Tag Archives: dutchman

Robin van Persie will ignore Arsenal boos – Sir Alex Ferguson

Boos won't bother Robin! Ferguson urges Van Persie to ignore dissenting Arsenal fans

By
Chris Wheeler

PUBLISHED:

11:53 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:00 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Sir Alex Ferguson has told Robin van Persie to ignore the Arsenal boo boys on his first return to the Emirates this Sunday.

Arsene Wenger’s side will give Ferguson’s newly-crowned Premier League champions a guard of honour at the Emirates, but Van Persie is assured of a hot reception after leaving the Gunners for United in a 24million move last summer.

It has paid off with the Dutchman’s hat-trick against Aston Villa on Monday securing his first title winner’s medal, but the Arsenal fans will be less understanding.

Lending a hand: Former United player Bryan Robson was at United's training this morning

Lending a hand: Former United player Bryan Robson was at United's training this morning

WENGER'S TAKE

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants fans of the north London club to show respect for their former player Robin van Persie.

Click here to read Wenger's opinion

‘I don’t really bother about it and I don’t think Robin should bother about it either,’ said Ferguson.

‘There was a bit of booing when he
played against Arsenal at Old Trafford and you probably expect a portion
of the fans to do that. That’s the modern generation and modern
society, I’m afraid.

‘But I’m glad Arsene has done that
(guard of honour) because when they came to Old Trafford some years back
and Wiltord scored the only goal we did that, and that’s what great
clubs should do.’

Ferguson said that he understands why
Arsenal are so upset over losing one of their prize assets but believes
they have to look to the future now.

Back to business: Robin van Persie (left) and his team-mates were training after their title triumph

Back to business: Robin van Persie (left) and his team-mates were training after their title triumph

Man in the middle: Rio Ferdinand and Tom Cleverley (left) practise their ball skills

Man in the middle: Rio Ferdinand and Tom Cleverley (left) practise their ball skills

He added: ‘I know about the Tottenham derby but United have been Arsenal’s biggest rivals over the last 20 years.

‘It doesn’t sit well with their fans, and nor with Arsene for that matter, but it does happen and you just have to move on.

‘Arsenal have moved on now. They’re
challenging for a Champions League place and have every chance of doing
so, and they still play as attractive foot as anyone in the league.’

Antonio Valencia

Danny Welbeck

Relaxed Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck look calm after they helped clinch the title on Monday

Robin van Persie signs for BT Sport

Van Persie joins BT Sport's dream team! United striker to appear alongside Bale in ambitious broadcaster's ad campaign

By
Brian Lee

PUBLISHED:

10:54 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:19 GMT, 26 April 2013

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BT SPORT LOGO

BT Sport's list of big-name signings expanded again today as they added Manchester United striker Robin van Persie to their star-studded line-up.

The broadcaster, who will air 38 Premier League games next season, confirmed the news on Twitter that Van Persie will appear alongside Gareth Bale in ad campaigns for their coverage.

Van Persie leads the Premier League scoring charts this season with 24 goals to his name, one more than Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, and the Dutchman's hat-trick against Aston Villa on Monday night sealed United's 20th top-flight title.

BT have also snapped up Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Scroll down for video

Smashing signing: Manchester United striker Robin van Persie will appear on BT Sport's ad campaigns

Smashing signing: Manchester United striker Robin van Persie will appear on BT Sport's ad campaigns

Dream team: Van Persie joins Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on BT's list of stars

Dream team: Van Persie joins Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on BT's list of stars

Great news! BT Sport confirmed Van Persie's signing on Twitter

Great news! BT Sport confirmed Van Persie's signing on Twitter

Oxlade-Chamberlain, who signed for the Gunners from Southampton in 2011
and has 10 England caps, will also become a BT Ambassador for the next
three years.

The 19-year-old winger said: 'I am very pleased to be named as a BT
Ambassador and to feature in the adverts and as a guest for BT Sport.

'As a young player, I hope I can bring some real insight into the Premier League, as part of the BT Sport team.'

Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: 'We are thrilled that Alex has
agreed to sign up for BT Sport. Alex is emerging as an international
star, having broken into the senior team aged just 18.

'His hard work and dedication to improvement has already taken him to
great heights and serves as an inspiration to young football fans that
if you are good enough, you are old enough.'

Regular guest: Arsenal youngster Oxlade-Chamberlain will be appearing on BT Sport next season

Regular guest: Arsenal youngster Oxlade-Chamberlain will be appearing on BT Sport next season

VIDEO: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joins BT Sport

As well as the rights to show 38 live games a season from the Barclays
Premier League, including 18 of the top picks, BT Sport has also secured
the rights to live top-tier matches from Serie A in Italy, Ligue 1 in
France, Brasileiro in Brazil and Major League Soccer in the USA.

And BT’s acquisition of ESPN’s TV channels business in the UK and
Ireland will bring the rights to show live games for the FA Cup,
Scottish Premier League, Europa League and the German Bundesliga.

BT Sport will also show up to 69 live rugby union games a season from the Aviva Premiership.

In
addition, BT has signed a deal with the Women’s Tennis Association
(WTA) to show up to 800 hours of live tennis, including the TEB BNP
Paribas WTA Championships.

I'm in: Spurs winger Bale has already signed for BT Sport ahead of their Premier League coverage

I'm in: Spurs winger Bale has already signed for BT Sport ahead of their Premier League coverage

And... action: Bale films an advert for BT Sport

And… action: Bale films an advert for BT Sport

Ricky van Wolfswinkel could back out of big-money Norwich move if they go down

Van Wolfswinkle move to Norwich could be scrapped if they fail to survive

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

12:42 GMT, 17 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:17 GMT, 17 April 2013

Norwich's swoop for Ricky van Wolfswinkel will come under serious threat if Chris Hughton's side are relegated.

The Holland international is due to join the Carrow Road club in the summer after the Canaries struck an 8.6million agreement with Sporting Lisbon.

Big money: The Dutchman agreed an 8.6million move to Carrow Road from Sporting Lisbon

Big money: The Dutchman agreed an 8.6million move to Carrow Road from Sporting Lisbon

But Sportsmail understands the forward, who is due to sign a four year deal with Norwich on July 1, has a clause in his contract that allows him to pull out of the move if the Norfolk club are relegated.

Van Wolfswinkel is a long-term target of Hughton, who will be desperate not to miss out on the 24-year-old.

After a worrying start to the season, the Canaries have managed to improve their form and currently sit in 14th place, four points off the drop zone.

But a poor end to the season could easily see them slump back into relegation trouble, which will leave Van Wolfswinkel's switch in jeopardy.

Goal machine: Van Wolfswinkel (above centre) would bring Hughton's men much-needed firepower next season, having scored just 31 goals this campaign

Goal machine: Van Wolfswinkel (above centre) would bring Hughton's men much-needed firepower next season, having scored just 31 goals this campaign

Arsenal Norwich

Back in March, the 24-year-old was impressed by Hughton during discussions and became convinced Norwich is a team with potential.

‘The club is in the middle of the table and very ambitious, this summer they will be debt free and will get on strong,’ Van Wolfswinkel told Dutch magazine Voetbal International in March.

‘I had a good talk with the manager, Chris Hughton. He was very specific about my qualities and wants to build a strong team around him. That gives good trust.

‘The plan is also to bring in an attacking midfielder and two wide players this summer. With that, Norwich can look to play in the top half of the table.’

Robert Snodgrass

Grant Holt

Lacking up top: Robert Snodgrass (left) and Grant Holt (right) have just eleven goals between them all season

Hughton, who tried to sign 6ft 1in Van Wolfswinkel in January, wants more attacking options after having to deploy Grant Holt as a lone striker this season. Norwich have scored just 31 goals in 33 games, with top scorer Robert Snodgrass having netted just six times.

‘That a club would spend so much money, in these times, shows their faith in me,’ he said.

