Robin Van Persie: Ranking His Goals for Manchester United so Far

Max TowleAnalyst IDecember 17, 2012

Robin Van Persie: Ranking His Goals for Manchester United so Far

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    It may have taken a while, but Manchester United fans are finally starting to get used to the sight of Robin van Persie in the club's famous shirt.

    Regular goal scoring helps—he has 15 to be precise—but his contribution to the Red Devils' plight can't be measured in mere numbers.

    But if that is what you're into, you've come to the right place. Here are all of the Dutchman's goals for United, ranked in order of excellence and importance.

    Does anyone still believe Sir Alex Ferguson overpaid for the £24 million striker? 

On the Cusp (15-11)

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    Unfortunately, not all of Robin van Persie's goals can be crackers. So here are five of his less memorable efforts on the cusp of the top 10:

     

    15. vs. CFR Cluj (1) (02/10)

    An away clash in Transylvania in the Champions League saw the Dutchman redirect a drifting free kick towards goal with a little help from his right shoulder.

     

    14. vs. Southampton (2) (02/09)

    Robin's second at the St. Mary's to level things up with less than ten minutes remaining contributed to an unlikely United comeback. It was a scrambled strike blasted home from point blank range following a corner.

     

    13. vs. Reading (01/12)

    In a furious 30-minute spell that saw seven goals scored, van Persie finished things off calmly, having been fed through one-on-one by an inspired Wayne Rooney to give his side a 4-3 lead.

     

    12. vs. Sunderland (15/12)

    The striker's most recent net buster came in a straight-forward home win over struggling Sunderland. Good work by Ashley Young gave van Persie a simple finish into the roof of Simone Mignolet's goal.

     

    11. Vs. Stoke City (21/10)

    In classic van Persie style, a driven Antonio Valencia cross saw the Dutchman turn sharply at the near post and sidefoot home on the brink of halftime.

10. Vs. West Ham (28/11)

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    Manchester United stole the lead after only 30 seconds in a recent encounter against West Ham, eventually claiming a narrow victory by his goal alone.

    Though his shot was cruelly deflected over Jussi Jaaskelainen, this one is all about the delightful Cantona-esque flick in the build up.

9. Vs. Braga (07/11)

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    The Dutch hitman's game-winning impact on a tricky European away tie in Portugal early last month saw him score a vital equaliser with only 10 minutes left on the clock.

    Receiving the ball in space about 30 yards out, van Persie drifted a delightful lob over an unfortunate Braga keeper caught miles off his line.

    The eventual 3-1 win sealed the Red Devils' place in the knockout round of Champions League competition.

8. Vs. Liverpool (23/09)

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    Manchester United goals don't come more important than a late winner at Anfield, as Robin van Persie quickly discovered in a fierce September clash with Liverpool.

    His composed spot kick was part power, part placement, but all goal. Though the Red Devils were perhaps a little fortunate to win the game 2-1, nobody in the away fans' section was complaining that day.

7. Vs. Arsenal (03/11)

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    Capitilising on a well-timed Thomas Vermaelen slip, van Persie's clinical finish into the far corner earns a place on this list not just for skill, but for importance as well.

    Though Arsenal are hardly the stiffest of opposition these days, last month's 2-1 victory was a welcome result indeed—even if the Dutchman refused to celebrate after scoring against his former team. 

6. Vs. Chelsea (28/10)

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    Manchester United's dramatic win over Chelsea will unfortunately be remembered for all the wrong reasons—at least by fans of the Blues and other detractors.

    But a tactically dominant first half performance saw van Persie score the Red Devils' second goal after only 12 minutes with a swivelling shot from an Antonio Valencia cross.

5. Vs. Manchester City (09/12)

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    OK, so there may be one goal that would be more important than a late winner at Anfield. How about a stoppage-time clincher at the Etihad Stadium?

    Robin van Persie's curling free kick could not have fooled Manchester City's Joe Hart without a deflection off Samir Nasri's balletic leg—for that, United fans must thank the man who chose blue over red two summers ago.

4. Vs. CFR Cluj (2) (02/10)

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    If there was ever a goal scored to remind Manchester United fans of one Ruud van Nistelrooy, it was van Persie's second at CFR Cluj.

    His exquisite flick from a searching Wayne Rooney pass was a moment of pure beauty, and it was enough to give his side a 2-1 win in a game that saw the introduction of Sir Alex's now famous diamond formation.

3. Vs. Southampton (3) (02/09)

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    Robin van Persie's goal at the death against Southampton in September brings us into the top three of his best and most important strikes.

    His glancing header—a deceptively difficult feat—from a surprisingly accurate Nani corner completed a late 3-2 comeback to send the away fans at the St. Mary's Stadium into delirium.

2. Vs. Southampton (1) (02/09)

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    But the real gem of the Dutchman's hat trick against Southampton has to be his first goal—a rasping volley past a helpless Kelvin Davis.

    Chesting down a Valencia cross, van Persie's instant control left Saints full-back Nathaniel Clyne floored, leaving the striker to fire a van Basten-esque finish into the opposite corner of the goal.

1. Vs. Fulham (25/08)

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    But surely Robin van Persie's best strike in Manchester United red—and arguably the goal of the Premier League season so far—has to be his first for the club against Fulham.

    Moving away from goal, the difficulty in pulling off the turning volley cannot be underestimated. In terms of pure technique, it is a moment of perfection to be studied by students of the game for years to come.

    A fine way to introduce yourself to fans of your new club.

     

    What would you rate as van Persie's best goals of the season so far? How long before he scores his next 15?