Belfast Telegraph

Van Persie nets win but no record

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie netted the decider in Saturday's 1-0 defeat of QPR but failed to break the record of Premier League goals in a calendar year.

The Gunners skipper came into the match knowing he had 90 minutes to net twice and equal Alan Shearer's 36-goal haul.

Van Persie came close on four occasions during the first period, before netting with his first chance of the second half. The Holland international swept home Andrey Arshavin's pass but a second proved elusive as Arsenal ended 2011 with a victory.

Arsenal controlled the first half and after Joey Barton fired a shot across the face of goal, Van Persie twice came close at the other end.

The Gunners twice had penalty shouts rejected as half-time approached, before a goalbound Aaron Ramsey effort was cleared off the line by Barton and goalkeeper Radek Cerny parried a fierce Mikel Arteta drive.

QPR looked rejuvenated after the break and Jamie Mackie found the net within two minutes, although the whistle had already been blown for offside.

Armand Traore's dangerous left-wing cross caught Arsenal off guard five minutes later, but Alejandro Faurlin's miscued shot allowed Wojciech Szczesny to gather comfortably.

Theo Walcott shot wide but the Gunners broke the deadlock through Van Persie four minutes later on the hour. Arshavin found time and space on the left flank to find the Arsenal skipper, who swept a left-footed drive past Cerny inside the box.

Luke Young's block stopped Arshavin doubling the north Londoners' advantage, before Adel Taarabt went down under substitute Francis Coquelin's challenge - but no penalty was given.

Van Persie showed strength and skill to lose his marker and cross for Gervinho, who shot wide from close range, as the Gunners had to settle for just the one goal.


From Belfast Telegraph