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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Arsene Wenger says Robin van Persie was not at his best despite wonder goal

The Dutchman made it 19 for the season with a sublime volley to make sure Arsenal's 125th anniversary celebrations did not turn sour.


But Gunners boss Wenger insisted the player was well below par as the Londoners stuttered to a 1-0 victory over Everton.

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He said: "Robin has scored an exceptional goal but he said himself he was not in his best of days.


"But what is important is you are efficient. That is what it is to be professional, when you do not feel the greatest.


"He got us a goal which was at the moment of the game where we struggled a little bit to create chances.


"He delivered something special and three important points."


Toffees boss David Moyes paid tribute to Van Persie.


He said: "It was a terrific finish, a really good goal which beat us.


"But we can't kid ourselves because we were fortunate to go into half-time at 0-0.


"Then when they scored the goal, we looked the more likely to score, we had grown in confidence and weathered a lot of what Arsenal had thrown at us.


"We had some great recovery defending with guys getting back in, but we just lacked that bit of quality."


Arsenal legends including Frank McLintock, Charlie George, David O'Leary, George Graham, Robert Pires, Jens Lehmann and Thierry Henry all helped make up a guard of honour as Van Persie led the current side onto the field.


And Wenger believes his side dealt well with the occasion.


He said: "Today was an historic day for us so it's not easy to keep the focus right with so many people here and the celebration before the game with everybody coming back.


"But we were a bit historical today as well because we won 1-0."


The win took Arsenal above Chelsea into fourth spot in the Premier League. And Wenger insists the team's stability can help them continue their run of seven league wins from eight games.


The Frenchman said: "We have to continue. The spirit is there, the consistency is there now, our focus is there, so we will see how far we can go."

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