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Robin Van Persie quashed links to Manchester City with a committed performance for Arsenal, scoring both goals in their 2-1 win over Sunderland on Sunday.
Two quality finishes from the Dutchman earned the Gunners a much-needed win, while Sunderland continues to toil near-about the relegation zone.
Arsenal surged into the lead with the fastest goal of this Premier League season after Gervinho picked Van Persie in the box after working the ball down the left flank within 26 seconds from the start.
Former gunner Sebastian Larsson scored the equalizer for Sunderland, with a direct free kick.
The match remained in dead-lock till late in the game when Van Persie fired home a free-kick, eight minutes from time, to lift Arsenal to the half-way point in the table, at 10.