Goal of the Day: Van Persie's derby winner

Monday 09 December 2019 14:20

As we soak up Saturday's victory over Manchester City, enjoy another famous Etihad winner in today's 'Goal of the Day...

Date: 9 December 2012, Etihad Stadium, Premier League

Background: United and City came into this derby day encounter as the top two in the Premier League – a victory for the Reds would open up a six-point lead ahead of the busy Christmas period. Wayne Rooney struck twice from close-range in the first-half to put Sir Alex Ferguson’s side in control before Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta drew City level late on. Rather than remain content to take a decent point back across Manchester, the Reds kept pushing for a winner before, in stoppage time, Rafael won a free-kick in a dangerous area after being tripped by ex-Red Carlos Tevez.

The goal: Robin van Persie, already with 13 goals to his name in his maiden season at United, stood over the ball and ushered away Wayne Rooney, who stepped aside. Tevez left City’s defensive wall to cut off the possibility of the ball being rolled to Rooney, giving van Persie the perfect opening. The Dutchman curled an effort around the wall, through the space Tevez had occupied. Samir Nasri dangled out a leg but succeeded only in helping the ball on its way into Joe Hart’s net, via the inside of the post, to give the Reds a priceless victory.

What happened next: Van Persie ended the 12/13 season with 30 goals in all competitions, as United were crowned Premier League champions for the 20th time.

Reaction: “It got a little deflection but it was a wicked shot by Robin, which he is capable of doing of course,” said Sir Alex Ferguson. "I thought the whole game he had them on the back foot and we worked off of that quite a lot.”