Robin van Persie has today admitted to exaggerating his reaction to contact with an opposing player. He can’t understand why a chorus of ‘Same old Arsenal, always cheating’ was heard after he chose to go to ground after a ‘really little push’ from Patrice Evra.

“Yes, I did,” Van Persie replied, when asked had he ever exaggerated a fall. “Sometimes when you are in the middle of an action and you get a little push and you know there’s nothing more to take. Then you are in the right to show in a way to the ref that you are pushed. That’s not really diving. It’s just showing . . . ‘Come on, he just pushed me, so I can’t score now.’ You sometimes have a little movement with your arms or with your body, but I don’t think that’s really cheating. It’s never my intention to dive, anyway. It is a bit tricky I have to say because I am against divers. It is just not honest. But it is difficult because, sometimes, like I had a little moment against Manchester United. For example, after the whole Eduardo thing, when I had the ball on the right side and I cut it back. Evra gave me a little push – a really little one – but it sort of outbalanced me. I just fell down and the whole stadium started to boo me. I was, like, ‘Come on, can’t you see he pushed me?’ Some people don’t see these little pushes and they can give you a whole different picture to what the situation really is.”