After city’s defeat on Sunday, it meant that United just needed 3 more points to win the league. Robin van Persie, who signed for us in August, having never won a trophy with Arsenal, showed us all in emphatic style why he made the transfer to Manchester.
Knowing that the title was on the line, a party mood enveloped the ground. An air of expectation, and it didn’t take long to take a step closer. Rafaels looped ball towards the back post found Giggs, who knocked it back across goal towards the reliant Robin van Persie with just over 1 minute played.
After a few other chances, including RVP just volleying over and Rafael hitting the post, United doubled the lead with what is one of the finest goals you will see. Rooney, playing in midfield again, played a sublime ball forward. It was watched all the way by RVP, whose volley from 20 yards rocketed past Brad Guzan in the Villa goal. Vision, technique, accuracy and a bit of magic to put the title within touching distance.
And after 35 minutes, van Persie completed his 2nd hat trick of the season. Giggs, who was excellent again on the left, broke into the box and unselfishly set RVP up for his 3rd, not before he had to beat a few defenders and get the ball past 3 men on the line, with the help of the inside of the post.
The second half was much more even with fewer chances. El Ahmadi forced de Gea into a good save, whilst Kagawa did the hard work at the other end before blazing the ball over.
But it mattered little, United wrestled the title back from City, a year to the day when we arguably gave it away (4-4 draw at Everton). 2013. 20 for United, 13 for Giggs and Fergie, and the first of hopefully many for de Gea, Jones, Kagawa and RVP.
David de Gea: Not a great deal to do, got fingers to a dipping shot from El Ahmadi. 6/10
Rafael: A really good game by Rafael, one of our most consistent and most improved players. Unlucky not to score with a thunderous shot. 8/10
Phil Jones: 4th consecutive game played, back in central defence, and a commanding performance. 8/10
Jonny Evans: First game in a while but slipped straight back into things. Been another excellent season. 8/10
Patrice Evra: Made some good attacking runs down the left, not a lot of defending to be done in this one for Patrice. 6/10
Antonio Valencia: Another decent game from Valencia. Always plays better with Rafael behind him. Did well on both attacking and defensive duties. 7/10
Michael Carrick: Mr Reliable and consistent again. 7/10
Wayne Rooney: Played in midfield again, had a good good game. Played some sublime passes out to Valencia as well as the pass of the season for RVPs second. 8/10
Ryan Giggs: 39 years young, showed as much hunger for his 13th title as he did his first. Played really well down the left. Set up the 1st and 3rd goals. 8/10
Shinji Kagawa: Another good game with some good linkup play. Should have made it 4-0 late on 7/10
Robin van Persie: Sublime. Great performance, hungry for the title and led from the front from the start. Topped off by a 35 minute hat trick and one of the best goals you could ever see. 10/10
Danny Welbeck: Replaced Rooney and played on the left with Giggs going central. Full of running, and was hard working as always. 6/10
4 games to go, and the title already in the bag. However it’s all still to play for. If we take the 12 points that are still available, it would be the most points EVER in the Premier League. 5 more points will equal last years total. But it won’t be easy. Games against Chelsea, West Brom, the trophy presentation after the Swansea game, and not forgetting RVPs return to Arsenal next weekend as a Premier League Champion!!! Oh it feels good to be a red today.