SAT in the car on the way to Old Trafford last Monday was the first time in a long time I had absolute confidence in Manchester United. I mean simply, I didn’t anticipate Aston Villa throwing any spanner into the works. I had a feeling Manchester United would not let them do so on this night. There were no thoughts of well if they score first we will score two, and we’ll get there eventually… last week I had a feeling we would destroy Aston Villa and enjoy doing so.
For a long time we have not been playing for title, it’s been ours, it’s just a case of when we were going to be confirmed Champions. The ‘keep ticking matches off’ mentality was beginning to do my head in if I’m honest, so I’m glad the maths got really easy and it looks like the team think so too: win this match, win the league. Sorry, Villa, you didn’t stand a chance.
After half an hour of the first half it was game, league, season over and it was fitting that Robin Van Persie was the one to put the ball in the net. How nice of Fergie to allow him to stay on to complete his hat trick. Look at his face on the final whistle, his arms go up and he has the look of a relieved man; it’s almost like he was there at the Stadium of Light last year when our title hopes went dark. He looks like I looked, when that feeling all those months ago stopped hurting and we were back where we wanted to be. It’s daft that I’m saying that, I know he wasn’t there and I know the look on his face probably had more to do with winning his first league title but the feeling was the same for us – we’ve done it.
It just goes to show how well Robin Van Persie has established himself in the team and with the fans, to say he hit the ground running is an understatement, he allowed himself to have a quiet few weeks this is true, but he was gracious enough to wait until he’d put us firmly in the driving seat before he went slightly off the boil.
Aston Villa were unimportant, they will have their moment in the coming games and they will have to do their job, let’s just admire those three goals shall we?
ONE NIL – Wayne Rooney hits a long pass to Valencia, who has a look and decides to knock it back to Rafael. Rafael hits a cross which I swear looked done and dusted as soon as it left his boot. We should have had more faith, after all, it wasn’t Nani… the cross stays in the air for the entirety of Dances With Wolves plus deleted scenes to play on the screens in front of me. Giggs sends it across and RVP is there to settle any nerves about a stuttering start.
TWO NIL – Wayne Rooney again claims the assist, he’s morphing into Paul Scholes; probably to be expected now that his nose has been put slightly out of joint by the man who took that ball and finished it beautifully, the ‘keeper couldn’t do anything and didn’t even try. One of the best goals I have seen in person, there was the third goal scored by Ronaldo (the fat one) for Real Madrid in 2003 against United, but Van Persie is up there.
THREE NIL – Robin Van Persie gives us his version of a scruffy goal.
Nice one Robin, thou hast delivered us from trophyless evil at the first time of asking. You’ve put a scouser’s nose out of joint (and he didn’t need any help there really) and you’ve experienced what it’s like to be part of a winning team.
It’s not the end of the season yet so don’t go looking for any end of term reports… but rejoice and celebrate, because the trophy is coming back to the theatre of dreams.
And finally; the unofficial GTS photographer gave up recording the celebrations as he only stopped fiddling with his camera in time to see the celebrations reach the Stretford End. Taking pictures of the tv screen in front of our seats? That’ll do. Thankfully they came round to us a second time.