MANCHESTER United striker Robin van Persie was understandably delighted after propelling the Old Trafford club 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 United’s 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.
“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 said: “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.”
Asked if Van Persie’s second was a contender for goal of the season honours, Ferguson added: “Of the century for me. It was a marvellous hit, head down, over the ball, perfect timing – a magnificent strike.
“He’s been unbelievable, his early form in the first six months was fantastic.
“He had the spell where he didn’t score but he was unbelievable tonight.” 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.”