Robin van Persie explains why he ‘didn’t like’ Arsenal guard of honour after Manchester United title win

Robin van Persie is given a guard of honour by his former Arsenal team-mates after Manchester United win the 2013 Premier League title
Robin van Persie appreciated the ‘nice gesture’ from his former Arsenal team-mates (Picture: Getty)

Robin van Persie has revealed how ‘awkward’ and ‘uncomfortable’ he felt when Arsenal’s players were forced to give him a guard of honour after Manchester United’s last Premier League triumph back in 2013.

The iconic striker played a major role as Sir Alex Ferguson’s men got their hands on the trophy with a nine-point advantage over second-placed Manchester City, scoring 26 goals across a magnificent debut campaign.

Van Persie’s incredible hat-trick against Aston Villa at Old Trafford sealed the Red Devils’ 20th league title and no United player has got close to matching his tally of 30 goals in all competitions in the eight seasons that have followed.

Van Persie scores against Aston Villa to help Manchester United seal the 2013 Premier League title
Van Persie’s stunning hat-trick at home to Villa secured United’s 20th league crown (Picture: Getty)

A number of Van Persie’s former team-mates lined up to applaud United’s squad as Arsenal played host to Ferguson’s side in the wake of the forward’s heroics versus Villa – and the Dutchman has lifted the lid on his mixed emotions that afternoon at the Emirates.

Speaking to the UTD Podcast, Van Persie explained: ‘I didn’t like it. Some of them were my friends, I spent eight years there and I was just happy that it was over,

‘I could see in their faces that they didn’t like it, which I get. And then you see me walking there, I was just happy that it was over.

I think it’s a nice gesture to do towards the champions, but it just didn’t feel right, not for me and not for Arsenal.

Van Persie celebrates scoring for Arsenal against Olympiacos
Van Persie was with Arsenal for eight years before joining United (Picture: Getty)

It was a little bit awkward there, so I didn’t feel really comfortable about that.

‘From my point of view, it didn’t need to happen.

Okay, it’s part of the rules and, from the basics, I did like it but not that particular day.

Two years earlier, Van Persie was part of an Arsenal team humiliated by United in a thumping 8-2 defeat at the Theatre of Dreams.

On his memories of that day, Van Persie said: ‘Ouch! Oh my God, that was painful!

I think United played really well, but every shot went in. I missed a penalty that game, when it was still close and you think: “oh no!

‘After that, every single shot went in. It was painful. We couldn’t really compete at that time and to lose 8-2 in the end.

‘I think I did nick one goal, so it was good for the stats in the end, but it was a tough day at the office.

After the game, everyone was down obviously.’

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