Van Persie scored a 44th-minute penalty that cancelled out Theo Walcott’s 2nd-minute opener, securing a 1-1 draw.
The Dutchman was roundly booed, but Wenger said it was only because he had brought so much joy during his eight-year stint for Arsenal: “They loved him, so today it was a bit of a disappointed love.
Liverpool put the Luis Suarez affair behind them with a 6-0 defeat of Newcastle.
Daniel Agger and Jordan Henderson gave the visitors a 2-0 half-time lead, Daniel Sturridge claimed a brace, and goals from Fabio Borini and Jordan Henderson consigned Newcastle to their worst home defeat since 1925.
Chelsea’s Frank Lampard moved one goal short of his team’s goal record as the Blues beat a Swansea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Lampard set up Oscar for a 43rd minute opener before converting a penalty in first half stoppage-time, his 201st goal for Chelsea.
Aston Villa improved their chances of avoiding relegation with a 6-1 thrashing of Sunderland.
Villa’s Ron Vlaar opened the score after 31 minutes, but Sunderland’s Danny Rose soon equalised.
Andreas Weimann put Villa on top after 38 minutes, followed by a hat-trick from Christian Benteke and a goal from Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Two relegation places were decided by a goalless draw between QPR and Reading ejected both from the league, when a win for either would have kept alive a slender chance of staying up.
That’s left Wigan in the danger zone, after their 2-2 draw with Tottenham: Gareth Bale opened the scoring in the 11th-minute but Emmerson Boyce equalised minutes later.
A left-foot howitzer by Callum McManaman in the second half looked good for Wigan – until Boyce diverted a free kick by Spurs’ Tom Huddlestone’s into his own net in the last minutes.
Stoke can start planning for another Premier League season after a 1-0 home win against Norwich, thanks to a goal from Charlie Adam early in the second half.
And Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure scored as Manchester City won 2-1 at home to West Ham United. Aguero opened the scoring after 28 minutes before Toure settled the game seven minutes from time.
Everton enjoyed a 1-0 win at home to Fulham, with Steven Pienaar scoring in the 16th minute.
And West Bromwich won 3-0 at Southampton, with Marc-Antoine Fortune scoring in the sixth minute, Romelu Lukaku added a second with 23 minutes remaining, and Shane Long claiming the third.
In The Phuket New tipping competition: congratulations to scottkip, who topped the April scores with 95 points, and commiserations to diggersd, just three points behind.
In the overall scores, suncat100 on 679 points looks set to finish the season on top, but challenger scottkip has trimmed the gap slightly.
This month (May 2013) the competition is sponsored by Australia Bar & Grill in Kata, and the monthly winner will receive a B3,000 voucher to spend at the venue.
The overall winner at the end of the season will win a brand new Honda Scoopy courtesy of AP Honda.