Van Persie brace claims Gunners win
Robin van Persie rescued Arsenal from another disappointing result with a fantastic winner in a 2-1 victory over Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium.
The Holland striker, who used his pre-match programme notes to declare his full commitment to Arsenal, put the Gunners ahead after just 29 seconds but the home side went in 1-1 at half-time thanks to an excellent free-kick from former Gunner Sebastian Larsson.
The game appeared destined for a draw as Arsenal proceeded to squander several good second-half chances, but Van Persie saved the Londoners' blushes with a wonderful curling free-kick nine minutes from time.
The win gave Arsenal the perfect tonic after their north London derby defeat two weeks ago, but the creaky manner in which they snuck past struggling Sunderland will do little to silence the doubters.
Under-pressure Black Cats boss Steve Bruce, meanwhile, will rue his side's failure to convert a number of first-half opportunities and they now sit outside the drop zone only on goal difference.
Van Persie took one touch from Gervinho's pass before drilling low past Simon Mignolet from 18 yards to record the fastest top-flight goal of the season so far.
The Dutchman was then denied an early contender for goal of the season by the woodwork when he spun his marker on the edge of the box and clipped a delightful chip that sailed over Mignolet but bounced out off the post and Gervinho just missed out on the tap-in.
Sunderland shocked the home crowd with a stunning equaliser from Larsson, who whipped a delightful curling shot over the wall to make it 1-1 after Mikel Arteta's handball.
Wes Brown's clumsy challenge on Van Persie gave Arsenal another free-kick on the edge of the box with nine minutes left and the Holland international curled a brilliant set-piece into the top corner.