By Chris Harris
Robin van Persie may have left Emirates Stadium with the match ball on Saturday but he denies he was the headline act in Arsenal's win over Wigan.
The Dutch forward scored the first hat-trick of his Gunners career to see off the Latics, opening the scoring with a rasping finish in the 21st minute and adding a second just before the hour mark before completing his treble five minutes from time.
Van Persie could have had more - he missed a penalty in the second half and hit the post just afterwards. But the 27-year-old was quick to praise the rest of the team after the final whistle.
"It's very important [to score], but if you look at the first goal, I'm just doing the end bit," he said. "I think it was Alex who had the pass and Cesc had a little run to make space for me. I just hit it and scored.
"What I'm trying to say is that it's not just me who 'scored'. It's like a team effort. You have the one with the assist, the one before the assist and the one who scores and in-between you have the guy who's making the run for me.
"If you look at the second goal it's mainly because of Cesc. It was a good finish, yes, but that was the only thing I could do. He has the vision, he has the technique and he can actually do it, so that goes to him for 80 per cent.
"The last one I was a bit lucky because the goalkeeper had a hand on it. He had a great game by the way. He had five 100 per cent saves in the first half."
The return of Van Persie has certainly added something to Arsenal's attacking play and much has been made of the understanding between the Dutch star, Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Theo Walcott. But the man himself believes the entire squad is in harmony.
"It's not just us, it's everyone," he said. "We all love to play with each other. Everyone is happy to play with each other and we all enjoy our football. On the basic of the game, it's a game you should enjoy. People go out on the streets to enjoy themselves. We do that as well."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 24 Jan 2011