Robin van Persie has issued an explanation following Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea, for earning a yellow card after taking his top off during the last minute celebrations.
The Dutchman scored a dramatic equaliser for the Red Devils in stoppage time to ensure that they earned themselves a point against league leaders Chelsea, before taking his shirt off and getting a booking.
Manager Louis van Gaal has since branded his striker ‘stupid’ following the incident, and the player himself has confessed to getting caught up in the emotions. Van Persie’s goal means that Chelsea were denied what would have been an important victory at Old Trafford, but his indiscretion afterwards meant that he’s now just two yellows away from a suspension.
"I know it's one of the rules that you have to keep your shirt on, but sometimes you forget and everything comes together and the whole place explodes," Van Persie said.
"I know it's one of the rules that you have to keep your shirt on, but sometimes you forget and everything comes together and the whole place explodes."
"It was one of those fantastic moments and the main thing is that we got something out of this game because we deserved it.
"It was a big relief for the fans, for the players and for everyone at Manchester United that we got the goal in the end. The whole stadium exploded and it gave us a big boost."
The point United gained means that they have now gone four matches unbeaten in the Premier League, though their failure to win the game means that they are 10 points off of Jose Mourinho’s side, and have yet to travel to Stamford Bridge.
On the other hand the Blues have every reason to be pleased with their start to the campaign, having taken 23 points from their opening nine matches. Merely two draws have separated Chelsea from a perfect start and, thanks to Manchester City’s surprise loss to West Ham at the weekend, there’s daylight between themselves and their nearest title rivals.
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Trouble at Old Trafford?
As for Van Persie’s personal situation things might not be boding so well. The summer arrivals of Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria have put immense pressure on the attacking players who make up United’s attacking DNA, and so Van Gaal has a surplus of people to pick from.
That doesn’t necessarily mean good things for Van Persie though, whose goal on Sunday was his third of the season. At 31-years-old he’s the eldest reputable striker at the club - the others being Wayne Rooney and Falcao - and so his future will naturally be a topic of interest for Van Gaal to consider.
Of course he’s not the only player who might find himself having to either look for a new club or pick up his form to impress his manager, as it’s already been made clear that this is a time for change concerning the red half of Manchester.
A number of struggling individuals could see themselves exiting in either January or next summer as Van Gaal attempts to turn the tide of fortune in his favour, and fans will be forgiven for expecting more players of a high-calibre to be purchased as a result.