Van Persie, who struck three goals to take his tally to four from just two starts, claimed the match ball to pull United from the brink of defeat on the south coast. However, the 29-year-old admitted he was “quite disappointed” after his chipped spot-kick was saved by Kelvin Davis.
“It’s three points and a little headache for me,” Robin told Sky Sports and MUTV. “I don’t know what I was thinking with the penalty, I wanted to hit it hard like I always do but at the last second I changed my mind, somehow. That wasn’t good enough so that was a bit of a down. I’m quite disappointed to be fair. I ask a certain standard from my game and when something like that happens, when you’re 2-1 down, you can’t take a penalty like that.
“It is me who is to blame. I don’t know what went wrong but something went wrong big time, so I have to work on that. After that I was very relieved that we got the three points, trust me.”
After the match, Sir Alex Ferguson expressed his shock towards his striker's penalty approach: “I was surprised he took it that way. Normally, he rattles them in the net. Every time I've seen him he thunders it home left and right. Maybe he was over-confident. He bailed us out anyway with the two goals late on.”