Robin van Persie savoured Manchester United’s vital victory over Arsenal and said it was a relief that they had not fallen 11 points behind his former club.
The Netherlands international got the only goal of the game on Sunday as United closed the gap to the league leaders to five points.
And Van Persie, who scored 132 goals for Arsenal and now has three against them since his move north last summer, felt United simply had to take the points.
He told MUTV: “We could have been 11 points behind, so now we’re in a good position. It was a big win, a real six-pointer. We are right in the mix, which is what we wanted. We knew what the other teams had done before us, and realised that it was a must-win game. I always think positively, and I’m thankful that we did that today.”
Van Persie’s tenth goal of the season was set up by his strike partner Wayne Rooney, and the 30-year-old added: “It was a good corner from Wayne. After I made contact with my head, I think it brushed my shoulder, but it didn’t really matter. It was a good goal, and I’m very happy to have scored.
“Wayne is a great player, and he worked really hard -- as everyone did. I don’t think it is enough for a couple of individuals to play well, I think you need to be strong as a team, and that’s what we did.”
Van Persie said United tailored their tactics to try and stop Arsenal’s passing game, explaining: “It is different because of the way Arsenal play. They have a really specific way of playing, which I know of course, so you have to play a slightly different game to beat them. I think we did that.
"We did really well to close everyone down. If you look at Patrice Evra, who went for every single ball, even the forward players did that. It makes a big difference. In the second half, we were under a bit more pressure without conceding many chances.”