By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger says he rested Robin van Persie against Leeds United because of the sheer number of games the striker has played over the past 12 months.

The Dutch striker scored 35 goals in 36 Premier League matches in 2011, breaking Thierry Henry’s Club record for a calendar year.

While Van Persie sat out the FA Cup Third-Round tie on Monday, Henry grabbed the headlines with his match-winning strike.

“Robin was happy when Thierry joined us but what we expect of him now is to continue the goalscoring record he delivered in 2011 and hopefully be ready for another fight,” said Wenger.

“I gave Robin a breather [against Leeds] because he is under more pressure than anybody else because of his injury history and because he played more games than anybody else in 2011.

“It is good because [Van Persie and Henry] have a good understanding. It is like having two goalkeepers when they have a good understanding, which is not always the case because most of the time they are rivals.”

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13 Jan 2012