Gunners fire United; Everton hold Reds

London, October 4

Alexis Sanchez scored twice as Arsenal reeled off a stunning 3-0 defeat of Manchester United on Sunday that sent Arsene Wenger’s side up to second in the Premier League.

Sanchez scored with a sixth-minute back-heel and Mesut Ozil slotted home from Theo Walcott’s cut-back a minute later before Sanchez’s 18-yard thunderbolt completed the scoring in the 19th minute at a giddy Emirates Stadium.

Sanchez has now scored six goals in three games and the Chilean’s latest endeavours helped Arsenal recover from the shock of their 3-2 home defeat by Olympiakos in the Champions League last Tuesday. Victory took Arsenal into second, above United on goal difference and two points below leaders Manchester City, who crushed bottom club Newcastle United 6-1 on Saturday in a game that saw Sergio Aguero score five goals.

United would have gone top with victory, but instead they were left to nurse their wounds following the joint-heaviest league defeat of Louis van Gaal’s tenure as manager.

Earlier, Everton and Liverpool shared the spoils after an occasionally ill-tempered 225th Merseyside derby finished 1-1 at Goodison Park -- the sixth draw in seven meetings between the teams. Danny Ings put Liverpool ahead in the 41st minute when he was left unmarked inside the Everton six-yard box and nodded home James Milner’s corner.


But untidy defending by Liverpool allowed Everton to level in first-half stoppage time, with Romelu Lukaku slamming home after Emre Can’s attempted clearance had cannoned against his teammate Martin Skrtel. “It is a very good point,” said Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, whose side have won just one of their last nine games inside 90 minutes.

The result preserved Everton’s one-point advantage over their city rivals, leaving Roberto Martinez’s side seventh and Liverpool 10th.

Meanwhile, Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen scored with a pair of fine 25-yard free-kicks as Tottenham Hotspur twice hit back to secure a 2-2 draw at Swansea City. Swansea were twice in front, courtesy of a 16th-minute Andre Ayew header and a 31st-minute own goal by Harry Kane, but Eriksen replied on each occasion to extend Spurs’ unbeaten run to seven league games.

In the day’s other news, experienced Dutch coach Dick Advocaat stepped down as Sunderland manager after a return of three points from eight games left the northeast club second from bottom.

On Saturday, Chelsea’s disastrous season continued with a 3-1 home defeat by Southampton that left Jose Mourinho’s champions 10 points off the pace in 16th place. Having taken an early lead through Willian, Mourinho’s side collapsed alarmingly, with Steven Davis levelling for Ronald Koeman’s team before second-half goals from Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle wrapped up the win.