Van Persie's progress has Smalling smiling

MANCHESTER United defender Chris Smalling is amazed at how quickly striker Robin van Persie has adapted to life at Old Trafford.

Loading Comments
Robin van Persie was on target for Manchester United again against Sunderland
Robin van Persie was on target for Manchester United again against Sunderland

Van Persie took his tally at United to 15 goals in 21 games with the opener in the 3-1 home win over Sunderland.

That puts him on a par with the legendary Ruud van Nistelrooy's introduction and means the 29-year-old has now scored an incredible 60 times in his last 72 Premier League games.

For Smalling, the achievement is even more remarkable given Van Persie had barely played a pre-season game before he was pitched into his debut at Everton in August, 24 hours after completing his £24million move from Arsenal.

Smalling said: "He only came in the summer and didn't have much of a pre-season. But he came straight into the matches and has been such a threat."

Even Sir Alex Ferguson must be slightly taken aback at how well Van Persie has settled into the Old Trafford fold. He said: "You are seeing a player who has come to his mature years."

Van Persie's latest effort was followed by Tom Cleverley's first Premier League goal at Old Trafford and Wayne Rooney's fifth in four games.

Yet, other than the victory that preserved United's six-point lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League, perhaps the most significant event was the return of Nemanja Vidic.

Plagued by injury for 16 months, during which time he has made only 13 appearances, the Serbian provides the most obvious answer to United's continuing defensive ills, despite being partially responsible for Frazier Campbell's goal.

Across the city, Gael Clichy has told his Man City team-mates to roll up their sleeves for a fight. The France international helped City to a battling 3-1 Barclays Premier League victory at Newcastle to ensure they maintained pace with arch-rivals United.

He said: "Last season was a great season, but like the manager says, we have to put this behind us and start to work."


Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.


Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email
A weekly round up of social highlights

A weekly round up of social highlights

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

Chilling in Glasgow's first Ice Bar and getting Mhor than I bargained for




Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Columnist Michelle McManus is Sussed in the City, and loves to chat about anything and everything.

Games news:

Putting the world to rights

Gail's Gab

My thoughts after Police Scotland are ordered to apologise over IRA interrogation techniques slur.

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.