RVP ‘surprised’ by early goal

Van Persie got both Arsenal’s goals in the Premier League clash at

the Emirates, stunning the Black Cats as he grabbed the lead inside

the opening minute before restoring their advantage after Sebastian

Larsson’s leveller. “I guess it was my first touch,” van Persie

told Sky Sports. “I was a bit surprised as well, but it was a

really good pass from Gervinho, I took a good touch with my left

foot and it went in. “But I didn’t know it was such a quick goal.

How long was it?” Van Persie then fired in a fine free-kick with

eight minutes left to put the Gunners back in front after a

similar, excellent set-piece from Larsson had brought Sunderland

level after half an hour. Van Persie admitted he has been missing

chances of late and was delighted to find the met. “I felt

confident because it’s my favourite position, but I have to be a

bit critical and look at myself because I have missed many chances,

so it was about time to be honest.” There was a nervy finish as

Arsenal missed chances to kill Sunderland off but they hung on for

a crucial win as they bid to turn around a poor start. “We’ve been

there before in the last couple of minutes trying to hold on to a

2-1 score and we did well,” he said. “They pump in every single

ball and they can cause problems, but we have to handle them and

all of the back four defenders and the midfielders try to help each

other, so credit goes to the whole team.” Before the match, van

Persie had used his programme notes to dismiss speculation about

his future at the club. “I had seen loads of comments about a story

like that, I thought after one or two days it would go away, but it

didn’t so I felt it was time to explain things and I did that. “I’m

committed. This is my eighth year. If you can say of one player

that he’s committed, it’s me.”