AP - Wayne Rooney scored a hat trick as champion Manchester United humiliated Arsenal with an 8-2 win in the Premier League on Sunday, the London side’s heaviest loss under Arsene Wenger.
Having seen cross-city rival Manchester City thrash Tottenham 5-1 earlier in the day, United responded in style with Ashley Young, Danny Welbeck, Nani and Park Ji-sung joining Rooney on the scoresheet.
Rooney converted two free-kicks and a penalty, while Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie replied for a makeshift Arsenal side.
Van Persie had a penalty saved in the first half when Arsenal was trailing 1-0.
United sits top of the Premier League with a 100 percent record, ahead of City on goal difference, while Arsenal has only one point and has had a player sent off in each of its three games after Carl Jenkinson was dismissed for two yellow cards against United.
The pressure on Arsenal and manager Wenger had eased slightly after the midweek win over Udinese ensured the London club would be playing in the Champions League group stage this season, but the gulf in class against United served to illustrate that Arsenal’s problems persist.
Injuries and suspension meant the inexperienced Jenkinson and Francis Coquelin made the starting lineup at Old Trafford, the latter for his Premier League debut.
A rampant United became the first team to score eight goals against Arsenal in a topflight game. Arsenal had not conceded eight goals in any league game since 1896.
Welbeck, who later limped off injured, opened the scoring in the 22nd minute after shrugging off the attentions Johan Djourou and looping a header home.
Arsenal should have drawn level five minutes later when Jonny Evans pulled down Walcott for a penalty, but Van Persie’s low spot-kick was turned aside by goalkeeper David De Gea.
To add insult to injury, Young extended the home side’s lead within 60 seconds. The 18 million pound ($29.4 million) summer signing from Aston Villa curled in from 25 yards (meters) out.
Rooney made it 3-0 with a curling free kick from the left in the 41st, but Arsenal was at least given a glimmer of hope on the stroke of halftime when Walcott’s strike - which went through De Gea’s legs - rounded off an incident-packed half.
But the visitors conceded three goals in a seven-minute burst in the second half. Rooney converted another free kick, this time from the right, in the 64th, Nani chipped home three minutes later and Park fired in the sixth in the 70th.
Van Persie managed a consolation strike for the visitors in the 74th before Arsenal was reduced to 10 men when Jenkinson collided with substitute Javier Hernandez just outside the area to pick up his second booking.
Rooney missed with that free kick, but completed his hat trick from the penalty spot in the 82nd after Walcott tripped Evra.
Young completed the scoring in injury time to make it only the fourth Premier League match to have featured 10 goals or more.