United’s Van Persie to face former team

United’s Van Persie to face former team

LONDON - The Associated Press
United’s Van Persie to face former team

Dutch superstar Robin Van Persie will take on his former team for the first time after leaving Arsenal for Manchester United in a controversial move. EPA Photo

A return to the scene of its heaviest defeat since the 19th century seems to be the last thing a stuttering Arsenal side needs on Nov. 3.

So manager Arsene Wenger is trying to ensure the Gunners don’t dwell on last season’s 8-2 thumping at Manchester United ahead of the return to Old Trafford.

“On the day I think the result was down to special circumstances,” Wenger said about the team’s worst loss since 1896. “That’s why the emotional meaning is big but the footballing meaning is not very big, and we have had that behind us for a long, long time now.”

What’s still very recent, though, is the memory of Arsenal selling its most potent attacking threat to its rival after eight years in north London.

Robin van Persie’s seven goals have lifted United to second, six points above Arsenal in sixth.

“The game is not about Van Persie. Not for us and I don’t think for him, as well,” Wenger said. “For us, what is important is the result at the end of the game, and the quality of our performance. We do not even talk about him.”

Arsenal travels north after a draining League Cup encounter at Reading when it fought back from four goals down to advance with a 7-5 victory.

United will be looking to build on last week’s 3-2 victory over Chelsea, rather than reflecting on a youthful side then losing 5-4 at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup on Oct. 31.