On This Day: RVP Rockets In A League Title Winning Thunderbastard
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Tomorrow, Manchester United will travel to Burnley in search of the three points that will keep the pressure on Liverpool and Manchester City in their pursuit for a top four finish.
Four years ago today, United were winning the Premier League title.
So much has changed at Old Trafford since the 2012/13 season, when Sir Alex Ferguson called time on his incredible managerial career.
Most noticeably, the club haven't put forth anything remotely resembling a title challenge, whether it be under the leadership of David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal or Jose Mourinho.
And until Zlatan Ibrahimovic showed up at Old Trafford, this season, United haven't had a striker who has been able to replicate the form of Robin Van Persie circa 2012/13.
van Persie's debut season at Old Trafford was one to remember. Image: PA
The Dutchman arrived at Old Trafford from Arsenal in a highly publicised £24m deal in the Summer of 2012 and was tasked with scoring the goals that would deliver Premier League dominance back to the red half of Manchester after a Sergio Aguero goal had taken it to the Etihad Stadium a few months previously.
Van Persie duly delivered, scoring 30 goals in his debut season as Sir Alex Ferguson's men returned to the summit of English football.
And none of Van Persie's efforts in a United shirt were more jaw dropping than the second of his three goals against Aston Villa at Old Trafford on 22nd April, 2013.
'Ave it! Van Persie scores the 2012/13 goal of the season. Image: PA
Having given United an early lead with a close range effort, the flying Dutchman decided to dial things up significantly for his second goal.
Wayne Rooney picked up the ball just inside his own half and saw the United number 20 heading towards the Villa area. Rooney promptly arrowed a gorgeous 50 yard pass onto the left foot of the (slightly offside) Van Persie, who rocketed an absolute thunderbastard of a volley past a bemused Brad Guzman.
On this day in 2013... :heart: pic.twitter.com/KgKshiMh1g- Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 22, 2017
The effort was awarded the Premier League goal of the season, which the Dutchman added to his Premier League winner's medal and golden boot from the same campaign.
Not bad for a season's work. £24m doesn't even get you Christian Benteke, these days.