Arsenal skipper Robin van Persie has equaled the record of scoring against teams in the premier league previously held by former gunner Ian Wright.
Van Persie’s early penalty in Wednesday’s 3-0 win at Wolves meant he has now scored against 17 of Arsenal’s 19 league opponents this season, having only failed to find the net against Fulham and Manchester City.
Only Gunners great Wright has previously managed such a feat, with Sunderland and Manchester United the only sides the former England international failed to net against.
Andy Cole and Alan Shearer have also managed to score against 17 separate teams in a league campaign, but when the Premier League comprised of 22 teams.
Arsene Wenger was pleased with the striker and had this to say “To achieve this in the modern game is remarkable; I would like to congratulate him. You only have 19 teams to score against so for your striker to have scored against 17 teams is something sensational,” Wenger said.
“He could have beaten it if he had scored against Manchester City on Sunday but he hit the post twice.”
Van Persie’s penalty arrived after Sebastien Bassong had been red carded for a professional foul on Theo Walcott, who added a second just two minutes later before Yossi Benayoun rounded off the win in the second half.
It was a ninth win from their last 10 in the league for Wenger’s side, who strengthened their hopes of qualifying outright for next season’s Uefa Champions League.
With just five games of the season remaining, they now enjoy a five-point cushion between themselves and fourth-placed Tottenham, who are beginning to look locked in a three-way battle with Newcastle and Chelsea for the final spot in Europe’s elite competition.
“We had a strong start and that made the difference,” Wenger added. “We played a bit with the handbrake on but they defended deeply with a great spirit.
“I am very happy we are in this position in third but I remain cautious as some teams were in that position before. From where we have come back from helps us to be focused.”
Wenger, however, insisted the referee had followed the letter of the law in sending off Bassong, who is on loan at Wolves from Tottenham.
“You could argue he was the last man,” he added. “The rules look a bit harsh but they are the rules.
“Never forget we lost Robin van Persie in Barcelona for having kicked a ball away for a second yellow card. It was a strict application of the rule. He had no choice because it was the rule.”
In other matches played in the English premier league, Manchester United suffered a shock 1-0 loss to relegation threatened Wigan Athletic at the DW stadium with a Shaun Maloney strike in the second half separating both sides. Manchester City however cruised to a 4-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion, with Carlos Tevez scoring in his first start for the “Noisy Neighbors”. Sergio Aguero scored a brace in either half of the game and David Silva completed the route with a sublime finish to cut the lead to five points.
Queens Park Rangers were on song as they dispatched fellow relegation strugglers Swansea 3-0 J Barton, J Mackie and A Buzsaky all scored to give the west Londoners a chance to remain in the English top flight next season.