‘I have been to Norwich to look around and spoken to the manager and chief executive over their plans for the future. I don't know much about Norwich, but the city and the club surprised me – the stadium has 25,000 (capacity) and there are 5,000 fans on a waiting list for (season) tickets on top of that which shows the status of the club.’

Australian Open 2013: Andy Murray beats Robin Haase

Murray ignites grand slam challenge with straight-sets victory over hapless Haase

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

01:50 GMT, 15 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:41 GMT, 15 January 2013

Andy Murray had the privilege of walking out onto the Rod Laver Arena to begin the second day of the Australian Open as a Grand Slam champion, and turned in a performance worthy of one.

Freshly minted as US Open winner, the 25 year-old Scot was utterly commanding as he dismissed Dutchman Robin Haase 6-3 6-1 6-3 in just an hour and 37 minutes, being over and done with before the stadium had a chance to fill up before lunchtime.

Murray’s next opponent is Joao Sousa, the world No 100, who beat Australian wildcard John-Patrick Smith 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.

Game, set, match: Andy Murray cruised through to the second round with victory over Robin Hasse

Game, set, match: Andy Murray cruised through to the second round with victory over Robin Hasse

The contrast to their US open second round of 2011 could hardly have been greater, and is a measure of how far Murray has progressed since then. On that day in New York he fell two sets behind, was totally at odds with himself and also allowed Haase a last-ditch comeback when he had gone ahead in the fifth set after seeming to recover.

This was one-way traffic by comparison, the only time the Dutchman looking comfortable being the first two games when he held easily and then tested the Murray serve.

A glorious morning with tepratures of 26C and a half-empty arena greeted the players for this relatively early start. Murray has been acquainted with Haase since junior days and knows him to be a fluent shotmaker whose skills have not always been matched by his mental strength.

Easy does it: Murray was always in control as he races to a straight-sets victory

Easy does it: Murray was always in control as he races to a straight-sets victory

After the initial hump had been overcome the world No 3 settled into his rhythm, razor sharp on his returns and enjoying a pleasing consistency on his first serve, with the percentage success rate always up around the 75 per cent mark.

His ease of movement showed that there were no nerves and soon he was reeling off successive service breaks to put himself in total command. The second set was the most straightforward of all, over in 26 minutes, with the third taking only half an hour.

Murray was broken in the third at 4-1 up when it looked like he was going to completely steamroller his way home, but the result was never in doubt, which has not always been the case when he has started at a major, sometimes nervous of the expectations placed upon him.

Support group: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears (above) and his fan club (below) were in attendance

Support group: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears (above) and his fan club (below) were in attendance

Supporters of Britain's Andy Murray

If there was a slight glitch it was the fact that Murray had his serve broken twice, despite him ending the match with a 73 per cent first serve success rate, but that would be nitpicking and it was to his credit that the whole match was something of a non-event.

Laura Robson and Jamie Baker are due to play later in the day’s singles, but this was a promising start that suggests that he is in good shape for the more strenuous tests to come.

It was the sort of imperious beginning you are more used to seeing from the likes of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, which is about the highest praise that can be given.

Murray said: 'It’s a good start and it’s nice to win in straight sets.It’s the hottest day we have had here for a while. It makes the court quicker and it took a little while to get used to it.'

Cooling off: Murray barely broke sweat as he began his Australian Open challenge in style

Cooling off: Murray barely broke sweat as he began his Australian Open challenge in style

Australian Open 2013: Andy Murray beats Robin Hasse

Murray ignites grand slam challenge with straight-sets victory over hapless Hasse

PUBLISHED:

01:50 GMT, 15 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:50 GMT, 15 January 2013

Andy Murray wasted no time in reaching the second round of the Australian Open with a facile straight-sets victory over Robin Hasse.

The Brit was rarely out of first gear as he sauntered into a two-set lead and the writing was on the wall after an early break in the third.

And Murray closed out the match with minimal fuss to record a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 victory over the Dutchman.

