The smile said it all, and having netted his 16th Premiership goal of the season and 34th for the calender year, Robin Van Persie equalled Thierry Henry’s Arsenal record. Should he score three goals more in the Gunners two remaining Premiership games – both at home against Wolves and Queens Park Rangers, the Holland striker will not only break the club record, but also break Alan Shearer’s all time Premiership goal scoring record.


I don't want to jinx record says Van Persie


Villa Park on Wednesday night was the latest venue to see the lethal strike power of Van Persie, who scored from the penalty spot, the penalty awarded after Theo Walcott was impeded. Left footed and struck with venomous power the Gunners took the lead and despite the home side levelling through Marc Albrighton, substitute Yossi Benayoun headed in for the winner three minutes before time.

It was a relaxed Van Persie who reflected on Arsenal’s latest win, and perfect response to Sunday’s narrow defeat at the Etihad. He was unfortunate not to have had a penalty when felled in the second half as he attempted to get a shot away. Replays clearly showed there was contact and that the yellow card awarded to the Arsenal number 10 was a poor decision by the referee.

Van Persie was keen to praise his team mates and reflect on his style captaincy – he was seen encouraging Francis Coquelin as Arsenal took to the field for the second half at Villa Park – and how he has learnt from playing under former Gunners’ captains.