Manchester United's winless run continued as they played out a goalless draw with Chelsea while Arsenal went top of the Premier League football standings with a 2-0 win over Bournemouth.
Arsenal are now one point clear of previous leaders Leicester, who play fourth placed Manchester City tomorrow.
All White Winston Reid's West Ham rose to seventh with a 2-1 win over Southampton, while Tottenham climbed to third with a 2-1 victory at 10-man Watford.
Arsenal beat Bournemouth with goals from Gabriel and Mesut Ozil to move on to 39 points from 19 Premier League games, one ahead of Leicester.
The United manager, dutchman Van Gaal, whose tenure in the Old Trafford hot seat is under intense scrutiny after a Champions League exit and three successive league defeats, was afforded a warm reception by fans who have been critical of his team's lack of flair.
United responded with attacking intent, striking the woodwork twice in the opening 16 minutes and both sides created good chances throughout.
Chelsea, playing their second game under interim manager Guus Hiddink after Jose Mourinho's sacking, wasted the game's best opportunity midway through the second half when Nemanja Matic raced clean through before blazing the ball wildly over.
United, now eight games without a win in all competitions, are sixth on 30 points while Chelsea are 14th on 20.
Darren Fletcher's 78th-minute goal for West Bromwich Albion was enough to beat struggling Newcastle United 1-0 while Aston Villa's miserable season continued with the bottom side, marooned on eight points, going down 2-0 at Norwich City.
Crystal Palace and Swansea City drew 0-0.
- Reuters / RNZ