Robin van Persie's Top 5 Manchester United Moments So Far
After arriving in the summer from Arsenal, Robin van Persie took little time to settle in the red shirt of Manchester United. A home debut goal against Fulham was followed up by a hat-trick against Southampton and the Dutchman, who cost Sir Alex Ferguson £24million, has at times carried Manchester United to the Premier League trophy.
Against Stoke last Sunday, his barren run of 10 domestic league games finally came to an end. His 20th league goal, a 66th minute penalty, was celebrated like a man who had just scored the winning goal in a World Cup Final. It was clear to see what that goal meant to van Persie, who looks likely to lift his first Premier League crown.
But what have been Robin van Persie's top moments in a Manchester United shirt? Below, I have my favourite five I'd like to share with you. As always, feel free to leave a comment if you disagree, or if you have your own personal favourite moments this season from Manchester United's leading goal scorer.
5. Debut Goal v Fulham
What better way to start at your new club than with a goal like that? A low, bobbling cross from Patrice Evra was fired into the Fulham box, and with one touch, on the turn, Robin van Persie fired the ball in to the top right hand corner past a despairing Mark Schwarzer.
It was at this point the Old Trafford faithful truly understood why Sir Alex Ferguson splashed out £24million on a 29 year old in the final year of his contract. Manchester United ran out 3-2 victors over a determined Fulham side – a game which kick started the Robin van Persie era.
4.Goal v West Ham F.A Cup
Manchester United were trailing West Ham 2-1 at Upton Park in the FA Cup Third Round. Robin van Persie entered the fray in the 68th minute before lighting up the tie. The Dutchman latched on to a Ryan Giggs long ball, brought it down with the classiest of touches before slotting it past Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Unfortunately for United their FA Cup dream came to an end at the hands of Chelsea, but goals like this from Van Persie are what keep the world's longest domestic competiton alive.
3. First Manchester United hatrick v Southampton
Robin van Persie's stoppage-time header completed a memorable hat-trick for the Dutchman to rescue Manchester United a victory over an upbeat Southampton side. But this game, prior to van Persie's late double, could have gone the complete opposite way for the Manchester United man.
In the 69th minute van Persie won a penalty kick from a foul by Jos Hooiveld. With his side 2-1 down van Persie was meant to step up and cooly convert to claw his side back in the game. However, his faint chip was saved by Southampton keeper Kelvin Davis.
It was not till the 87th minute when van Persie got another chance. A Rio Ferdinand header ricocheted off the post before being smashed into the back of the net by the Dutchman.
He'd eventually complete his hatrick just 4 minutes later when he converted a Luis Nani corner. Van Persie was critical in his post-match interview for missing the penalty at such a crucial time, but no-one could fault his class with his first Manchester United hatrick.
2. 20 League Goals in his first season.
After such an explosive start to his Manchester United career, this one goal took what must of seemed like forever for Manchester United's star man. Not since the 2-0 victory over Everton [10/2/13] had van Persie found the net for his 20th goal[14/4/13].
However, after controlling a Wayne Rooney pass and turning Stoke City defender Andy Wilkinson, who brought down the Dutchman in the process, van Persie had the chance to finally score his 20th league goal for Manchester United.
Manchester United were already in the lead through an early Michael Carrick goal and - despite Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic going the right way - van Persie cooly dispatched his penalty into the bottom right corner.
He ran over to Sir Alex Ferguson and the Manchester United staff belated with joy. The joy and emotion running through van Persie' body was a joy to watch - who looked like he had just scored a goal in a World Cup or Champions League final rather than at the Britannia Stadium.
1. Winning goal vs Manchester City
My own personal favourite Robin van Persie moment has to be his derby day heroics. Manchester United had taken a 2-0 lead through Wayne Rooney before Manchester City started their fight back.
Robin van Persie sent his free kick – albeit taking a slight deflection off former Arsenal team mate Samir Nasri – into the bottom corner past a diving Joe Hart. The away section at the Etihad stadium roared with delight as their new hero had helped them win one over their arch-rivals.
It didn't take long for Robin van Persie to cement his place in the heart of Manchester United fans. With 21 league goals and the Premier League trophy all but wrapped up – Sir Alex Ferguson proved once again to never doubt his judgement.
Robin van Persie, at 29, may have cost Manchester United £24million. But he re-paid Sir Alex Ferguson and the club straight away once he signed the dotted line and wore the no.20 shirt for the first time.
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