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United back on top

Manchester United overcame a scare against Harry Redknapp's new side QPR to return to the top of the Premier League on Saturday, as West Brom underlined their European qualification credentials with a 4-2 away win at Sunderland.

• Brewin: Redknapp's familiar task
• Heneage: Baggies march on
• Jolly: Hughton's Canaries chirping

Elsewhere, a Jordi Gomez-led Wigan left it late to emerge victorious in a five-goal thriller against fellow strugglers Reading - as Norwich pegged back Everton at Goodison Park while Stoke edged Fulham thanks to Charlie Adam's solitary strike.

At Old Trafford, Harry Redknapp nearly witnessed a remarkable victory when QPR took a second half lead against Manchester United, before Sir Alex Ferguson rang the changes and engineered a 3-1 triumph that saw the club leapfrog Manchester City to top the table - at least for 24 hours.

Goals from Jonny Evans, Darren Fletcher and Javier Hernandez belatedly secured the points for the home side, after Jamie Mackie's 52nd minute opener had briefly given the away supporters fanciful notions of a memorable first win of the campaign.

Mackie had already had a goal disallowed in the first half before finally breaking the deadlock, as the former non-league player capitalised on Anders Lindegaard's parry clear after United had failed to properly defend a short corner.

But Evans and Fletcher - both from Wayne Rooney corners - restored the status quo within 15 minutes, before Hernandez found a third in typically clinical fashion (and after good interplay with fellow substitute Anderson) to kill the game off with nearly 20 minutes still remaining.

In the day's early kick-off, West Brom continued their strong early season form with a exhilarating 4-2 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light - moving into third in the table as a result.

The Baggies looked to be cruising when Zoltan Gera - with a curling long range effort - and Shane Long - after stealing the ball off Simon Mignolet and tapping home - gave the side a 2-0 half-time lead.

But Craig Gardner scored with a deflected free-kick to set up a tense final 20 minutes, before Adam Johnson, with a sloppy defensive challenge, brought down Liam Ridgewell to hand Romelu Lukaku an opening from the spot to ease Steve Clarke's concerns.

But Sunderland refused to die down in the closing minutes, with Boaz Myhill forced into a couple of smart saves in injury time as a dramatic, end-to-end finish played out. Sunderland could not break through, however, and ultimately left themselves exposed as Marc-Antoine Fortune finally clinched the three-points by clinically converting a breakaway after receiving the ball from Lukaku.

Arsenal shared the spoils with Aston Villa in a dour 0-0 draw at Villa Park.

Andreas Weimann had a goal ruled out for offside in the first half for Villa, and Wojciech Szczesny made a superb save from Brett Holman's second-half drive as the home side put up created some good chances.

The Gunners' best opportunity came when Laurent Koscielny fired Olivier Giroud's cross over the bar from close range, with Arsene Wenger's outfit lacking the ruthlessness they showed in front of goal in games against Montpellier and Tottenham in the past seven days.

A Jordi Gomez hat-trick was the difference between two struggling sides at the DW Stadium, as Wigan came from behind to finally see off dogged resistance from Reading and win 3-2.

The Latics went 1-0 down early on to Sean Morrison's header, before Gomez flipped the script to put the home side on course for victory.

An Ali Al-Habsi own goal with ten minutes remaining then had Brian McDermott's side expecting a draw - before Gomez popped up in the second minute of injury time to steal all three points.

The final strike - a left-footed effort into the bottom right corner from Arouna Kone's pass - completed a perfect hat-trick for the Spaniard; his opener having come from his right foot and his second a well-placed header.

Elsewhere, Everton were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw against Norwich at Goodison Park, as Sebastien Bassong's 90th minute header cancelled out Steven Naismith's first half opener.

The Scot needed just 12 minutes to find the top corner from Bryan Oviedo's perceptive pass, a finish that looked like clinching all the points as the game entered stoppage time. But Bassong had different ideas - rising highest to meet Javier Garrido's cross and give Chris Hughton's side something for their efforts.

The visiting side owed a debt of thanks to goalkeeper John Ruddy, however, the former Toffees understudy making a string of solid saves to create the opportunity for the Canaries to clinch a point.

Finally, at the Britannia Stadium Stoke City picked up another win in a hard-fought 1-0 win against Fulham.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis had highlighted the threat of Dimitar Berbatov before the game, but the Bulgarian was prevented from making an impact as the home side's main striker, Peter Crouch, was instead involved in the decisive moment of the match - fending off defenders to head on and give Charlie Adam the time and space to rifle home the only goal of the match after 25 minutes.

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