Robin van Persie

Instead of looking bored out of his mind with what’s left of the season like the rest of his teammates, Robin van Persie decided to celebrate his drought-ending goal a little bit too festively when you think about the long garbage time Manchester United have been on for quite some time, but strikers and goalscorers operate on a different code apparently. Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney represented what this team is all about this season in a much more suitable way.

Despite hardly putting in a memorable performance all season long for those looking for excellence, Manchester United continue their rare streak of wins and clean sheets, interrupted by a derby loss that didn’t mean anything. They’ve dropped only 16 points all season long, and their bland yet effective style of soccer, that once again comes with a stout defense that gets help from referees (Nemanja Vidic committed a foul in the box that surprisingly went unnoticed), has steamrolled of the Premier League.

Michael Carrick winning player of the season, or at least United’s player of the year, would be the perfect example of just how this season went. Flairless, flashless, yet correct, efficient, smart and at times looking so effortless you wonder if teams put up a fight. Robin van Persie was hot during the wilder days of the campaign. Not brilliant football, but a gung-ho style that won them match after match, developed after a home loss to Tottenham, teaching Ferguson he can’t trust his defenders at that time. Things have changed once injured players returned and he found himself a better formula in the midfield.

Wayne Rooney might not be scoring in the same amount he did in previous seasons, but few stars have the ability to forget about the more luxurious roles of the forward line and drop back, play like a central midfield or anything else the manager asks of him, shying away from the spotlight and glory yet not letting it harm his quality and gameplay. United, as always, needed an effective, quiet performance from him, and that’s exactly what they got.

For Van Persie, who was two months into his United drought, that penalty kick he finally scored made a world of a difference, celebrating like someone who just helped United make it into the quarterfinals of the Champions Leauge. Only Van Persie couldn’t stop missing against Real Madrid, or anyone else for that matter, and needed a team in crisis, fighting for its life in the Premier League, to allow him to feel what it’s like to be a scorer again.

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