More to follow…

Game, set, match: Andy Murray cruised through to the second round with victory over Robin Hasse

Game, set, match: Andy Murray cruised through to the second round with victory over Robin Hasse

Easy does it: Murray was always in control as he races to a straight-sets victory

Easy does it: Murray was always in control as he races to a straight-sets victory

Support group: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears (above) and his fan club (below) were in attendance

Support group: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears (above) and his fan club (below) were in attendance

Supporters of Britain's Andy Murray

Supporters of Britain's Andy Murray

Cooling off: Murray barely broke sweat as he began his Australian Open challenge in style

Cooling off: Murray barely broke sweat as he began his Australian Open challenge in style

Eric Bristow sure Phil Taylor will win many more world dart"s titles after capturing his 16th against Michael Van Gerwen

Bristow: Don't expect Taylor to throw in the towel anytime soon, he'll grab a few more world titles before he's gone

By
Thom Drake

PUBLISHED:

10:56 GMT, 2 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:25 GMT, 2 January 2013

Eric Bristow has predicted that Phil Taylor's 16th PDC World Darts Championship title will not be his last after watching him produce a stunning fightback against Dutchman Michael Van Gerwen.

Taylor came out on top in a high-quality final at Alexandra Palace in London last night, battling from 4-2 behind to win 7-4.

It earned 52-year-old Taylor a cheque for 200,000 plus the new Sid Waddell Trophy, named after the late commentator.

Taylor's comeback epitomised his continuing class

Unstoppable: Taylor's comeback epitomised the class which has set him apart in the world of darts

Bristow, who dominated darts in the 1980s, helped Taylor financially in the early stages of his career, and has seen the Stoke man develop into the sport's greatest player.

Bristow cannot see Taylor remaining dominant for years to come, but he expects the latest victory will not be the last world title he takes, even if Van Gerwen is threatening to topple him.

'He won't get to 20 but there most likely will be another one in him,' Bristow said on BBC Radio 5 Live.

'He is getting on a bit now. And Michael van Gerwen is going to win a few, he's a brilliant darts player, he's the best of the rest of the bunch.

Bristow is positive that Taylor can add to his 16 world titles in the coming years

Enduring: Bristow is positive that Taylor can add to his 16 world titles in the coming years

Van Gerwen has proved he is the best of the rest at just the age of 23

New generation: Van Gerwen has proved he is the best of the rest at just the age of 23

'It was great for darts. I think we have seen the newcomer coming through, who's going to take over from Phil, but not yet.'

Bristow puts Taylor's success down to intense practice.

'He's just superb, he's very dedicated. He puts a lot of time into his sport,' Bristow said.

'He plays four, five, six hours a day, even now, 30 years on.

'It was a great final, both of them played superbly.'

Bristow himself won five World Championships between 1980 and 1986

Golden oldie: Bristow himself won five World Championships between 1980 and 1986

Taylor had questioned his own future after his ding-dong with Van Barneveld

Feuding: Taylor had questioned his own future after his ding-dong with Van Barneveld

Waddell, known as the voice of darts, died in August after a battle with cancer, and his name was chanted by the crowd during the final.

'That was lovely,' Bristow said.

'Phil went out there to win the title. Obviously he wanted to win the first ever Sid Waddell trophy, but once you're up on that stage you're playing the game.

'Now he's got the trophy and it's got Sid Waddell's name on it, he'll be over the moon about that.'

Phil Taylor versus Michael van Gerwen is a fitting end to a thrilling World Championship

Drama, excitement, bust ups, close matches, great performances and two nine-dart finishes: Taylor versus Van Gerwen is a fitting end to a thrilling World Championship

|

UPDATED:

17:08 GMT, 31 December 2012

Is there any better way to end a World Championship that has had everything

The 15-time world champion and King of the oche Phil Taylor takes on the red hot Dutch star Michael van Gerwen in one of the most eagerly awaited contests in the tournament’s 20-year history.

‘Mighty Mike’ has lit up Alexandra Palace over the festive period and he has all the attributes needed to topple ‘The Power’ and win his maiden world title.

Van Gerwen produced a champion’s performance to beat two-time winner Adrian Lewis 5-4 in a stunning quarter-final and then, almost unthinkably, played even better against James Wade in the semis. Had MVG pulled off two nine-dart finishes in a row, it surely would have ranked as the greatest moment in darts history.

