: Robin van Persie lifted the gloom around Arsenal as the Dutch forward's double clinched a much-needed 2-1 win over Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Van Persie insisted in the club's matchday programme that he has no intention of following Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri out of the Emirates and then underlined his commitment with a ‘Man of the Match' display, capped by a brilliant winner with just eight minutes left.
Arsene Wenger's side kicked-off just two points above the relegation zone after its worst start to a season for 58 years.
But Arsenal will always be a threat while it has van Persie, and the Gunners captain showed his class with a cool finish after only 29 seconds.
Sunderland gave the ball away from the kick-off and when Gervinho crossed low into the penalty area, van Persie dummied Wes Brown before firing past Simon Mignolet to score the club's fastest ever Premier League goal and the quickest in the top-flight this season.
Former Arsenal winger Sebastian Larsson equalised in sublime fashion as the Swede curled a brilliant shot beyond Wojciech Szczesny from 25 yards in the 31st minute.
But van Persie saved his best until last as he stepped up to bend a superb free-kick over the Sunderland wall and into the top corner in the 82nd minute.
That was enough to give Arsenal only its third win in eight league games and lift Wenger's men into 10th place, while struggling Sunderland is above the relegation zone on goal difference.
Earlier on Sunday, West Bromwich Albion climbed out of the relegation zone after defeating bitter rival Wolves 2-0 in the Black Country derby at the Hawthorns.
Shola Ameobi came off the bench to rescue Newcastle's unbeaten record as the Magpies twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw against Tottenham at St. James' Park on Sunday.
Newcastle 2 (Ba 48, Ameobi 86) drew with Tottenham 2 (Van der Vaart 40-pen, Defoe 68).
Arsenal 2 (Van Persie 1, 82) bt Sunderland 1 (Larsson 31).
West Brom 2 (Brunt 8, Odemwingie 75) bt Wolves 0. — Agencies