Final Score : Arsenal 1 Manchester United 1

ARSENE WENGER warned his players they cannot drop any more points in their quest for Champions League qualification after Robin van Persie returned to the Emirates stadium to break Arsenal hearts amid a constant chorus of boos.

Van Persie scored from the penalty spot to equalise a second- minute strike from Theo Walcott as Manchester United held Arsenal to a 1-1 draw.

With Chelsea beating Swansea, it saw the Gunners drop to fourth spot with just three matches remaining.

Arsenal had given champions United a guard of honour on to the Emirates pitch but Van Persie was booed throughout by fans who cheered him during eight years at Arsenal.

Wenger said: ‘‘He took his penalty very well.’’ On the Champions League consequences, Wenger added: ‘‘If we win our other games it will be enough. I am convinced we will be there (in the top four) but there is no room for dropping points. But the other teams are in the same position.’’ Wenger believed the penalty, given when full back Bacary Sagna brought down Van Persie in the penalty area, was crucial in shaping the course of the game.

He said: ‘‘That equaliser put us in a difficult position but overall I can only praise the players for the effort and desire we put in. Let’s keep it going like that and we’ll have a chance to be where we want to be.’’ Opposite number Sir Alex Ferguson, meanwhile, saluted Van Persie for staying cool as Arsenal fans tried to unsettle him with volleys of boos.

‘‘He kept his nerve, that was important,’’ said Ferguson. ‘‘It was a difficult time for him, the chanting from the fans does not help, but he kept his cool.’’ Ferguson insisted United were the team looking most to win the game.

‘‘Once we started getting some momentum going and a bit of heart, we looked like the team to win,” he said.

‘‘We had some good headers in the first half, the goalkeeper has made a great save from one of them and Phil (Jones) has missed the other two.

‘‘In the second half Wayne (Rooney) had a chance with a header and time and again the final ball let us down. We were the team making the chances.

But credit to Arsenal, they kept fighting, which is what we expected.’’ Arsenal had taken the lead in the second minute when Walcott was set free by Tomas Rosicky and planted his shot past goalkeeper David De Gea.

Wenger added: ‘‘It was a quality game with a lot of intensity.”

Ferguson, meanwhile, said there would be no let-up in his team’s intensity, even though the chance of a record Premier League total has now gone.

‘‘We have got Chelsea next week,’’ said Ferguson.

‘‘They are fighting for a Champions League place and we have to honour the rest of the teams who are trying to get there, like we did today.

‘‘Nobody could say we relaxed too much, I thought we had the edge to the game in the second half.’’