Robin van Persie paid tribute to Manchester United fans after ending his long goal drought at Stoke, but manager Sir Alex Ferguson will be hoping the Dutchman’s celebrations calm down.
The United striker scored a second-half penalty to score his first goal in 10 matches for his club, but Ferguson thinks Van Persie might have gone overboard with his celebration.
Van Persie sprinted towards the United touchline to hug Ferguson, who said: ‘He nearly killed me. He forgets I’m 71.’
Give me a hug! Robin van Persie celebrated his second-half penalty with Sir Alex Ferguson
He added: ‘But that was a great celebration because it brought the emotions of the fans and the players together, everybody could celebrate that.’
However, Van Persie justified his exuberant celebrations by claiming he wanted to share the joy with everyone, including manager Ferguson.
He told Sky Sports: It was an important point in the game. I had to score that one and thankfully it went in so after that the relief of a couple of weeks came out.’
‘I wanted to celebrate it with everyone, with the players, with the staff, all the players involved even on the bench because they have been great with me from day one.
‘Even when it was sometimes a little bit harder they still believed in me and they still support me and help me wherever they can so that’s why I wanted to join them.’
United boss Ferguson, a striker himself in his playing days, was delighted to see his major summer signing back on the scoresheet.
‘You go through spells when you don’t score where you never think you’re ever going to get a goal and then when you are scoring you think you’re never going to miss,’he said.
‘Today was an important goal. He did really good work from Wayne’s pass to get brought down for the penalty.
‘The ball moved off the spot two or three times, the composure to settle himself down and the penalty kick was a perfect penalty. Low hard, straight into the corner, great penalty.’
Wayne Rooney, who played in a midfield role on Sunday, is hopeful Van Persie can now kick on and help fire United to the title.
‘As a football player, as a striker and a goalscorer, you think every player in the world has had a few games in a row where they weren’t scoring,’ he said.
‘Robin’s kept his head down, he’s worked hard and thankfully today he’s got his goal.
‘Hopefully that will kick him on because he’ll be a massive player in the next few games for us