The Dutchman's lackadaisical penalty, which UK users can watch in the picture box above, came after Rickie Lambert and Morgan Schneiderlin had scored either side of Van Persie's first goal.
The Dutch international looked set to get his first taste of the famous hairdryer treatment after wasting an opportunity to draw level with a cheeky penalty attempt that was saved by Kelvin Davis.
"I don't know what I was thinking," Van Persie said afterwards.
"I wanted to hit it hard like I always do and then in the last second I changed my mind, maybe it was 'my brother' or something.
"It wasn't good enough. I was a bit down about it immediately afterwards and then I got a bit lucky with the goal for 2-2. In the end it was a very dramatic 3-2...
"I'm very disappointed with the penalty. When that happens at 2-1 down, you can't take a penalty like that. Something went wrong big time."
Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he was surprised with the penalty but will let him off the hook after his hat-trick helped United win the match.
"I was surprised because every time I have seen him take a penalty he rattles it in the corners," said Ferguson.
Ferguson, celebrating his 1,000th league game in charge of United, added: "He made up for it, though. He had six attempts on goal and was a real threat."