Two-goal Van Persie hails Arsenal's 'crazy' FA Cup comeback over Villa
Two-goal hero Robin van Persie was grateful for 'a crazy six minutes' which saw Arsenal come from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa and claim their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
The Gunners were up against it at half-time thanks to goals from Richard Dunne and Darren Bent at the Emirates Stadium.
But the same two players gave away penalties in the second half, both converted by Van Persie, sandwiching a fortuitous Theo Walcott strike, as the Gunners roared back for a 3-2 win.
Going Dutch: Van Persie's double sealed the win for Arsenal
'It was very important,' Van Persie told ESPN. 'At 2-0 down, it's always going to be a hard task to come back.
'But a crazy six minutes in the second half changed the game.
'Credit to the team. We all did it. Credit to all of them because we worked hard and we're still in it.'
Van Persie said the team still believe they can win silverware this season.
'(It's) another chance, because we're still in the Champions League,' he said. 'We worked so hard. We are excited for the next round.'
Walcott, whose goal came as a defensive clearance ricocheted off him into the net, said: 'We need a bit of luck. Hopefully the luck's changing.
'The team worked so hard. This cup means so much to us. We want to win this trophy. We need to show the fans we're ready.
'It shows we've got great characters in the dressing room.'
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said his side's desire kept them in it.
'We wanted to stay in the cup,' he told ESPN.
'I felt 2-0 was very harsh for us at half-time, but it was a question
of scoring the 2-1 [goal] and keeping our structure and not doing
Spot on: Van Persie fired home two penalties to ease the Gunners through
'Fortunately we got an early 2-1 (goal).'
With both Manchester clubs out of the tournament, it could be a good opportunity for the Gunners to end their trophy drought.
Wenger added: 'It is an opportunity but you can see today how difficult the games are. But we played at home, we wanted to qualify and we did it.'
With the transfer deadline looming this week, Wenger said: 'I cannot say nothing will happen but it would be a little bit of a miracle now. For us the biggest thing is to get our players back.'
One of those injured players is Jack Wilshere, who has yet to play this season, with some reports suggesting he will not feature at all now this campaign.
Harsh: McLeish wasn't sure this was a penalty – but Van Persie made no mistake
Wenger said: 'I have spoken to Jack today. His morale is strong. Hopefully we will have good news.'
Villa boss Alex McLeish felt the result was harsh on his side.
'We still had chances to at least get a draw,' he said. 'A terrible eight minutes we had. I thought the second penalty was a bit harsh.
'We've just got to take it on the chin and move on to the next league game.
'The (first) goal gave them (Arsenal) a huge lift. I didn't think they looked as if they could score but that goal gave them a huge lift.
'But I expected a reaction from Arsenal. Maybe we didn't defend as compactly (in the second half). The (Arsenal) midfield started to get a bit of possession and that gave them the ascendancy.'