HE MIGHT have saved the day with a dramatic late leveller, but that was not enough to spare Manchester United striker Robin van Persie from the wrath of boss Louis van Gaal.
Taskmaster Van Gaal labelled Van Persie “stupid” for taking off his shirt in celebration at snatching a late point against Chelsea, thereby earning a booking.
“He did a stupid reaction after the goal,” he said. “You can be excited but you don't have to pull your shirt off because then you have a yellow card. It’s not smart.”
Van Persie, whose recent performances have attracted criticism, said he had forgotten the rules amid the excitement of scoring, and insisted United had deserved their point against the Premier League’s form team.
“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,” he said. “It was one of those fantastic moments and the main thing today 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 boost.”
Van Gaal, who revealed that England defender Phil Jones missed yesterday’s game because he is suffering from shin splints, also took heart from his team’s display.
He added: “I’ve said to the players we could’ve won but we didn't and that's our fault. When you can do that against the best team in the league it’s a good sign.”