Man United 3 Aston Villa 0

Robin Van Persie

Man­chester Uni­ted 3 As­ton Vil­la 0, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, April 22, 2013. Sir Al­ex Ferguson´s Man­chester Uni­ted clin­ched the Barclays Pre­mier Lea­gue title as they de­feated As­ton Vil­la by a com­fort­able 3–0 score. At Old Traf­ford, Neth­er­lands in­ter­na­tion­al Robin van Per­sie ma­naged to notch up a hat-trick dur­ing a mat­ch which could have seen even more goals from the ramp­ant ho­me team.

Robin van Per­sie gave a mas­ter­class in the striker’s art as he sco­red a tre­mend­ous tre­ble ag­ainst As­ton Vil­la at The Theatre of Dreams. Born and grow­ing up in Rot­ter­dam, Van Per­sie had star­ted his pro­fes­sion­al ca­reer wi­th his loc­al si­de Fey­enoord when he was fif­teen. Af­ter scor­ing fif­teen Dutch Ere­divis­ie goals in 61 ap­pear­ances for The Pride of So­uth, he sig­ned a four-year con­tract wi­th Ar­sene Wenger´s Ar­senal at the end of the 2003-04 term, and went on to clock up an as­ton­ish­ing 96 goals in 194 Pre­mier Lea­gue ga­mes for The Gun­ners be­fore he was bro­ught to Man­chester Uni­ted for a trans­fer fee es­tim­ated to be some­where in the re­gion of ar­ound £22.5 mil­lion in the sum­mer of 2012. And ac­cord­ing to the play­er him­self, the main reas­on for his move to Uni­ted was that he dis­agreed com­pletely wi­th Arsenal´s dir­ec­tion and strategy. The Dutch­man made his com­pet­it­ive de­but for Man­chester Uni­ted as a sub­sti­tute for Dan­ny Wel­beck in a 1–0 loss to Ever­ton at Good­ison Park on the open­ing day of the 2012–13 cam­paign, and he net­ted his fir­st goal for his new club in a 3–2 vic­tory over Ful­ham at Old Traf­ford on the 25th of Au­gust 2012. A seni­or in­ter­na­tion­al for Hol­land, Van Per­sie made his fir­st ap­pear­ance for The Fly­ing Dutch­men in a 2–0 Wor­ld Cup Quali­fier vic­tory over Ro­mania at Fey­enoord Sta­dium in Rot­ter­dam on the 4th of June 2005, and went on to re­gister his fir­st goal for his na­tion in a 4–0 Wor­ld Cup Quali­fier win over Fin­land at the Olympic Sta­dium in Hel­sinki just four days later.

Wi­th neigh­bouring rivals Man­chester City los­ing by a 3–1 score ag­ainst Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur at White Hart Lane the day be­fore, Sir Al­ex Ferguson´s play­ers knew that a vic­tory over Paul Lambert´s As­ton Vil­la te­am at their Old Traf­ford fort­ress would see the club clinch the Pre­miership title for a re­cord break­ing 20th time. The Mid­landers had ma­naged to win just one of their pa­st 34 vis­its to Man­chester Uni­ted in the Pre­mier Lea­gue and as the Monday ga­me ev­entually turned out in the end, three goals from top scor­er Robin van Per­sie were more than enough to sink the Black Coun­try out­fit. Sir Al­ex had made on­ly two changes from the Man­chester Uni­ted te­am which had played out a closely con­tested 2–2 Pre­miership draw ag­ainst an ag­gress­ive West Ham Uni­ted si­de at a full-packed Up­ton Park in East Lon­don five days earli­er wi­th North­ern Ire­land in­ter­na­tion­al Jon­ny Evans play­ing in the middle of de­fence along­side Eng­land de­fender Phil Jones, and vet­er­an play­maker Ry­an Gig­gs part­ner­ing Three Li­ons in­ter­na­tion­al Mi­chael Car­rick in the centre of midfield.

Man­chester Uni­ted went in­to an early 1–0 lead al­ready in the sec­ond min­ute of the play as Gig­gs sent the ball across the six-yard box for Van Per­sie to slam it ho­me. Then ten min­utes la­ter, a pre­cise long ball from Way­ne Roo­ney fou­nd the for­mer Ar­senal marks­man, who­se sen­sa­tion­al twenty-yard vol­ley flew pa­st As­ton Vil­la goal­keeper Brad Guz­an and in­to the net. And af­ter 33 min­utes of ac­tion, Gig­gs was once ag­ain the pro­vider when the ever­green club stal­wart stormed in­to the eight­een-yard area and then flicked the ball on to Van Per­sie who smash­ed the ball pa­st Guz­an and in­to the back of the net from clo­se ran­ge. Man­chester Uni­ted and Ja­pan in­ter­na­tion­al mid­fielder Shinji Ka­gawa could have sco­red a fourth goal in the sec­ond ha­lf, but the pre­vi­ous Bor­us­sia Dort­mund play­er ma­naged to blast the ball over the cross­bar from a few yards out. Af­ter his hat-trick ag­ainst As­ton Vil­la, Van the Man had now re­cor­ded a highly im­press­ive 24 Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue goals for The Man­chester Reds dur­ing the 2012–13 cam­paign, and he was about to etch his name in­to Old Traf­ford folk­lore. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Da­vid de Gea, Ra­fael da Silva, Jon­athan Evans, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Phil Jones, Mi­chael Car­rick, Ry­an Gig­gs, An­tonio Va­lencia, Way­ne Roo­ney, Shinji Ka­gawa, Robin van Per­sie. Sub­stitutes: Dan­ny Wel­beck, Lu­is Nani, Rio Fer­dinand, Tom Clev­er­ley, Al­ex­an­der Buttner, Javi­er Her­nandez, An­ders Linde­gaard. As­ton Vil­la Te­am: Brad Guz­an, Nat­han Baker, Matt Low­ton, Ron Vlaar, Ash­ley West­wood, Joe Ben­nett, Fa­bi­an Delph, Charles N’Zogbia, Andi Wei­mann, Gabby Ag­bon­lahor, Chris­ti­an Ben­teke. Sub­stitutes: Karim El Ah­madi, Ciaran Clark, Yacouba Sylla, Brett Hol­man, Dar­ren Bent, Jor­dan Bowery, Shay Given.


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