Blackburn lose semi, friends, and self-respect; Van Persie wins the lot.
Blackburn played on the big stage on Saturday.
As the underdogs they will have had a lot of neutrals behind them in their quest for FA cup glory.
Then in a speed that the Bush administration would have admired, they squandered this goodwill through increasingly belligerent tactics that culminated in a full-on assault by the Blackburn captain on Van Persie.
The ironic point is that Blackburn had the better of the first half-hour by playing strong-but-fair football. They showed they could match the Gunners without resorting to the despicable.
Blackburn started to play loser's football after going a goal down. When a team has to resort to assaulting the opposition the ref should blow the whistle and award the match to the other team.
The Savage knee high tackle on 17 year old Fabregas has no place in a football match. The referee, Steve Dunn, did not even caution him- which represents gross negligence on his behalf.
The Todd deliberate elbow while looking the other way in feigned innocence deserves as much press attention as the Lee Bowyer/Kieron Dyer punch-up. An absolute disgraceful attack which requires the authorities to impose severe sanctions.
If a Reyes light-slap can gain a three match suspension, the FA should be looking to give at least five matches to Todd.
Blackburn lost the semi. But they lost much more than just this.
They lost friends.
And they will have lost their self-respect.
One player who grew in stature on Saturday was Robin Van Persie.
A couple of months ago he ridiculously got himself sent-off against Southampton and at that moment he had few supporters.
His football on the pitch up to that point had been ineffective.
And to acquire a second-booking with a bad tackle in a match that Arsenal had in their control led many to question his temperament.
But he returned at Ewood last month, cut out the aggression, and scored a stunning slalom goal.
Then in eight minutes on Saturday he showed everyone, not least himself, that he is a player with exceptional quality who can do it on the biggest stage.
Another slalom turn followed by a technically perfect pass into the net put Arsenal two goals up.
Then in injury time he again displayed technical excellence in swivelling to convert a Pires pull back into the far top corner.
Rightfully he was turning away in joy only to be met by the ugliness of football.
He got up and managed a painful smile after the match. He was happy because he has now earned friends and self-respect for his performances since his sending-off at St Marys.
Blackburn will need to follow Van Persie's example if they too are to regain friends and self-respect.