Robin van Persie apologised for his fluffed penalty against Southampton but his dramatic late goals that completed a hat-trick made amends, as Manchester United came back to record a dramatic 3-2 win.
In the 67th minute, with United trailing 2-1, Van Persie tried to be too clever with a chipped kick from the spot and the Southampton goalkeeper Kelvin Davis saved it. But the Holland striker, who had scored United's first equaliser in the 23rd minute, converted from close range on 88 minutes before he headed the winner in the second minute of injury time.
"I don't know what I was thinking with the penalty," Van Persie said. "I wanted to hit it hard like I always do. At the last second, I just changed somehow, maybe it was my brother or something. It wasn't good enough. It was a bit of a down and then afterwards, we were a bit lucky with the 2-2 and then at the end, a dramatic 3-2.
"I'm quite disappointed about the penalty. I ask a certain standard from my game. When you are 2-1 down, you can't take a penalty like that. It is me to blame. I don't know what went wrong, something went wrong big time and I'll have to work on it."
Van Persie's hat-trick took him to 100 Premier League goals as Sir Alex Ferguson reached 1,000 league games on his managerial watch at United. Van Persie did not accept that he had saved his new team and he singled out the substitute Paul Scholes for special praise.
"I have to say a big thank-you to Paul Scholes, when he came on everything was ticking," Van Persie said. "Every single pass he hit was the right one. Everyone felt that, I certainly did. For me, he is the man of the match."
Ferguson agreed. "I thought when Paul Scholes came on, it changed the game completely," he said. "I thought we were well out of it until Scholes came on. His vision and consistency of passing gave us complete control again.
"It was a matter of scoring the goals and Robin van Persie has come up with two very important goals. I was surprised [about the penalty] because every time I have seen him take one, he has rattled it in the corners. He made up for it though. He has four goals in two starts and that's a great statistic. And he'll get better."