Updated: Hernandez sparks United recovery

Arsenal's Lukas Podolski (above) battles for the ball with Fulham's Sascha Riether during the Barclays Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Photo: Sean Dempsey, PA Wire

Arsenal's Lukas Podolski (above) battles for the ball with Fulham's Sascha Riether during the Barclays Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Photo: Sean Dempsey, PA Wire

Manchester United staged a dramatic comeback at Aston Villa to win 3-2 and move four points clear at the Barclays Premier League summit.

United looked in serious danger of slumping to their third defeat of the season when Andreas Weimann's second goal of the evening handed Villa a 2-0 lead after 50 minutes.

But Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to introduce Javier Hernandez for former Villa winger Ashley Young at half-time proved to be inspired.

The Mexico international pulled one back with a neat finish and then another shot from Hernandez was deflected in by Villa defender Ron Vlaar for an own goal.

And it was Hernandez who grabbed the 87th-minute winner when he headed in Robin van Persie's inswinging free-kick.

United extended their lead at the summit over Chelsea, who host Liverpool tomorrow, with defending champions Manchester City a further point adrift. Roberto Mancini's men take on Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow lunchtime.

Arsenal squandered a 2-0 lead for the second time in five days and missed an injury-time penalty as Fulham claimed a 3-3 draw at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon.

The Gunners, who were held by Schalke in Gelsenkirchen in the Champions League on Tuesday night after opening up a two-goal cushion, went ahead today through Olivier Giroud's header from a Theo Walcott corner and doubled their advantage when Lukas Podolski swept home Mikel Arteta's centre.

But Fulham pulled one back after 29 minutes as an unmarked Dimitar Berbatov nodded in Bryan Ruiz's corner from inside the six-yard box and they equalised when Berbatov's cross from the right was headed in by substitute Alex Kacaniklic.

The Cottagers took the lead for the first time when Arteta dragged down Ruiz in the area and Berbatov stroked home a 67th-minute spot-kick.

But the visitors' joy was shortlived as Giroud, having placed his first effort against the post, reacted well to head in Walcott's subsequent cross.

Arsenal could have won it in the fourth minute of stoppage time when referee Phil Dowd harshly adjudged Sascha Riether had handled Andrey Arshavin's cross, but Mark Schwarzer superbly kept out Arteta's low spot-kick.

Everton stay in fourth spot after coming from behind to beat struggling Sunderland 2-1 at Goodison Park.

The visitors threatened early through Stephane Sessegnon and Steven Fletcher and made the breakthrough when summer signing Adam Johnson netted shortly before the break.

But, following plenty of Everton pressure, Marouane Fellaini drove past Simon Mignolet after 76 minutes and, two minutes later, the Belgian cleverly flicked on for Nikica Jelavic to fire home.

West Brom won 2-1 at Wigan thanks to a James Morrison header and a Gary Caldwell own goal.

Scotland midfielder Morrison has been an impressive performer in the Baggies' strong start and he was on hand to head home Chris Brunt's wicked left-footed cross after 31 minutes.

And when Caldwell put through his own goal it looked good for Steve Clarke's men.

Arouna Kone pulled one back on the stroke of half-time but Wigan could not find a leveller.

Another individual defensive mistake prevented Southampton from beating Swansea.

The hosts went ahead through Morgan Schneiderlin's 64th-minute header but were pegged back nine minutes later as Maya Yoshida was dispossessed by Nathan Dyer and the winger ran through to score.

Stoke moved up to 12th after a hard-fought 1-0 win at home to winless QPR.

Charlie Adam got the only goal - his first for the club - at the start of the second half, firing in left-footed after the visitors had failed to clear Robert Huth's long free-kick into the box.

The defeat, QPR's seventh of the season, means Mark Hughes' men stay bottom.

Reading, who had scored eight times in their previous two home games without winning either, could not find a way past Norwich as their search for a first Barclays Premier League victory of the season went on. The teams played out a goalless stalemate.


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