Van Persie sorry for Man Utd penalty miss

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has apologised for his missed penalty in the club’s 3-2 victory over Southampton, the Independent has reported.

United were awarded a spot kick with the scores at 2-1 to the Saints but the Netherlands international attempted a cheeky ‘dink’ penalty, reminiscent of Andrea Pirlo for Italy against England, Antonin Panenka for Czechoslovakia a generation ago. Southampton goalkeeper Kelvin Davis was wise to the approach, however, and clawed the ball away for a corner.

Van Persie recovered to score twice and fire United to an eventual win but was at a loss to explain how he fluffed his effort from 12 yards quite so badly. The 29-year-old admitted he changed his mind in the run-up to the kick, having originally intended to blast the ball in his usual manner.

He added: “It wasn’t good enough. I was a bit down about it immediately afterwards and then I got a bit lucky with the goal for 2-2. In the end it was a very dramatic 3-2. I’m very disappointed with the penalty. When that happens at 2-1 down, you can’t take a penalty like that. Something went wrong big time.

Van Persie was also at pains to thank Paul Scholes for his impact after coming on as a substitute, praising the midfielder for the accuracy of his passing and insisting that Scholes should have been the man of the match despite his own hat-trick.

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