Man United 3 Aston Villa 0: Three lessons as Red Devils win title
Man United 3 Aston Villa 0: What lessons did we learn as the Red Devils won their 20th top-flight crown in style?
Van Persie’s telling contribution
The £22.5m fee which Manchester United paid Arsenal for Robin van Persie last summer looks to have been worth every penny. It looked certain the striker would join Manchester City, but Van Persie wisely signed for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side and his goals have landed them their 20th top-flight title. His first-half hat-trick, along with a stunning second goal, perfectly summed-up why the United boss was so keen to bring him to Old Trafford. Despite his mid-February dip in form, Van Persie has racked up 24 Premier League goals and is one of the hot favourites to win the PFA’s player of the year award – an accolade he won last season. The 29-year-old spent eight seasons in north London and left only with an FA Cup and Community Shield to his name. He returns to The Emirates this Sunday a Premier League champion and with a guard of honour to greet him.
Rooney’s future still in doubt after title win
Ferguson would be mad to let Wayne Rooney go, right? The England international has been linked heavily with a move to Carlo Ancelotti’s Paris Saint-Germain in a big-money deal. However Rooney’s performance in a deeper role on Monday night, and for large parts of the season, has seen him thrive. The 27-year-old has scored or created 22 goals in 25 games for Manchester United this season and has been just as valuable to their title-winning cause as Van Persie. His ball for the Dutchman’s second strike is just one example of his influence. This season’s title is the fifth Rooney has won at Old Trafford and perhaps would want to seek new challenges abroad. With Van Persie, Javier Hernández and Danny Welbeck, along with a potential move for Radamel Falcao, United could survive without Rooney. The next transfer window could be an interesting one for the striker and United. Rest assured, the rumours of Rooney to Paris will rumble on – especially after his substitution in the 72nd minute.
Aston Villa set for nervy finish
The game was essentially over for Aston Villa when Van Persie tapped in Ryan Giggs’ ball less than two minutes in. The 3-0 defeat has done serious damage to Villa’s Premier League survival chances, particularly in terms of goal difference. Wigan, who sit three points behind Paul Lambert’s side with a better goal difference, have been handed a lifeline by Van Persie’s hat-trick. It’s now been 23 games since Villa have stopped the opposition from scoring and they face a tough game against a Sunderland side who have been rejuvenated under Paolo Di Canio at home next. United have their talisman in Van Persie and Villa have Christian Benteke. The Belgian’s 15 Premier League strikes have been vital to their top-flight survival and they’ll rely on him to provide a few more in their last four games. Aston Villa’s top-flight fate may come down to last game of the season, when they travel to the DW Stadium in a potential relegation decider against Wigan.