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  • Premier League: What They Said

Fergie hopeful Van Persie will be fine for Real

ESPN staff
February 23, 2013
Robin van Persie was substituted after a collision with some cameras © PA Photos
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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is hopeful Robin van Persie will be fit to face Real Madrid in the Champions League in just over a week's time, despite the Dutchman limping off in Saturday's Premier League victory over QPR. He said: "Van Persie seems to have collided with the camera dugout. We will assess him tomorrow - it was his hip.

"It will be tender but hopefully he will be alright in time for the Real Madrid game."

On the game itself, Ferguson added: "Rafael's goal was fantastic - it was probably goal of the month. Robin van Persie also had a great run and strike but the keeper saved it.

"You have to get that second goal and Ryan Giggs has a great record of scoring here. He's delivered again - he's an amazing man."

Seven points from safety, QPR boss Harry Redknapp thought his side acquitted themselves well against the champions-elect: "It was always going to be difficult, and I think there was not much in it until the right-back [Rafael] hit a worldy and suddenly we were behind. But I thought we hung in there today.

"There were positives; Loic Remy looked like he was getting over his injury and showed some flashes. If we can get Bobby Zamora fit again, I think we will be OK. I think as a pair they can score a few goals for us."

Elsewhere, Arsenal defeated Aston Villa late on to boost their chances of finishing fourth following a difficult week that saw gut-wrenching defeats to Blackburn and Bayern Munich. Arsene Wenger said: "We came out of two massive disappointments and the team were a bit nervous but focused at the start. Overall, it was a deserved win and gets us again in a more serene atmosphere.

"It's been quite rocky in recent days. It was important to get three points today. The classy players do it when it matters and he [Santi Cazorla, who scored both Arsenal goals] did it today. When you come out of a crisis like we had in the last few days you might be happy with a draw but when you win you say 'thank you'."

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert was again frustrated: "I don't think we deserved to lose that. I thought we looked a threat all game. The ways the lads played, I couldn't fault them. If we keep playing like that we will [beat the drop]."

With Aston Villa and QPR losing, Wigan helped themselves with a potentially vital away win at fellow strugglers Reading. Roberto Martinez said: "We had so much of the ball and so many chances, our superiority means we deserved the three points. We were worthy winners.

"I have seen Reading play the last few games at home and they have been very impressive. The challenge is to stay in the Premier League - it's not an easy one. It's going to be difficult. There are 33 points to play for and I do feel it is going to go down to small margins."

Brian McDermott rued a poor performance from his Reading side at the wrong time. He said: "We've had a bad day at the office. For the first 43 minutes there was nothing in it. They scored but leading up to their first goal there was a handball. The second goal was down to us - it was a poor goal from our point of view."

A defeat to Norwich severely dented Everton's European ambitions. David Moyes said: "We should have won the game. We were 1-0 up and in control and we let them get back into it and then they scored after the three minutes of injury time [that was scheduled to be played]. But we didn't do enough to get that second goal."

West Brom boss Steve Clarke was relieved his side held on to defeat Sunderland 2-1. He said: "I was a little bit nervous. I have to smile now because some of my players have told me I have to smile more when I'm on the telly! We have to learn to manage the game a little better and see it out better than that.

"It didn't have to become a game of basketball, which it did in the last 15 minutes. It's nice to get back-to-back wins and give the supporters a nice Saturday evening."

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