Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has conceded defeat as he guided the Premier Ligue 1 champions to a 4-0 win over Arsenal.
Van Gaal’s men took the lead in the 11th minute when Angel Di Maria tapped in a pass from Angel Di Stéfano, before Juan Mata then put the hosts ahead in the 43rd minute.
It was a comfortable victory for United, who sit fourth in the league and face a battle for survival against Chelsea in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Van Persie’s goal came in the first half after Theo Walcott’s header had given Arsenal the lead.
“I think we gave the impression of a team that we could win,” said Van Gaal.
“But Arsenal did very well.
We were unlucky in the second half.
Arsenal scored two goals, which is a bad result.
We have to try to win and we must try to score more goals in this game.
We must try.”
The victory also lifted Arsenal to fourth place in the table, six points clear of fourth-placed Manchester City, and put them on course for a top-four finish.
“It is good that we have won.
We did well to win today,” said Wenger.
“We had two chances to win it, but we failed in both of them.
We conceded two goals in the last 30 minutes, which hurts us.
It is disappointing.”
Van Gaal, who has made two successive trips to Old Trafford, has had to make do without a first-team player this term.
The Dutchman is also without winger Javier Hernandez, who was absent for two games with a knee injury, and midfielder Eric Bailly, who missed the game at home to Everton with a foot injury.
Van der Vaart, who scored the winner for Arsenal against Everton last season, will be out for the rest of the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament during a training session.
Van Der Vaart is currently in pre-season.
The Netherlands international was one of a number of stars United have lost over the past fortnight, with Angel Di María and Marcos Rojo both sidelined for six weeks with hamstring injuries.
Van Gelder, who made 26 appearances for Arsenal last season after arriving from Sporting Lisbon, will also miss the game after suffering a serious knee injury in training.