Mighty Mike: Van Gerwen has produced outstanding form this year at Ally Pally

Mighty Mike: Van Gerwen has produced outstanding form this year at Ally Pally

It has been a year to remember for the Dutchman, after his win at the World Grand Prix and final at the Grand Slam, and a win over Taylor on Tuesday night could almost be a changing of the guard for the sport.

If he plays like he did against Lewis, Van Gerwen will almost certainly be the new world champion.

Taylor said: ‘Michael’s talent is the best I’ve ever seen, even better than me at my peak. I’ve been studying Michael’s game and he doesn’t even seem to look at his target. I’m going to do everything on the dart board I can to beat him.’

But the pressure of a World Championship final could get to the young pretender and, if it does, the last man you would want to face is Taylor.

The Power: Taylor is going for his 16th world title

The Power: Taylor is going for his 16th world title

‘The Power’ hasn’t been at his best at Ally Pally this year but still finds himself in the final. He has negotiated a tricky draw with relative ease, beating Robert Thornton, Andy Hamilton and Raymond van Barneveld.

The bookmakers were right in ranking these two as the favourites but Taylor knows he needs to up his game to stop ‘Mighty Mike’ winning his first world title.

An interesting sub-plot will be the reaction Phil Taylor gets from the crowd after his spat with Barney after the semis.

The 2013 World Championship has had drama, excitement, close matches, sizzling performances and two-nine dart finishes. Let’s hope the final will be the conclusion a brilliant tournament deserves.

Five memorable moments from Ally Pally this year

5. John Part angry that his picture isn't on the wall at Alexandra Palace

4. Van Gerwen knocks out reigning champion Adrian Lewis in a quarter-final classic

3. Dean Winstanley's nine-dart finish against Vincent van der Voort

2. Taylor clashes with Van Barneveld after semi-final

1. Van Gerwen's incredible 17 perfect darts in a row

Wesley Sneijder plays down Liverpool move

Sneijder plays down 9.5m move to Liverpool as Inter Milan midfielder eyes January exit

|

UPDATED:

14:31 GMT, 31 December 2012

Unsettled Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder has moved to dampen speculation linking him with a January move to Liverpool.

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Sunday that the Reds had made a 9.5million offer for the Dutchman.

Sneijder has been left feeling isolated at the San Siro after snubbing a suggested annual pay cut of 1.6million and then being dropped from the first-team.

On the move: Inter Milan's Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder is heading for the exit in the January transfer window

On the move: Inter Milan's Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder is heading for the exit in the January transfer window

But he denied there was any foundation in the story linking him to an Anfield switch when asked about it on Monday, telling a press conference: ‘Again, no truth’.

The 28-year old – who has also attracted interest from Manchester United and Tottenham – reacted furiously to Inter’s proposed salary cut and demanded a move, putting the pressure on the Serie A outfit to sell him for close to the same 15million euro fee they paid Real Madrid in 2009.

Red alert: How Sneijder would look in Liverpool coloursRed alert: How Sneijder would look in Liverpool colours

Red alert: How Sneijder would look in Liverpool colours

‘Clearly it’s best for everyone concerned that in January I am transferred,’ he said defiantly. ‘If that doesn’t happen then I will stay. I have a contract with Inter until 2015.’

Manager Andrea Stramaccioni has since dropped Sneijder from the squad over the bitter dispute.

His wage bill is currently 200,000 per week and Inter will be relieved to offload the financial burden. Liverpool’s coffers, however, are unlikely to be able to stretch to such levels.

Talk of a move to Spurs for the Holland international cooled when his agent told Dutch paper Algemeen Dagblad:

‘There is nothing, absolutely nothing true about that.’

United are also thought to be weighing up a January bid for the former Ajax man.

Michael van Gerwen beats James Wade to book place in World Darts final

Mighty Mike hits maximum on the way to booking final place after seeing off Wade

PUBLISHED:

22:36 GMT, 30 December 2012

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UPDATED:

22:36 GMT, 30 December 2012

Michael van Gerwen tonight reached the Ladbrokes World Championship final and went agonisingly close to historic back-to-back nine-dart finishes in his semi-final win over James Wade.

