English Premiership

Van Persie frustrates Arsenal

2013-04-28 19:14
Robin van Persie (AFP)
London - Robin van Persie returned to punish his former club by scoring an equaliser as newly crowned English Premier League champions Manchester United compromised Arsenal's Champions League hopes in a feisty 1-1 draw on Sunday.

Back at Arsenal for the first time since his £24m transfer to Old Trafford in 2012, Van Persie netted a cool penalty just before half-time to cancel out Theo Walcott's early opener.

It could prove a costly goal for Arsenal, who failed to reclaim third place from Chelsea and now find their hold on the fourth and final Champions League qualifying place under threat from Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsene Wenger's side trail Chelsea by one point and lead Spurs by two, but they have played a game more than both their London rivals.

The draw left United 14 points clear of Manchester City, although they can no longer fulfil manager Alex Ferguson's wish of breaking Chelsea's Premier League points record of 95 from the 2004-05 campaign.

Fresh from scoring the hat-trick against Aston Villa on Monday that gave United the title, Van Persie received a hostile reception in his first game back at the Emirates Stadium since his acrimonious departure last year.

The Dutchman even walked towards the home changing room on his arrival at the ground, before realising his error.

There was no confusing the Arsenal fans' feelings towards their former idol, however, with boos raining down on him as the home side welcomed the champions onto the pitch with a guard of honour.

To the delight of the home support, the United number 20 was to lose his bearings again to costly effect in the second minute.

His crossfield pass inadvertently found Arsenal full-back Kieran Gibbs, who in turn picked out Tomas Rosicky, and from the Czech's through ball, Walcott beat David de Gea to put the hosts ahead, despite a suggestion of offside.

Pressing United high up the pitch and snapping into tackles, Arsenal's play brimmed with purpose, while the carelessness in the visitors' play suggested the title had been celebrated with a little too much abandon.

Santi Cazorla worked De Gea with an effort from range and the United goalkeeper also had to box away a shot from Lukas Podolski after Cazorla robbed Antonio Valencia of possession.

Gradually, though, Van Persie's influence grew. He teed up Phil Jones for a headed chance that should have yielded a goal, before drawing a superb star-jump save from Wojciech Szczesny with a close-range header.

He was also booked, for sliding in on Per Mertesacker, but he finished the half by sweeping a 44th-minute equaliser past Szczesny from the penalty spot after he had been felled by Bacary Sagna inside the Arsenal area.

It was his 25th league goal of the season, but his celebration was respectfully muted.

The sides took to sparring in a less keenly contested second half, with Rosicky poking a shot wide for Arsenal, while Rafael da Silva fired over at the other end and Wayne Rooney headed straight at Szczesny.

Cazorla then whipped a free-kick wide after Valencia had been penalised for a handball right on the cusp of the United box, with referee Phil Dowd ignoring the hosts' claims for a penalty.

Laurent Koscielny volleyed over from a corner and Cazorla extended De Gea with a long-range drive, while substitute Ryan Giggs came close to snatching victory for United at the death with a shot that was deflected just wide.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Sunday, 17 December 2017
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United, The Hawthorns 16:15
AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool, Vitality Stadium 18:30
Monday, 18 December 2017
Everton v Swansea City, Goodison Park 22:00
Friday, 22 December 2017
Arsenal v Liverpool, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.