As the Saints led 2-1, Scholes was sent on by manager Sir Alex Ferguson to steady the ship and attempt to secure what had looked like an unlikely victory on the south coast.
Though hat-trick hero van Persie deservedly took home the man of the match champagne, the Dutchman was keen to praise his team-mate’s influence on the 3-2 win.
“Of course everybody worked hard, but I have to say a big thank you to Paul Scholes because everything started to tick when he came on,” Robin said in an interview with Sky Sports.
“Every single pass he hit was the right one. Everyone felt that – I certainly did. He hit a couple of unbelievable passes over thirty or forty metres. With him you are always on your toes because anything can happen with his quality. For me, he was the man of the match.”
Van Persie has made an instant impact for United and has now scored four goals from just three appearances for the club, a statistic that he attributes to the welcome he has received at Old Trafford.
“I have to thank everyone, it is a great club and everyone has been very helpful. I have only been here for two weeks but I feel very welcome,” the 29-year-old said.
“The players, the staff and everyone who is involved with United have made me feel welcome and they all want to help. They all appreciate that I’m there and that feeling is likewise.”