Arsenal 1 Man United 1: RVP’s hostile reception due to ‘disappointed love’
Arsenal 1 Man United 1: Arsene Wenger believes the hostile reception Robin van Persie received was due to "disappointed love"
Arsene Wenger believes the hostile reception Robin van Persie was given on his return to Arsenal with Manchester United was more a case of “disappointed love” than real aggression.
The Netherlands forward, who spent eight seasons with the Gunners, scored United’s equaliser from the penalty spot at The Emirates to cancel out Theo Walcott’s early opener.
The 29-year-old, who has scored 25 league goals for his new employers, was jeered and booed by Arsenal fans throughout the game but Wenger played down the hostile atmosphere after the game.
“I think it [his reception] is more disappointed love that you get when you come back than real aggression,” Wenger told Sky Sports.
“That’s it. We know how committed our fans are. But overall I think it was a day where he was treated well by our defenders.”
Wenger’s side drop down to fourth in the Premier League table after Chelsea beat Swansea City 2-0 to leapfrog their London rivals.
But the Frenchman, whose side travel to relegated Queens Park Rangers next Saturday, felt a draw was a fair result.
“It was a game that was very intense from the first to the last minute with two teams giving absolutely everything to win,” he said.
“A draw is a fair result considering the chances on both sides. They caught us a lot on counter-attacks because we went to win the game but we gave everything.
“The regret you have is the way we conceded the goal – just before half-time that was a serious blow to us and after that we couldn’t score that second goal.
“The point keeps our unbeaten run going and we have put a lot of energy into this game today and that’s very positive. The team plays with belief and desire and that’s a good basis.”