VIDEO: Van Persie scores after 31 seconds as Man United win

Reuters, Thursday 29 Nov 2012

Robin van Persie scored the fastest goal of the Premier League season - timed at 31 seconds - to keep leaders Manchester United a point clear at the summit after a 1-0 win over West Ham United on Wednesday

Van Persie
Manchester United's Robin van Persie, centre, scores via a deflection by West Ham's James Collins, bottom, during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium (Photo: AP)

Second-half goals from the recalled Mario Balotelli, his first league goal of the season, and James Milner gave second-placed Manchester City a 2-0 victory at Wigan Athletic.

Boos rang out again at Stamford Bridge where new Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez, brought in last week to replace the axed Roberto Di Matteo, was left waiting for his first goal and win after a second successive 0-0 draw - Fulham securing a point in the west London derby.

The jeers and abuse that greeted Benitez in his first game in charge on Sunday were notably less vocal but the Spaniard did little to win over the doubters.

Chelsea still leapfrogged West Bromwich Albion into third place on goal difference - seven points behind United - after Albion's impressive start to the campaign was checked by a 3-1 defeat at Swansea City.

Tottenham Hotspur moved up to fifth by beating Liverpool 2-1 at White Hart Lane, rising above Everton and Arsenal who drew 1-1 at Goodison Park.

Stoke City came from a goal down to defeat Newcastle United 2-1 while Southampton remain in the bottom three after a 1-1 draw at home to Norwich City.

Referee Mark Clattenburg made an uneventful return to the middle at St Mary's after he was cleared by the Metropolitan Police and the English FA of allegedly using "inappropriate language" towards Chelsea's John Obi Mikel in a game against Manchester United.

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Man Utd 1-0 West Ham

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