Van Gerwen was leading three sets to one but trailing 2-0 in the fifth set when he produced a perfect leg, matching the achievement of Dean Winstanley earlier in the tournament.

The Dutchman hit a maximum 180, 177 and then finished 144 on double 12 to send the Alexandra Palace crowd wild.

Cloud nine: Michael van Gerwen hit a perfect nine dart finish on the way to booking his place in the final

Cloud nine: Michael van Gerwen hit a perfect nine dart finish on the way to booking his place in the final

And the fans were still on their feet moments later when the speedy right-hander hit two more maximums to start the next leg and narrowly missed double 12 for a checkout on 141.

Remarkably, Van Gerwen did not even win the set, with Englishman Wade holding his nerve to win the fifth leg and reduce his deficit.

The left-hander won the next set as well to make it 3-3, but Van Gerwen regained his composure to open up a 5-3 lead and looked set to seal the win when he needed 52 to win the ninth set.

In top form: Van Gerwen has looked at his very best in the World Championships

In top form: Van Gerwen has looked at his very best in the World Championships

However, he hit single five instead of 12 and ended up missing his only dart at double 20, allowing Wade in to make it 5-4.

Wade was unable to take further advantage though, Van Gerwen racing through the next set 3-0 to complete a hard-fought 6-4 victory.

On the money: Van Gerwen celebrates his perfect leg

On the money: Van Gerwen celebrates his perfect leg

'It was unbelievable,' Van Gerwen said. 'It was a very difficult game for me because Wade is a very slow player and I had not beaten him on TV, but it was a nice one to win.”

Asked about attempting to hit his second nine-dart finish, Van Gerwen added on Sky Sports 1: 'I was very concentrated, thinking 'Just carry on' because I was 2-1 down in the set and I still lost it, but it's not about nine-dart finishes, it's about winning games.

'It's nice to be in the final of the World Championships.'

Beaten man: James Wade looks dejected after losing the semi final

Beaten man: James Wade looks dejected after losing the semi final

Manchester United won eight Premier League matches from losing positions

Comeback Kings! Fergie's table toppers have won EIGHT matches from losing positions in charge for the title

|

UPDATED:

11:41 GMT, 27 December 2012

Sir Matt Busby’s attacking ethos has long been a tradition at Old Trafford, much like the rain and good music. ‘Just go out and play,’ he told his team.

But never more than during this season has that mentality been so captivatingly exhibited. Nine times Manchester United have gone behind in the Barclays Premier League. Eight times they have subsequently tasted victory.

It is a remarkable run which has earned Sir Alex Ferguson’s side 24 points from losing positions.

Perilous defending has time and again been seen and raised by United’s swashbuckling attack.

Yesterday’s 4-3 win over Newcastle was the latest example and means at halfway United, despite conceding 28 goals (more than in entire title-winning campaigns of seasons past), sit seven points clear at the top. Here, Sportsmail details all those comeback wins.

Saviour: United celebrate Hernandez's injury-time winner against Newcastle

Saviour: United celebrate Hernandez's injury-time winner against Newcastle

August 25 United 3-2 Fulham

Damien Duff took advantage of slack marking to turn Bryan Ruiz’s clever free-kick past David De Gea to give Fulham a third-minute lead. But Robin van Persie showed his class on his first United start by turning Patrice Evra’s cross beyond Mark Schwarzer in brilliant fashion on the volley. Shinji Kagawa and Rafael put United in front by halftime before a Nemanja Vidic own goal led to nervy late scenes.

New boy: Summer signing Kagawa scores past Schwarzer

New boy: Summer signing Kagawa scores past Schwarzer

September 2 Southampton 2-3 United

A stunning late blitz courtesy of United’s flying Dutchman turned a loss into victory in the final three minutes. Van Persie equalised Rickie Lambert’s opener but then missed a penalty by dinking it after Morgan Schneiderlin had headed the hosts back in front. United seemed doomed but an 87th minute leveller and stoppage time winner from the 29-year-old secured a hat-trick and three points.

