'Van Persie return not a distraction'

Kieran Gibbs says Arsenal were not distracted by Robin van Persie's return on Sunday.

The Manchester United striker was back at Emirates Stadium for the first time since he left Arsenal last summer and he scored from the penalty spot to earn his new club a 1-1 draw.

Van Persie was otherwise well-marshalled by Arsenal's back four and Gibbs insists that his presence was not a major factor.

"No one thought that we were capable of making that [top four] spot and now, with three games left, it's well within our grasp"

"I think it had a part to play but we have other things that we need to concentrate on," said Gibbs.

"To be honest, we have our own ambitions. That's more important than any individual player. I felt that the boys were fully committed to the cause and what we wanted to achieve.

"I think that, in the end, overshadowed anything else that was going on so credit to the players.

"Over the 90 minutes, I felt we were a lot better in the first half. Apart from some counter-attacks in the second half [when United looked dangerous], we're the ones who should be disappointed not to get the three points.

"We looked a bit tired [in the second half]. I felt that we dominated the first half. It was difficult for us to find our feet in the second half but all credit to the team, we gave everything to try and get the win."

Arsenal have three games left this season - against Queens Park Rangers, Wigan Athletic and Newcastle United - and they may need three wins to clinch a place in the top four. Gibbs says the squad is completely focused.

"It will be the same approach that we've had for the last couple of months," he said. "The team have responded to the position that we were in a few months ago.

"No one thought that we were capable of making that spot and now, with three games left, it's well within our grasp. We have to show what we've been doing in the last few months and take that into the last three games."

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