LONDON, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Arsenal moved top of the Premier League with a 3-1 defeat of Stoke City with in-form midfielder Aaron Ramsey again providing the spark on Sunday.
Ramsey fired Arsenal ahead after five minutes and although Stoke equalised through American Geoff Cameron, goals from Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna sealed a seventh consecutive win in all competitions for Arsene Wenger’s side.
Welshman Ramsey has scored seven goals in eight matches this season and his early goal helped nullify the loss of Theo Walcott who was injured in the warm-up.
Swansea City followed up a notable 3-0 Europa League win in Valencia in midweek with a 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace that moved Michael Laudrup’s side into mid-table.
After losing on the opening day of the season at home to Aston Villa, Arsenal have won four successive league games and lead the table with 12 points, two ahead of Chelsea and Liverpool and three more than Tottenham Hotspur.
Tottenham can match their total later with victory at Cardiff City.
Manchester United meet Manchester City at The Etihad Stadium without striker Robin van Persie who was ruled out with a thigh strain in the build-up to the day’s big derby. (Reporting by Martyn Herman)