Manchester United vs. Aston Villa: Biggest Takeaways from Title-Winning Game

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIApril 22, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 22:  Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United celebrates victory and winning the Premier League title after the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford on April 22, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester United are once again the champions of England.

Stirred on by a rousing first-half hat-trick by Robin van Persie, the Red Devils cruised to a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa to chalk up their 20th league title and their 13th Premier League title since its inception—a truly incredible result.

United were simply too good in this game and for the entire English competition—clinching the title with four weeks remaining to end the heartbreak of last year's defeat to Manchester City.

And whilst there might not have been a great deal of action aside from a blistering 30-minute spell by Manchester United to open the game, there were still plenty of big takeaways from this title-winning game for both the Red Devils and Villans alike.

Read on to see the biggest takeaways from United's title-winning game.


Wayne Rooney and Shinji Kagawa Understand Their Roles

With the arrival of Shinji Kagawa and van Persie over the summer transfer window, it was clear that Manchester United were going to see some key positional changes—starting with the way that their midfield operates and the role of United legend Wayne Rooney in the team.

And whilst it wasn't as straightforward as many expected, Rooney and Kagawa have seemingly, and  finally, understood how to operate within the same team this season.

Rooney is playing more and more like a legitimate center-mid—almost like a box-to-box player rather than the attacking midfielder role. That opens for Kagawa to roam across the attacking line and wings, assisting van Persie from whichever angle is needed and exploiting whatever weaknesses he finds.

Of course, Rooney is going to see himself in good attacking spaces and score many goals and assists as a result. But as far as a trequartista role goes, it's Kagawa who fills that position the best.

And given what has unfolded this year, it's hard to suggest it doesn't work.


Ryan Giggs is an Ageless Star

With every passing year, it seems that discussion of when Ryan Giggs is going to end his footballing career rages on. Yet every year—when he plays just one more season—the Manchester United midfielder ends up stealing the show and proving that he still oozes talent and class.

And the same was existent in the game against Aston Villa.

Played by Sir Alex Ferguson for his wisdom and experience in big games like this, the veteran midfielder instantly had an impact on the game—reading Rafael's cross to perfection and sliding a perfect volley-pass across goal for van Persie to tuck in at the back post.

United would have the lead in less than 90 seconds, and it was all thanks to Giggs—who would again cause havoc for the Villans on the left flank, with his deceptive pace and dribbling skills seeing him chalk up a number of crosses and attacking opportunities for the Red Devils attackers.

He unselfishly would give van Persie his hat trick on 33 minutes with a lovely pass across goal and would finish the night with an impressive stat line to his name.

Giggs led the team with four goal-scoring opportunities created, completed 93 percent of his passes, made seven crosses, two tackles and two interceptions.

Throw in two assists and a Premier League trophy, and the 39-year-old proved he is an ageless star who will go down as one of the true Manchester United greats.


Robin van Persie is a Title-Winning Freak

Much will be said—and has already been said—about van Persie's performances this season, but it's worth noting again just how exceptional he's been, which he showed again to be true in this one.

The first and third goals were essentially just tap-ins, but even still, he had to be in the right place at the right time. He had to know where the ball was going to be, anticipate the movement of defenders and United attackers and then finish the opportunities that went his way in attack.

And the second goal, well, we all know how good that was—and it showed just how brilliant a striker van Persie can be when he senses he has a chance on goal.

The Dutchman was the biggest reason behind United's title-winning season this year—swinging the balance of power back from Manchester City—and he showed that again with a mesmerizing performance against a hapless Villa defense.

His movement at the top of the box is brilliant; his combination with United's midfield is brilliant; and he just became a first-time Premier League winner.

Something that he completely and utterly deserves.


Hit me up on Twitter for more sports goodness: @dantalintyre


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