For old time’s sake, Van Persie gave his former Arsenal chums handshakes and hugs before they ran out onto the pitch at Old Trafford.
Then, 2:34 after referee Mike Dean got the game started, in went Van Persie’s goal. Patrice Evra scored United’s second. Cazorla’s injury-time consolation for Arsenal made the score look better than its performance deserved.
Van Persie’s departure from Arsenal was just football business. Players come, players go, money changes hands. All those millions in August seemed like a hefty pile.
But only United got a good deal.
John Leicester is an international sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jleicester(at)ap.org or follow him at http://twitter.com/johnleicester