LONDON (AP):Manchester United were lurching towards another setback in their English Premier League title defence until Wayne Rooney inspired a second-half fightback to beat Stoke 3-2 yesterday.
Rooney headed United level in the 78th minute at Old Trafford and Javier Hernandez nodded in the winner two minutes later.
Although the comeback will ease the immediate pressure on manager David Moyes, United provisionally remain eighth, eight points behind leaders Arsenal.
Arsenal won 2-0 at Crystal Palace, with Mikel Arteta scoring a penalty before being sent off, while Olivier Giroud headed in the second goal.
Liverpool produced the most convincing victory of the day, with Luis Suarez scoring a hat-trick and Daniel Sturridge netting the other in a 4-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion that lifted the team to second place, two points behind Arsenal.
Everton are provisionally in fourth place with a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa in the latest instalment of the most-played fixture in English football history, coming on the day the Football Association celebrated its 150th anniversary.
Southampton moved provisionally third with a 2-0 win over Fulham after Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez scored for the hosts. The Saints are arguably the biggest surprise team this season in the Premier League - not counting Man United's unexpected struggles.
The last two decades in English football have been dominated by Manchester United, but in their first season since 1985-86 without Alex Ferguson in charge, the team is far from convincing.
Moyes' side has already dropped 13 points this season after it looked like the ninth league game would witness more misery.
Peter Crouch bundled the ball into the net after just four minutes after Stoke left back Erik Pieters beat United defender Chris Smalling to cross to the striker.
Robin van Persie levelled for United in the 43rd after goalkeeper Asmir Begovic failed to fully save Rooney's header.
But Stoke were back in front before the break after Marko Arnautovic sent a free-kick into the top corner of the net.
Boos rang out around Old Trafford at half-time and United took until the 78th to level again with Rooney flicking a header into the net from Van Persie's corner.
Two minutes later came another headed goal, this time from Hernandez and the game was won for United.
"Stoke have not scored many, but they have not conceded many either, so we knew we would have to work hard after going behind," Moyes told the BBC. "I was worried it wouldn't come - especially when we were 2-1 down. But I think we deserved it in the end."
But it is Arsenal setting the pace in the hunt for a first-league title since 2004.