Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Van Persie feeling great after title win

Robin van Persie celebrates after winning his first Barclays Premier League title

Striker Robin van Persie was understandably delighted after propelling Manchester United to their record-breaking Barclays Premier League title.

Van Persie has often been cited as the key factor in United's success this season and fierce rivals City falling well short of regaining the crown they won last year. And the Dutchman underlined his class with a fabulous first-half hat-trick in the Red Devils' 3-0 win over Aston Villa which wrapped up their 20th domestic league crown.

"It didn't really matter who scored as long as we won this game and we did win this game," said the former Arsenal forward on Sky Sports 1. "From the first minute everyone played well and everyone wanted it. It was a great to score so early and it was a fantastic game of football. I'm very happy but it's weird. I had to wait for so long for my first title and it's a great feeling."

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson told Sky Sports 1: "I'm delighted for all the players, for myself, the staff and the supporters. You can go on and on about losing a title (last season) but at the end of the day, our consistency for the last 20 years is unbelievable. The focus of the team was good, they focused on the challenge of City and came up trumps."

Even on their way to the title, Ferguson's team have had to face the criticism that they lack the quality of United teams of the recent past. But their manager said: "It's dead easy to say that, nostalgia plays tricks on people's minds. Put it in context, we've now got 84 points with four games left - we've never done that.

"We've won most of our games, drawn three, lost four, and the goal tonight... all the great goals we've scored over the years, from David Beckham through Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Eric Cantona, that goal has joined that. These players have joined the pedestal."

Veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs, who this season continued a phenomenal record of scoring in every Premier League campaign, refused to be drawn on how long he would continue playing for, saying: "I'm just enjoying it and as long as I'm enjoying it and contributing to the team then I'm going to carry on.

"It's nights like this that you're going to miss when you finish but it's nights like this also that drive you on."

Giggs was also quick to pay a glowing tribute to Ferguson, hailing his long-time boss as "an unbelievable manager and an unbelievable person".

"His appetite is second to none. Every day at the training ground he's the first there, his enthusiasm is brilliant and that feeds through the club, he is the club," Giggs added. "Everything comes from the manager, getting players in, getting the right staff in, and he's just an unbelievable manager and an unbelievable person and he deserves everything that he gets."

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