Van Persie slams 'Nazi' salute claims

Ahead of tonight's clash against Marseille, Arsenal skipper Van Persie slams allegations that he performed a Nazi salute while celebrating a goal last week 

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has played down claims he used a Nazi salute to celebrate one of his hat-trick of goals in Saturday's stunning 5-3 win over Chelsea. After his second goal at Stamford Bridge, which put Arsenal 4-3 up, the Dutchman was seen touching his shoulder with his right hand before raising it to the air.

Disappointed: Arsenal's Robin Van Persie looks dejected after the EPL
match against Manchester United recently. PIC/Getty Images

The claims, published on the internet, were brought to Van Persie's attention after the match but he was quick to label them "insulting and absolutely absurd". "It has been brought to my attention of some ridiculous allegations concerning my celebration of one of my goals yesterday," Van Persie said on Twitter late Sunday.

"It is totally ludicrous to suggest that my action of brushing my shoulder and pointing to my fans could be construed as anything else but of a showing of joy and celebration. "To suggest this meant anything to the contrary is insulting and absolutely absurd as nothing else came into my mind."

Gunners eye CL progress
Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal's resurgent team spirit can carry his team into the Champions League knockout stage with victory over Marseille today. After a disastrous start to their campaign, which included a humiliating 8-2 thrashing against Manchester United, Arsenal have reeled off eight wins in nine games including Saturday's stunning 5-3 victory against Chelsea.

While doubts about the solidity of Arsenal's notoriously shaky defence remain, Wenger was adamant that the Gunners have turned the corner following the breathless win at Stamford Bridge.

"If you have gone through what we have gone through since the start of the season, it's reassuring for me," Wenger said. "The players have suffered, but that shows the belief and spirit is back. The spirit is strong and you feel that in the dressing room. They want to play like we did against Chelsea," he added.

Other key fixtures
* Valencia vs Bayer Leverkusen
* Genk vs Chelsea
* FC Viktoria Plzen vs Barcelona

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