven Davis, Schneiderlin, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Lambert. Subs: Gazzaniga, Rodriguez, Lee, Do Prado, Richardson, Mayuka, Seaborne.

Man Utd: Lindegaard, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Cleverley, Carrick, Welbeck, van Persie, Kagawa.
Subs: De Gea, Evans, Giggs, Hernandez, Nani, Scholes, Powell.


FULL-TIME: Arsenal are off the blocks in EPL 2012-13. Liverpool are still in a bit of a stutter but there have been positive signs. Everybody is certainly talking about whether Brendan Rodgers did well to let Andy Carroll go without getting another striker in.

90 minutes: Another stinging shot from Shelvey but it's been beaten away. Meanwhile, Vermaelen's come off for Koscielny. 4 minutes added.

87 minutes: They're trying. Liverpool are desperately trying to get back into the match but it's just not happening. Shelvey takes a shot after some fine footwork and it's beaten away by Mannone. Then Gerrard plays in Suarez with a great pass and the Uruguayan goes for a chip rather than a low shot. It harmlessly loops over the bar.

81 minutes: Goalscorer Podolski comes off for Andre Santos. Well deserved 10-minute rest for the German international, who has fallen back to defend whenever needed. Downing gets a chance on the other end and could have curled in the perfect left-foot shot, but its high.


75 minutes: There's going to be an argument whether Arsenal deserve to win this. But they have converted their chances and that is what wins games. Gerrard's flown into Vermaelen on the outside line. The Arsenal skipper was down for a while but brushes off the impact.

GOAL!! 68 minutes: Completely against the run of play but Arsenal have looked excellent while going forward. Podolski has returned the favour to Santi Cazorla. The hard-working midfielder plays a short one-two with Podolski before rifling in a low shot which goes in and off Pepe Reina into the net. 2-0 to Arsenal!

64 minutes: Downing's introduction could be the key to Liverpool equalising. He first beats two men with sheer pace before his shot is blocked for a corner. He's then at the receiving end of a fine Sterling cross but just can't head it in. The injection of pace is certainly working for Liverpool.

58 minutes: That's the difference already. Downing calmly back-heels to Suarez who is on the right-hand side edge of the box and it allows the striker to shoot from an angle. It's been tipped away but at least that's some encouragement.

54 minutes: Fabio Borini, who has had a really bad game comes off for Stewart Downing.

52 minutes: Ball breaks for Gerrard on the right-wing and he promptly pumps it in the box. Suarez, who was surely going to get at the end of that one is slightly tugged at by Mertesacker but the referee is having none of it. Looks like Arsenal rode their luck there.

48 minutes: Skrtel starts the half with a rash challenge on Diaby from behind. Webb brandishes the yellow card in no time.

HALF-TIME: A breakneck 45 minutes come to an end with Sterling almost teeing up Gerrard after a bit of trickery outside the 'D'. It didn't quite work out and then Borini challenged Podolski clumsily before Howard Webb blew the whistle.

Podolski scores his first league goal for Arsenal. Reuters

41 minutes: End-to-end stuff! Arsenal counter with Diaby driving the team forward. He foxes the Liverpool defence with a reverse pass to Giroud but the new striker can't divert his left footed shot in the net. Great move.

36 minutes: Liverpool get two quick corners but nothing comes off it. In their next attack Gerrard finds Borini on the right byline. The Italian keeps it in brilliantly before it falls to 17-year-old Sterling. He twists in the box and shoots with his left foot but it hits the post!

GOAL!! 31 minutes: Tell you what... this is rare. Gerrard gives the ball away in the attacking third and it's spread to Cazorla who carries it forward before finding Lukas Podolski on the run and he deftly finishes with his left foot. Gerrard looks distraught. Liverpool 0-1 Arsenal.

25 minutes: Twice it's happened now. Once from the left and once from the right... Arsenal have over-hit easy crossing chances. Oxlade-Chamberlain and Podolski the culprits.

20 minutes: It has calmed down just a wee bit but the intent from both teams is absolutely fantastic. Abou Diaby has been standout for Arsenal in the middle of the park. Everything is coming from his feet. Captain Vermaelen sprung forward on one occasion but his ambitious shot could be best described as... ambitious.

Sports Editor Ashish Magotra has been typing live commentary all day on the India vs New Zealand Test match. Now it's time for him to watch Liverpool, make predictions and tweet them out. Here you go:

15 minutes: Good attacking football from both sides. First it breaks for Cazorla amid a crowd and his shot is straight to Pepe Reina. Then Agger gets a free header from a Gerrard corner and he can't connect properly. That should have been on target. You cannot miss those at this level.

11 minutes: What a fine move from Liverpool. Sterling skips away between a couple of defenders and passes to Suarez who lays it up for Borini. The shot was there to be taken but the angle was tight and it went high and wide. Liverpool knocking on the door.

8 minutes: Suarez beats his marker and Mertesacker tugs at him slightly. The Uruguayan goes down too easily but luckily for Arsenal, nothing comes off the freekick.

5 minutes: Some quality passing in the first five minutes from both teams. Short, sharp and quick. But the interceptions have also been well read. Borini's got a couple of yards and has Steven Gerrard on his right, but he chooses to shoot and misses. Bad choice.


5.55 PM: We are five minutes from kick-off. If you're a Liverpool fan, then it's just the right time to go to the loo else you miss Sahin's first touch as a red. If you're an Arsenal fan, then... well, you don't want to miss your team's first goal of the 2012-13 season.

Liverpool's new signing Nuri Sahin will start for the Reds. AP

5.45 PM: So it's the young preferred over the more experience in today's match. Stewart Downing's been left out for Sterling and Oxlade-Chamberlain has been preferred to Theo Walcott.

5.35 PM: Raheem Sterling, who is just 17 years old is set to start again for Liverpool. If he continues the way he played against champions Man City last week, then we're in for another treat of this raw talent.


Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Gerrard, Allen, Sahin, Borini, Suarez, Sterling.
Subs: Jones, Henderson, Coates, Downing, Carragher, Shelvey, Kelly.

Arsenal: Mannone, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Diaby, Arteta, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud.Subs: Martinez, Koscielny, Andre Santos, Walcott, Ramsey, Coquelin, Gervinho.


Liverpool have been successful in beating Arsenal only once in the last 10 meetings between the clubs.

If Liverpool score today, it will be their 250th goal against the Gunners.

This match may go right down to the wire. The last seven encounters have seen seven goals being scored after the 90th minute.


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Updated Date: Sep 02, 2012 23:18:41 IST