Robin van Persie praised for overcoming Arsenal taunts

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Arsenal give Man Utd guard of honour

Robin van Persie's Manchester United team-mates praised the "gutsy" Dutch striker for holding his nerve to score on his Arsenal return.

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Van Persie's dressing room error

Van Persie silenced the jeers from home fans at the Emirates Stadium to score the equaliser from the penalty spot as champions United drew 1-1.

"To take that penalty showed what a world-class player he is," said full-back Patrice Evra.

"He kept his nerves down to score that penalty and I am happy for him."

Van Persie, 29, spent eight years at Arsenal before joining United last August.

And the Netherlands international appeared to slip into old habits on his first return since leaving the club when he nearly entered the wrong dressing room after stepping off the United team coach.

Arsenal fans booed his name and booed him again when the Gunners formed a guard of honour for Van Persie and his Manchester United team-mates before kick-off after they secured the Premier League title.

Van Persie's goals have helped United claim their 20th championship, and he silenced the taunts with his 25th goal in 35 Premier League games for Sir Alex Ferguson's side after he was fouled by Bacary Sagna.

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Van Persie showed bottle - Ferguson

At the end of the game, Van Persie resisted the goading, albeit pretty low-key, from the Arsenal fans who waited around the tunnel to boo him.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed Van Persie joined his former team-mates in the Gunners changing room after the final whistle.

"He knew coming back to his former club what he was going to expect," United's England defender Phil Jones added.

"He has got guts, he converted the penalty really well and I thought he played well."

Ferguson also praised Van Persie for equalising after Theo Walcott had given the hosts the lead.

"He kept his nerve, that was important," said Ferguson. "It was a difficult time for him. The chanting from the fans doesn't help, but he kept his cool."

Wenger added: "When he [Van Persie] was here he didn't get that kind of reception. They loved him - today it was a bit of disappointed love."

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