Van Persie Is Class Apart as United Cruise to an Easy Win

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), January 2, 2013 | Go to article overview

Van Persie Is Class Apart as United Cruise to an Easy Win


TEAM WIGAN MAN UNITED 0 4 ROBIN van Persie produced another moment of magic to underline why Roberto Mancini fears he will cost Manchester City their Premier League title.

Although Javier Hernandez also managed a smartly-taken double as Manchester United cruised past Wigan to preserve their seven-point lead at the top, it was van Persie who stamped his class on proceedings.

His 18th goal of the season was one of his best, calmly stepping inside Ivan Ramis before firing into the corner with his supposedly weaker right-foot.

And as he tapped Danny Welbeck's square ball into an empty net in stoppage time, it means van Persie has now scored eight goals in his last eight games, an even better strike-rate than the eight in 11 Eric Cantona managed in his 1996 one-man title drive.

Sir Alex Ferguson has already likened van Persie to Cantona with the effect he is having on the entire United squad.

It is difficult to argue with that assessment, just as it is difficult to see Ferguson's squad tossing away their advantage as they did so uncharacteristically 12 months ago.

United's failure to get to grips with Wigan's three-man defence in the corresponding fixture last term that condemned them to a defeat which triggered that downward spiral which cost them the title last season.

But they were in no mood to be similarly exposed this time around.

Ferguson filled his midfield, denying Roberto Martinez's men the space to implement an intended passing game.

The Latics were forced into far more long balls than normal and though the first 25 minutes lacked penalty-box action, slowly United were draining the life out of their opponents.

The warning came when Ryan Giggs lifted a superb crossfield ball beyond Wigan's defence, which Hernandez reached, only to be correctly ruled offside as he beat Ali Al Habsi.

It was a signal of intent though. …

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Van Persie Is Class Apart as United Cruise to an Easy Win
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