LONDON (AFP) –
Gareth Bale scored one goal and set up another as Tottenham beat Manchester United for the first time in 23 Premier League matches with a thrilling 3-2 win on Saturday.
Spurs’s first victory at Old Trafford since December 1989 saw them twice go two goals in front, with the teams sharing three goals in as many minutes during a frantic spell before the hour mark.
United’s first league defeat in 2012 meant Alex Ferguson’s side ended the weekend in third place — four points behind leaders Chelsea — while Tottenham climbed to fifth.
Just 90 seconds had been played when Spurs’ defender Jan Vertonghen burst into the box and fired the visitors in front with a low shot that deflected off Jonny Evans.
In the 32nd minute they were 2-0 up when Bale, from just inside the United half, outpaced Rio Ferdinand before his shot beat Anders Lindegaard.
United pulled a goal back in the 51st minute when substitute Wayne Rooney provided a cross for Nani to steer past Brad Friedel.
But two minutes later Jermain Defoe left the struggling Ferdinand behind him and found Bale.
The Welshman’s shot was palmed away by Lindegaard but only to Clint Dempsey, with the United States striker shooting into the empty net.
However, United cut the lead to 3-2 moments later when, after a superb pass from Robin van Persie, Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa slotted home.
Rooney hit the post and Michael Carrick’s header came off the crossbar as United pressed for an equaliser but Spurs held on for a famous victory.
Chelsea remained top as Juan Mata starred in a 2-1 win away to London rivals Arsenal.
They are three points ahead of Everton whose promising early season form continued with a 3-1 win over Southampton.
Unsurprisingly, Chelsea captain John Terry endured taunts from Arsenal fans after this week’s Football Association verdict that he was guilty of racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand in a Premier League match last October.
But Terry had the last laugh as visitors Chelsea, unbeaten in the league this season, handed the Gunners their first league defeat of the campaign.
Chelsea took the lead in the 20th minute at the Emirates Stadium when Spain striker Fernando Torres volleyed in Mata’s free-kick.
Arsenal equalised in the 42nd minute when Ivory Coast forward Gervinho turned in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross.
But Mata put the European champions back in front as the Spanish midfielder’s 53rd-minute curling free-kick glanced in off Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny.
“It was a big challenge to play against a quality side like Arsenal,” Chelsea manager di Matteo told the BBC.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger slammed a sloppy defensive display that raised doubts over the Gunners’ title credentials.
“I am deeply disappointed,” the Frenchman said. “We gave two cheap goals away. It is unacceptable to give goals like that away in the big games.”
Brendan Rodgers enjoyed his first Premier League win as Liverpool manager, with Luis Suarez scoring his second hat-trick in as many seasons at Carrow Road during a 5-2 win at Norwich that took the Reds out of the bottom three.
“The team was outstanding,” said Rodgers. “I’m not surprised because in a lot of our games we have played very well and created a host of chances.”
Nikica Jelavic scored twice for Everton after Southampton went 1-0 up through record signing Gaston Ramirez’s first goal for the club.
“If I had paid to watch that then I would have been pleased,” said Everton manager David Moyes.
Reigning champions Manchester City came from behind to win 2-1 at Fulham, with substitute Edin Dzeko scoring the winner three minutes from time.
Mladen Petric gave Fulham a 10th-minute lead from the penalty spot before Sergio Aguero drew City level in the 43rd minute.
“I was worried because we continued to play well and continued to create chances, but didn’t score (the second goal) for 87 minutes,” Mancini admitted.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew’s first match in charge since being given a new eight-year contract ended in a 2-2 draw at his former club Reading.
Demba Ba was the Magpies’ saviour, cancelling out goals from Jimmy Kebe and then Noel Hunt, although replays suggested the ball came off his hand as he claimed his second equaliser in the 83rd minute.
Elsewhere, Stoke and Sunderland both recorded their first wins of the season, the Potters defeating Swansea 2-0 and the Black Cats seeing off Wigan 1-0.Published 30 Sep 2012, 00:40 IST