Late but great: Van Persie rescued United at Southampton with two late goals

Late but great: Van Persie rescued United at Southampton with two late goals

September 23 Liverpool 1-2 United

An ambush at Anfield. United played dreadfully but emerged from the home of their arch rivals with a precious win. Jonjo Shelvey was harshly dismissed for a lunge on Jonny Evans in the first half but Liverpool roused and Steven Gerrard volleyed them in front. Rafael scored a delightful leveller and Van Persie made no mistake from the spot nine minutes from time after a foul on Antonio Valencia.

Van the man: Van Persie converts a penalty as United won 2-1 at Anfield

Van the man: Van Persie converts a penalty as United won 2-1 at Anfield

October 20 United 4-2 Stoke

Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick (of sorts) to see off Stoke. The England striker nodded the visitors in front with an own goal on 11 minutes but quickly atoned with a header at the right end to equalise. Van Persie and Danny Welbeck eased United ahead but Michael Kightly again exposed their defensive frailties to make it 3-2. Rooney grabbed his ‘third’ goal of the game to settle flutters.

Comeback: United beat Stoke 4-2 at Old Trafford having trailed through a Rooney own-goal

Comeback: United beat Stoke 4-2 at Old Trafford having trailed through a Rooney own-goal

November 10 Aston Villa 2-3 United

Javier Hernandez produced the alchemy at Villa Park in another gold-standard comeback display. It is the only time United have won after falling behind by two goals. Christian Benteke beasted Chris Smalling and Andreas Weimann netted a brace to send the home crowd delirious. But Little Pea, on as a substitute, turned the game, scoring twice and seeing another shot diverted in by Ron Vlaar.

Chicharito: Hernandez scored two goals at Villa Park as United recovered from 2-0 down

Chicharito: Hernandez scored two goals at Villa Park as United recovered from 2-0 down

November 24 United 3-1 QPR

As United comebacks go, this was a rather mundane affair. In fact, there would have been a surprise if they hadn’t returned Jamie Mackie’s 52nd minute opener with interest. Harry Redknapp watched from the stands as his new side succumbed to a second-half barrage from Evans, Darren Fletcher and Hernandez. It was Fletcher’s first league start in more than a year after serious illness.

Flying Scot: Fletcher scored as United saw off Harry Redknapp's new team QPR

Flying Scot: Fletcher scored as United saw off Harry Redknapp's new team QPR

December 1 Reading 3-4 United

A completely mad evening at the Madejski. Hal Robson-Kanu lit the fuse of a dynamite opening half with a goal in the eighth minute. Just 26 minutes later it was 4-3 to the visitors. Anderson drilled a finish: 1-1. Rooney converted a penalty: 1-2. Adam Le Fondre nodded in: 2-2. Sean Morrison did likewise: 3-2. Rooney got his second: 3-3. Van Persie found a winner: 4-3. The players seemed shell-chocked in the second period and no further craziness followed.

Crazy: United prevailed at the Madejski in a match that saw seven first-half goals

Crazy: United prevailed at the Madejski in a match that saw seven first-half goals

December 26 United 4-3 Newcastle

A Boxing Day bonanza with United plucking another type of comeback from their vast repertoire, this time finding a way to win after falling behind three times. Evans became the second United player to score at both ends in a game by turning in Danny Simpson’s cross after he had equalised James Perch’s opener. Evra, Papiss Cisse and Van Persie scored before Hernandez found another last minute winner.

Little Pea: Hernandez struck an injury-time winner as United beat Newcastle 4-3 on Boxing Day

Little Pea: Hernandez struck an injury-time winner as United beat Newcastle 4-3 on Boxing Day

P.S. Let’s not forget the two games United have let a two goal lead slip only to win late on. It needed resilience of a different kind to strike back from losing comfortable margins at both Chelsea and City and claim all three points on each occasion. Surely vital victories in the final reckoning.