LONDON (AP) — Robin van Persie made up for an embarrassing failure from the penalty spot by completing a hat trick with two late goals in Manchester United's dramatic 3-2 win at Southampton on Sunday, earning the English giants a second straight win in the Premier League.
In a fitting way to mark United manager Alex Ferguson's 1,000th league game in charge, Van Persie equalized in the 87th minute before heading home a corner in the second minute of injury time for his fourth goal since joining from Arsenal for $38 million in the offseason.
Arsenal showed earlier there is life after Van Persie when new signings Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla scored their first goals for the club in a 2-0 win over struggling Liverpool.
The loss leaves Liverpool rooted in the bottom three after the club's worst start to a season in 50 years, compounding its woes after a failure to add some much-needed signings to the squad on Friday's transfer deadline day.
In the day's other match, Aston Villa earned its first point of the campaign with a 1-1 draw at Newcastle, only being denied victory because of Hatem Ben Arfa's stunning second-half equalizer. American goalkeeper Brad Guzan got his first league start of the season while regular No. 1 Shay Given was on the bench.
"I just thought it was the right decision for the football club," Villa manager Paul Lambert said. "His handling of the game was fantastic. It was a big call, but that's the game. I just try and pick a team that will win a game."
Van Persie's late show, which took him to 100 Premier League goals in 197 games, will have come as a mighty relief for the Netherlands striker, after his impudent chipped penalty was clawed away by goalkeeper Kelvin Davis in the 68th minute.
The score was 2-1 to Southampton at the time and United looked headed for a second loss in three games before Van Persie's goals.
"I don't know what I was thinking with the penalty. I was going to hit it hard but at the last second I changed my mind," Van Persie said. "I'm quite disappointed about it. I ask certain standards from my game and at 2-1 down you cannot take a penalty like that."
Ferguson, famous for what the British media calls the "hairdryer treatment" in the dressing room when his team or player underperforms, was all smiles after the match despite Van Persie's error of judgment.
"I was surprised because every time I've seen him take a penalty he usually rattles it into the corners, so I was confident," Ferguson said. "But he made up for it."
Having started the season with a 1-0 loss at Everton, this win lifted United up to fifth place on six points, one behind neighbor and reigning champion Manchester City and three behind early leader Chelsea.
Arsenal is in eighth place, a point further back than United.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice before injuring his leg in Real Madrid's 3-0 home win over Granada, the defending champions' first victory after three rounds of the Spanish season.
Barcelona, meanwhile, edged Valencia 1-0 on Adriano's first-half screamer to remain perfect after three games and lead the standings.
Madrid displayed little of the attacking flair it unleashed to topple Barcelona in the Spanish Supercup earlier this week, but Ronaldo's first league goals this season proved more than enough against the modest talents of Granada. Ronaldo scored in the 26th and 54th minutes before leaving the pitch grimacing and favoring his left leg following a tackle by Borja Gomez that cost the Granada defender a second booking.
The Portugal forward uncharacteristically didn't celebrate his goals.
"I am sad and the club knows it, that's why I didn't celebrate the goals," Ronaldo said, adding that he was upset for "professional" reasons before refusing to elaborate.
With Granada down a man, Gonzalo Higuain scored in the 76th to seal the win. Madrid had only one point after the first two rounds. It trails Barcelona by five points.
"Ronaldo is an important player for us, he is our goal-scorer," Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said. "I hope he takes advantage of (this week's) international break and gets better soon."
Also Sunday, Athletic Bilbao beat Valladolid 2-0 for the Basques' first win of the season. Sevilla drew 0-0 at Rayo Vallecano, and 10-man Levante came from behind to win 3-2 against visiting Espanyol.
ROME (AP) — Defending champion Juventus took provisional command of Serie A with a 4-1 win against 10-man Udinese on Sunday that extended the Bianconeri's unbeaten streak in the league to 41 matches.
The match turned when Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic was sent off for a foul on Sebastian Giovinco, leading to a penalty kick that Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal converted in the 14th minute. Mirko Vucinic doubled the lead in first-half added time and Giovinco added two more goals, in the 53rd and 71st.
Andrea Lazzari pulled one back for Udinese in the 78th.
Juventus has a full six points, having also kept a clean sheet in its opener against Parma last weekend.
Inter Milan lost 3-1 at home against Roma, falling three points behind Juve and Napoli, which beat Fiorentina 3-1, for its second win of the season.
In other Italian games, it was: Cagliari 1, Atalanta 1; Catania 3, Genoa 2; Lazio 3, Palermo 0; Parma 2, Chievo 0; and Sampdoria 2, Siena 1.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Thomas Mueller scored two goals and Bayern Munich rallied to rout Stuttgart 6-1 despite leaving the most expensive player in Bundesliga history on the bench for most of the match on Sunday.
Javi Martinez watched as Bayern scored three goals inside the first six minutes of the second half, then came on in the 77th for his Bundesliga debut.
By then, Stuttgart was down to 10 men following the ejection of Vedad Ibisevic in the 74th.
Martinez signed for Bayern this week on a Bundesliga record $50 million transfer from Athletic Bilbao.
The emphatic win left Bayern atop the standings on goal difference over Eintracht Frankfurt, the only other team to start the season with two wins.
In Sunday's other game, Hannover beat Wolfsburg 4-0.
Two-time defending champion Borussia Dortmund dropped points in a 1-1 draw at Nuremberg on Saturday.
PARIS (AP) — Andre-Pierre Gignac maintained his fine form by scoring another crucial goal as Marseille beat Rennes 3-1 on Sunday to extend its perfect start and return to the top of the French league.
Mocked by critics last year for his lack of fitness and excess weight, Gignac has bounced back with a vengeance this season. He has scored three times in four league games, including the winning goal away to Montpellier in the last round. He also set up Marseille's opening goal for right back Jeremy Morel on Sunday.
Marseille, which has been selling players in a bid to stave off mounting debts, has 12 points from four games — two more than Lyon.
With the match poised at 1-1, Gignac struck in the 84th minute with a stunning strike into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area after Rennes had failed to properly clear the ball.
Marseille took the lead in the 35th when Gignac got behind the Rennes defense and his cross was turned in by Morel.
Rennes equalized in the 57th, winger Julien Feret running onto Mevlut Erding's pass and shooting firmly past goalkeeper Steve Mandanda from close range.
Marseille sealed the win deep into injury time through Rennes right back Romain Danze's own goal.
Bordeaux missed the chance to move level with Lyon in second place when it was held to a 1-1 draw by Nice.
Later Sunday, big-spending Paris Saint-Germain got its first win of the season with a 2-1 result at Lille.
VIENNA (AP) — American forward Terrence Boyd scored in the 12th and 66th minutes of Rapid Vienna's 3-0 home win over Mattersburg in the Austrian League.
Boyd, among the players called in by U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica, has four league goals this season and six overall.
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Motherwell climbed above Celtic to the top of the Scottish Premier League with a 4-1 home win over Inverness on Sunday thanks to Michael Higdon's hat trick.
Celtic's 2-2 home draw with Hibernian on Saturday opened the door for Motherwell, which took full advantage to stay unbeaten after five games this season and sit a point above the reigning champions.
Tom Hateley and Higson scored within a minute of each other to put Motherwell 2-0 up by the 12th minute, and Higdon competed his hat trick with goals in the 72nd and 79th.
Dundee moved off the foot of the table by winning 1-0 at Hearts, dropping St. Johnstone to last place.