In-form Van Persie thanks Gunners team-mates

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie admits his current goalscoring run is “insane” but paid tribute to his team-mates for making it possible.

The Holland striker took his tally to 31 for the season, which includes 25 in the Barclays Premier League, with both goals in the 2-1 win at Liverpool yesterday.

Van Persie was at his clinical best, converting the only two chances he had, as first he equalised Laurent Koscielny’s own goal with a close-range header before expertly volleying past Jose Reina in added time to snatch three points.

“I’ve got 31 goals this season. I can’t believe it,” he said.

“It is the first time in a season I have scored this many – and 25 league goals, it is just insane.

“But I have to thank my colleagues because without them I am nothing and they are a massive help.”

Van Persie admitted they were fortunate to win at Anfield as Arsene Wenger’s team could easily have been 4-1 down at half-time.

Wojciech Szczesny pulled off a good double save to deny Dirk Kuyt from the penalty spot and then shut out Luis Suarez by turning his low shot around the post.

Suarez and Kuyt also both hit the post in the first half as the Gunners came under huge pressure.

But they weathered the storm and improved after the break and even though Van Persie’s strike was a worthy match-winner he accepted they were lucky.

“It was an amazing pass from Alex Song and a good volley,” he told BBC Sport.

“But for me personally Szczesny was our man of the match; he is just a world-class keeper and he made two or three good saves.

“We nicked it – everyone realised it.”

Wenger praised Van Persie as a “great striker” and said he was “a joy to watch”.

“That is Van Persie,” said the Frenchman.

“Everyone speaks about his ability but the intention of his movement in the box is exceptional.

“He is a joy to watch before he gets the ball and that makes a great striker.

“We have all seen that before and that is a real brand of a great striker.”

Wenger also accepted they were fortunate to still be in the game at the interval but credited his side for having the qualities necessary to bounce back, just as they did the previous weekend when they came from 2-0 down to beat Tottenham 5-2.

“I said to the players the fantastic thing at half-time was that it was 1-1,” added the Gunners boss.

“But this team is something special because we always can score a goal from nowhere and they can hang on when it doesn’t go well.

“Our game was not as fluent as we are used to and we lost the ball too quickly (in the first half) but we did hang on and in the end we got three important points.”

Wenger has injury worries ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League second leg tie at home to AC Milan, where they will attempt to overcome a 4-0 deficit.

Midfielder Mikel Arteta was taken to hospital with a neck problem, having left the field on a stretcher, while Abou Diaby and Yossi Benayoun (both hamstring) and Kieran Gibbs are all doubts for midweek.

“We looked decimated after the game and I don’t know who will be available for Tuesday night,” he said.

“Maybe I will play with six strikers any way because we have to score goals.”

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