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Apr 19, 2011

Van Persie: Cut out 'criminal' mistakes

Robin van Persie has told his team-mates to cut out the "almost criminal" mistakes that have undermined Arsenal's title challenge this season.

• Rivals target derby glory

The Gunners conceded a penalty after 102 minutes to draw with Liverpool on Sunday as Emmanuel Eboue clumsily knocked Lucas to the floor with only seconds remaining of the match.

Arsenal are now six points behind Manchester United as a result of the draw, and must defeat their opponents at Emirates Stadium on May 1 if they are to have any realistic chance of winning the title.

But ahead of the North London derby against Tottenham on Wednesday, Van Persie knows that Arsenal must eradicate the kind of errors have seen them fail to hold onto victories this season - most notably in a 4-4 draw at Newcastle and the 3-2 home loss to Tottenham.

"This has happened too often, in my opinion," Van Persie told the club's official website. "If you look at our history, when we are in front, when we are safe, when we have the three points in our pocket, we do concede goals.

"Some of them are silly goals, which we have to work on. We have to stay positive, but we really have to look at it because it is almost criminal to give away points like that."

Van Persie believes Wednesday's match at the home of Spurs offers Arsenal the chance to make immediate amends for the disappointing nature of their draw with Liverpool.

"We always look forward to playing these games," he said. "Maybe it is a good thing we play them this quick after a game like Sunday because we can make things right - there is no better way than [winning] at White Hart Lane.

"I always say it is in these bigger games where you become a man, and it is up to us to show that."

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