Robin van Persie marked his return to Old Trafford with a goal, but couldn’t help his Fenerbahce side salvage any points as Manchester United cruised a 4-1 victory on Thursday night.
The Dutchman left Manchester for Turkey back in July 2015 with an astonishing record of 58 goals in 105 games.
His return to Old Trafford was met with rapturous acclaim, and his late consolation goal merited a standing ovation from both sets of supporters.
Here is a photo gallery of the 33-year-old in action against his former side.
Van Persie’s goal – a close range, typically instinctive finish in the 83 minute – yielded a rare moment of pure sporting harmony. 71,000 stood to herald the man who, for one glorious season, allowed United fans to dream as Sir Alex Ferguson‘s side, with the Dutchman leading the line, cruised to their twentieth league title.
As his song echoed around Old Trafford the memories of that season (his goal against Fulham, his hat-trick against Southampton, that goal against Aston Villa, amongst so many other recollections) came flooding back, and I for one couldn’t help but feel slightly emotional.
It was nostalgia at its bittersweet best. Accentuated, of course, by Van Persie’s demonstration of the only thing he could do during his time at Old Trafford – finding the net.