United beats Liverpool as City is held by Arsenal

Associated Press Modified: September 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm •  Published: September 23, 2012

LONDON (AP) — Robin van Persie ended Manchester United's five-year wait for a win at Liverpool on Sunday, and Arsenal maintained its unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a draw at Manchester City.

Van Persie converted a late penalty kick to clinch a 2-1 victory at Anfield after both teams had paid tribute to the victims of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster before the game.

United was a man up from the 39th minute when Jonjo Shelvey was sent off, but Steven Gerrard managed to give Liverpool the lead with a volley at the start of the second half — only for Rafael da Silva to equalize.

And Van Persie's winner prolonged Liverpool's worst start to a season in more than a century, while lifting United to second.

City is three points further back after Joleon Lescott headed the champions ahead in the first half, but then failed to clear a late corner, allowing Laurent Koscielny to recover a 1-1 draw for Arsenal.

Also Sunday, Jermain Defoe's winner gave Tottenham a 2-1 win against Queens Park Rangers and Demba Ba gave Newcastle a 1-0 victory over Norwich.

The day's action began with an emotionally charged meeting of English football's fiercest rivals as Liverpool played at Anfield for the first time since the release of a report into the Hillsborough tragedy that exposed the police cover-up and exonerated Reds fans.

In a show of unity before kickoff, Liverpool and United players wore tracksuit tops featuring the number 96 — the amount of Reds fans crushed to death 23 years ago.

Luis Suarez even shook hands with Patrick Evra, with no repeat of the snub that followed the Liverpool striker being banned for racially abusing the United defender in the Anfield fixture last October.

But by the end of the game there had been chants from a small number of Liverpool fans about the 1958 Munich disaster which killed eight United players. And, despite pre-match appeals from manager Alex Ferguson, there were taunts from United fans directed at the home support.

The usual hostilities had started to rage after Shelvey was sent off for launching himself at Jonny Evans, who Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers felt should also have been dismissed.

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