Robin van Persie hasn’t had it easy from his Manchester United pals since Sunday.
The Holland international ended a 10-game goal drought on Sunday, when he converted a penalty to give the Reds a 2-0 win at Stoke City. And his relief at finding the back of the net was clear in his celebration, as he ran over to Sir Alex Ferguson and leapt into the arms of the United boss.
However, it appears as though his joy has given him a bit of stick over the past couple of days. According to defender Patrice Evra, van Persie has been on the receiving end of a ribbing from his team-mates, who was as equally as surprised as their manager by his antics.
“Robin has had a lot of stick from us,” said the left fullback. “It was nice. I could see a lot of love and emotion. It is the first time we saw that. Robin can tell you, for two or three days we have been getting at him. It is good to see love like that on the pitch sometimes.”
The win at the Britannia Stadium edges United ever closer to a record-extending 20th league title. Ferguson’s men are now 15 points ahead of second-placed City, who have a game in hand, meaning the Reds would wrap up the championship when they travel to Arsenal on 28 April.
Van Persie scored against his former club in the corresponding fixture at Old Trafford earlier this season, but refused to celebrate. And Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere now plans to make sure the 29-year-old has no reason to celebrate when he makes his return to the Emirates Stadium.
“We’ve got some tough games coming up: Fulham away will be tough, and then Manchester United, and we obviously don’t want them winning the league at Emirates stadium, so we’ll be up for that,” the talented midfielder said on The Guardian website.