Three goals in the last eight minutes handed Arsenal a majestic victory over Blackburn at the Emirates.
Shabani Nonda put Rovers ahead from the spot after three minutes before Gilberto Silva headed home a corner.
Alexander Hleb then side-footed home with a sublime finish before Emmanuel Adebayor made it three from the spot.
Nonda pulled one back with an overhead-kick before Van Persie added two more with neat finishes while Mathieu Flamini blasted home a sixth.
Rovers started confidently and were rewarded for their early endeavour after three minutes when David Bentley broke into the Arsenal box and was awkwardly hauled down by Kolo Toure.
Nonda stepped up to confidently dispatch the resulting spot-kick and for a brief spell, Blackburn looked good value for their lead.
Former Gunner Bentley, perhaps with a point to prove to his former boss, stung the hands of Jens Lehmann from distance on three occasions and shone on his return to north London.
But he and his Rovers team-mates quickly became overrun in midfield with Cesc Fabregas, Hleb and Gilberto pulling the strings as Arsenal took control.
And the warning signs were there for Arsenal's equaliser when Toure headed against the bar via a Blackburn deflection from Fabregas' corner.
From the resulting van Persie corner from the right, the unmarked Gilberto rose to guide his header into the left corner.