Van Persie Gets First Goal as Manchester United Beats Fulham

Robin van Persie scored his first Manchester United goal in a 3-2 victory over Fulham yesterday, as Chelsea made it three straight wins to start the season in English soccer’s Premier League.

Shinji Kagawa and Rafael da Silva also scored at Old Trafford as United rebounded from last week’s season-opening loss at Everton. Chelsea beat Newcastle 2-0, Swansea beat West Ham 3-0 and Everton defeated Aston Villa 3-1.

Wigan won 2-0 at Southampton, West Brom snatched a last- second 1-1 tie at Tottenham, Norwich and QPR drew 1-1 and the Sunderland-Reading game was postponed due to a wet field.

Van Persie, who led the league with 30 goals last season, was given the start in his home debut after signing from Arsenal with Wayne Rooney relegated to the bench.

While Fulham took the lead in the third minute on a goal from Damien Duff, van Persie tied the score seven minutes later by putting Patrice Evra’s cross past Mark Schwarzer.

Kagawa gave United the lead in the 35th minute and da Silva scored with a header before halftime. Fulham drew within 3-2 on Nemanja Vidic’s own goal in the 64th minute.

Rooney replaced Kagawa four minutes later and left the field on a stretcher in injury time with a deep gash on his leg after colliding with Hugo Rodallega. He was taken to hospital and may be out for as long as four weeks, manager Alex Ferguson said on the club’s website.

Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres scored as Chelsea beat Newcastle at home to top the standings with the maximum nine points from three games.

Penalty Kick

Hazard gave the Blues a 1-0 lead with a penalty kick in the 22nd minute after Torres was taken down in the area. The two combined for the second goal just before halftime, with Torres scoring off a pass from Hazard.

Miguel Michu, Angel Rangel and Danny Graham scored as Swansea beat West Ham in its home opener. The Swans have won their first two games for new manager Michael Laudrup by a combined score of 8-0.

Steven Pienaar, Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelvaic scored as Everton ended a seven-match winless run at Villa Park. Villa’s Ciaran Clark was red-carded early in the second half, with Karim El Ahmadi scoring a consolation goal for the hosts in the 74th minute.

Second-half goals from Franco Di Santo and Arouna Kone gave Wigan the away win at newly promoted Southampton. James Morrison scored in the final minute to give West Brom the draw with Tottenham, which got a goal from Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

Norwich and QPR tied in a meeting of teams that both lost their openers 5-0. Damian Jackson scored for Norwich and Bobby Zamora answered for QPR by putting in the rebound after John Ruddy stopped Djibril Cisse’s penalty kick.

Sunderland’s home opener against Reading was called off after heavy rain left the field at the Stadium of Light unplayable. No make-up date was announced.

Arsenal visits Stoke and Liverpool hosts defending champion Manchester City in today’s games.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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