Manchester United striker Robin van Persie admits he was relieved to end a 10-game goalless run in the Old Trafford club’s routine 2-0 win over Stoke on Sunday.
The Netherlands forward tucked home a second-half penalty after he was felled by Andy Wilkinson to wrap up all three points for the league leaders and bring to an end a dry spell stretching back to United’s 2-0 win over Everton in mid-February.
"Everybody could see that I was quite relieved and happy," he told the BBC after the match. "It was all about the win but I like to score goals."
Following the successful spot kick, Van Persie rushed to the bench to enjoy the moment with his team-mates and manager Sir Alex Ferguson, and the Scot admitted he enjoyed the celebrations.
"He nearly killed me, he forgets I’m 71," the United boss told Sky Sports. "It was a great celebration because it brings together the emotions of the fans and players. We really did celebrate that."
"We say this about all strikers you go through spells where you don’t score and you don’t think you’re ever going to get a goal and you’re going to miss.
"It was a really important goal and there were two or three things about it. He did really good work from Wayne’s pass to get brought down for the penalty, the ball moved off the spot and then the composure to settle himself and then the perfect penalty low and hard into the corner."
Sir Alex opted to play Wayne Rooney in a central midfield position for the clash at the Britannia Stadium, and that move appeared to pay off with the England international a key presence in the heart of the United side throughout.
And after some recent criticism over his form, the Red Devils boss revealed his delight at the performance of the 27-year-old.
"I thought Wayne was brilliant," Sir Alex added. "He needs a different role to get his confidence back.
"He’s had a bit of criticism, not a serious amount but nevertheless there’s a few doubters out there and it’s our job to get that confidence and form back and a spell in midfield will do him and us good."