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Van Persie more than all right

ESPN staff
January 1, 2013
Robin van Persie was right on target once again © Getty Images
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The mighty right

Robin van Persie, as if he needed to underline his importance and impact on Manchester United since joining last summer, effectively killed off the side's game against Wigan with a sumptuous finish shortly before half-time to make the score 2-0.

The right-footed strike was the Dutchman's 16th such finish in the last two seasons, tied for fourth in the Premier League. He then (we presume) moved into third on his own in that particular list after bagging the concluding strike in a 4-0 win with the very same pin.

Which isn't really very impressive for one of the game's prolific finishers ... until you remember that the former Arsenal hitman is left-footed. Take that, Messi you one-footed fraud (not really)!

No New Year hangover

After Tuesday's win against Stoke City at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester City have now won their last five New Year's Day league fixtures. Start the year as you mean to go on!

A definite New Year hangover

Word reaches us that two special fans arrived for the (12.45pm) match between West Brom and Fulham at The Hawthorns today ... just before 3pm.

No doubt the droves of (presumably disappointed) Baggies fans heading in the other direction as the two intrepid adventurers walked towards the ground gave them cause for concern, but we do like to think they managed to take their seats before, at around 3.01pm, beginning to really wonder if they'd made a significant mistake.

Next year how about a couple fewer beers, and a couple more cursory checks of the kick-off times, eh lads?

There's being a charitable, and then...

Not content with contributing Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Arsenal's first-team (admittedly for considerable donations) going into Saturday's match, Southampton conspired to serve up an own goal to enable the Gunners to equalise in the first half.

Guly do Prado's inadvertant strike was the the Saints' third own goal in games against Arsenal this season - after both Jos Hooiveld and Nathaniel Clyne put past their own goalkeeper in the 6-1 game at the Emirates earlier in the campaign.

A side has never previously conceded three own goals against the same side in a Premier League campaign. Very charitable of Nigel Adkins' side!

The cheek of it

What sort of mean-spirited referee books a player for revealing a t-shirt wishing everyone a 'Happy New Year' after scoring a goal?! Michael Oliver, that's who.

Poor Edin Dzeko. You try and do something nice for the fans, and you end up with a yellow card and £7 fine (is it still £7?) from the Football Association to kick off 2013. Where IS the justice?

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