Van Persie repays Van Gaal’s faith in him with Southampton performance

by Richard Laverty

Robin van Persie came under intense criticism in recent weeks for some of his performances and the match against former club Arsenal meant even his manager stepped in to have his way.

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal was critical of Van Persie after the striker managed just 13 touches of the ball at the Emirates but the Dutchman has responded with three goals in his last three appearances.

The 31-year-old can count himself lucky that James Wilson fell ill before the Hull City game last week as it seems almost certain van Persie would have to make do with a place on the bench otherwise.

But it allowed van Persie to put in an improved performance which he rounded off with a fine strike from outside the area.


On Monday night against Southampton, van Persie was the best player on the pitch for United during a sluggish and at times frustrating performance but two moments of strikers instinct ensured three points and a fifth win on the bounce for the visitors.

Whether van Persie’s reaction on the pitch is a direct response to criticism from his manager or just a coincidental return to form and fitness remains to be seen but it’s a boost for United supporters given the club host rivals Liverpool this weekend.

Van Persie looked much more like his old self, winning tackles, turning defenders with ease and had all the attributes that had so far escaped his performers throughout the new campaign.

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