Jonathan Raymond | November 11, 2013
In a somewhat fitting parallel, Robin van Persie’s pretty little header that provided the lift to seemingly turn around Manchester United’s Premier League title hopes came on the same day when Paul Pogba struck an absolute beauty that helped push Juventus ever closer toward Roma at the top of Serie A.
United’s victory gave David Moyes a must-needed signature victory, and, as Richard Jolly wrote for us, van Persie was, “the pivotal figure as Manchester United won the Premier League title last season, [and] preserved their hopes of retaining their crown,” with his goal on Sunday, the lone tally in a crucial 1-0 victory over Arsenal.
“And so Arsenal, who have not won at Old Trafford since 2006, suffered their annual defeat. But if past losses were often expected this, like a United win, had a greater element of surprise.
‘Manchester United were champions last year and there’s a lot of people written them off very quickly,’ said Moyes. ‘But hopefully by the end of the season we will not be too far off’.”
But while the events at Old Trafford will surely steal much of the headlines, do not underestimate what Juventus’ victory meant.
Locked with Napoli in second behind leaders Roma, the Turin club saw Roma shockingly allow a point to relegation candidates Sassuolo and then turned around and took three themselves with a commanding 3-0 victory.
“Seeing Roma draw earlier, we knew it was a big opportunity for us. Even though the race for the scudetto is long, winning against Napoli tonight became crucial,” Fernando Llorente said of their victory.
Pogba provided a very pure strike, collecting a pass and tapping it into the air, then drilling it into the upper right corner of the net.
While van Persie, without maybe the flair of Pogba but with perhaps just as high a degree of difficulty, leapt at Wayne Rooney’s corner and headed it back into very nearly the same spot as Pogba’s strike.
Bother great goals of the weekend. But still, Pogba’s was probably a little cooler.