Man Utd boss Ferguson credits van Persie with title-winning impact

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Robin van Persie made the difference between Manchester United and Manchester City this season, BBC Sport has reported, after United won a 20th league title and 13th of the Premier League era.

United wrapped up the trophy by beating Aston Villa 3-0 at Old Trafford with van Persie netting a first-half hat-trick, taking him to 24 league goals for the season – ahead of Liverpool forward Luis Suarez in the league’s top scorer race.

Van Persie joined United from Arsenal last summer, with United spending £24m on the Netherlands international, and Ferguson has admitted even he has been surprised by how effective the 29-year-old has been.

I remember Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger saying to me ‘he’s better than you think’ when we concluded the deal. He was right,” Ferguson revealed, while the BBC noted that City manager Roberto Mancini predicted van Persie would be the player to separate the sides this season.

Ferguson added: “He has made a fantastic contribution. In terms of impact he has had as big an impact as anyone I can imagine…I think we had an expectation of Robin because his performance last year for Arsenal was sensational. We saw him last year and knew he could gel into the way our team was, and he has never disappointed us.

United sealed the title with four games still to play and despite City having a game in hand on their local rivals. The win over Villa took United 16 points clear of Mancini’s team, with only 15 points available to City from their final five matches.

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