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When Arsenal Had To Give Manchester United And Robin Van Persie A Guard Of Honour

Ryan Sidle

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When Arsenal Had To Give Manchester United And Robin Van Persie A Guard Of Honour

Robin van Persie returned to the Emirates seven years ago today, less than a year after leaving for Manchester United, to receive a guard of honor from his former teammates.

Guard of honours to celebrate the Premier League title winners have been a regular thing since Everton welcomed United to Goodison Park in 2003 on the last day of the season.

One of the best remembered versions came 10 years later when the Red Devils were once again champions, their most recent title win, when they visited Arsenal less than a week after confirming the title.

Awkwardly the Gunners had to applaud Van Persie, who'd left the previous summer for the club's rivals, with boos clearly able to be heard from some home fans.

To make matters even worse for the north London club, it was the Dutchman's hat-trick just six days before their game that had secured the title.

Spurs win over Manchester City a week before Sir Alex Ferguson's side travelled to north London had left them needing a win against Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

Van Persie scored three times in the opening 45 minutes to give Fergie his 13th league tile in Manchester, with four games left to play.

The former Feyenoord was at the heart of the action after the guard of honour and his mistake led to Arsene Wenger's team taking the lead.

He lost the ball in midfield after just two minutes to Santi Cazorla and the Spaniard found Theo Walcott, with the winger making it 1-0.

Just before half time Bacary Sagna lost the ball to Van Persie and then compounded the error by fouling the striker in the box and he managed to ignore the jeering from the home support to equalise, and the game finished 1-1.

Another famous United guard of honour. Image: PA Images
Another famous United guard of honour. Image: PA Images

United were also part of probably the Premier League's other most famous guard of honour in 2007 when Jose Mourinho's Chelsea provided the respectful moment.

With the two sides to meet in the FA Cup final just 10 days after the game, and with the title secured, Fergie rested most of his first team squad.

The likes of Keiran Lee, Dong Fang Zhou and Chris Eagles were applauded on the pitch in a bizarre moment, before the sides played out a 0-0 draw.

Topics: Manchester City, Football News, Aston Villa, Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Robin van Persie, Premier League, Arsenal, Emirates

Ryan Sidle
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