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Wenger will not sell players to United again as Van Persie takes a trip down memory lane

Arsene Wenger promised that he will not allow Alex Ferguson to sign any more players from Arsenal as he reflected on Robin van Persie's return to the Emirates.

Van Persie was part of the Manchester United team given a guard of honour and, after mistakenly heading for the home dressing room when he arrived at the stadium, he was allowed back in by the Arsenal players after the match. In between, Van Persie scored a penalty that denied Arsenal two precious points in the race for Champions League football and Wenger admitted that his team must now win their three remaining matches.

"We are in a position where we cannot drop points, but the other teams are in the same position," said Wenger. "If we win our games it will be enough and I'm convinced we will be there."

Wenger controversially sold Van Persie to United for £24m last summer, but said that he would not allow other players to follow.

Asked if Ferguson wanted any more of his players, Wenger said: "I don't know, but he will not sign them."

Wenger also described the behaviour of Arsenal's fans towards Van Persie as "more disappointed love" than aggression.

"He (Van Persie) is in our dressing room because the food is better," said Wenger. "I didn't talk to him. You want us to make a guard of honour and to respect the champions, but respect exists after the game as well.

"You want to give absolutely everything for the 90 minutes and after the game you can still talk to each other. I think our defenders didn't make life easy for him at all."

Wenger also disputed whether Van Persie's penalty should be regarded with the same significance as a goal from open play.

"I don't think he 'scored,' he scored a penalty," said Wenger. "It counts, but it's not completely the same. When you buy a goalscorer you always look how many goals he scored with penalties."

Ferguson applauded Van Persie's nerve for the penalty amid continual booing from the Arsenal fans. "It was a difficult time for him, but he kept his cool. It takes bottle to take a penalty when the crowd are booing. We have a great spirit of applauding players when they come back to our club. I expected the booing, to be honest."

Wenger challenged United to maintain that level of performance for their remaining games, which include Chelsea. "They have responsibility – let's see."

Ferguson agreed. "We have to honour the rest of the teams who are trying to get there," he said. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent