Van Persie inspires Arsenal, Newcastle stay unbeaten

Newcastle had to come from behind twice, with Shola Ameobi netting their second in the 86th minute, to remain the only club apart from leaders Manchester City and champions Manchester United yet to lose in the league this season.

Robin van Persie

Spurs midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart’s 40th-minute penalty was cancelled out by Demba Ba’s strike shortly after the break before substitute Jermain Defoe tipped the game in the visitors’ favour midway through the second half.

Newcastle, however, showed that their good start to the season is no fluke when Ameobi fired an unstoppable shot in from a tight angle to rescue a point that kept his club fourth.

Tottenham’s north London rivals Arsenal had a better day against northeast English opponents as they went ahead against visiting Sunderland with less than 30 seconds on the clock.

Gervinho surged down the left and crossed for the inspirational Van Persie who shot into the bottom corner with the hosts then dominating with a confidence they have struggled to find during a miserable start to this season.

But they let Sunderland into the game when Mikel Arteta conceded a free kick that Seb Larsson struck beautifully over the wall to equalise against his former club on 31 minutes.

Arsenal had goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to thank when his point-blank save denied an unmarked Lee Cattermole shortly before halftime and they had to wait until eight minutes from time for Van Persie to snatch the victory.

The Dutchman more than matched the quality of Larsson’s free kick with one of his own that curled over the wall and into the goal to lift Arsenal up to 10th in the league with only their third victory in eight games.

“We had a good start for 25 minutes but as soon as Sunderland equalised the confidence started to wobble a bit,” Wenger told Sky Sports.

“The second half was all us … but we needed something special from Robin van Persie to make the difference … When you need something special in game that’s where you see great players and that’s what you saw today.

“What matters for us at the moment is the three points. (Confidence) comes back with points. The spirit is great in the team.”

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