The Dutchman won a penalty before coolly converting in the 66th minute and celebrated vociferously with manager Sir Alex Ferguson, embracing the ageing Scot with vigour.
Ferguson, whose side was also served by Michael Carrick’s fourth minute goal, was thrilled to see van Persie to the business after a lean run and felt the celebrations were warranted despite them nearly knocking him over.
"He nearly killed me! He forgets I'm 71,” Ferguson told Sky Sports.
"It was a great celebration as it brought the emotion of the players and the fans together. We really did celebrate that."
He added on van Persie: "For all strikers, and I was one myself, you go through spells when you are not scoring and thinking you will never get a goal. Then, when you are scoring, you never think you are going to miss.
"It was an important goal and there were two or three things about it. He did really good work from Wayne's pass to get the penalty.
"Then the ball moved off the spot two or three times (in the strong wind) and he showed composure to settle himself down and score a perfect penalty."