A first half hat-trick from Robin Van Persie saw Manchester United beat Aston Villa 3-0 in a Barclays Premiership match on Monday night and consequently crowned the 2012/13 English league champions.
On 84 points and with four games to go in the league season, United picked up their 20th league title while Sir Alex Ferguson and veteran winger Ryan Giggs won their 13th Premier League title.
It was the ultimate display of class from the newly crowned champions in the opening 45 minutes as they outplayed Villa in every aspect of the game with Van Persie a real thorn in their side.
It only took 87 seconds for United took take the lead as Valencia worked his way down the right flank before playing the ball back to Rafael who knocked a cross to the far post where an unmarked Giggs played the ball back across the face of goal for Van Persie to tap home from a couple yards out, 1-0.
A minute later and the Dutchman nearly doubled his side’s lead when a Valencia cross, again from the right, picked out Van Persie but this time he fired his volley inches over the bar from eight yards out.
In the tenth minute Rafeal tried his luck from just outside the box, but he saw his effort strike the left-hand post and bounce away from danger as United continued to pile on the pressure.
In the 13th minute the Red Devils did find their second goal in the most majestic fashion.
A delicate chip over the Villa defence from Wayne Rooney saw Van Persie score his second goal of the match as he superbly volleyed into the right-hand corner of the net form the edge of the box for what will undoubtedly be one of the goals of the season, 2-0.
Van Persie rounded off his hat-trick just after the half hour mark as Giggs broke behind the Villa backline, showing superb pace for the veteran Welshman, and unselfishly played the ball to an unmarked Van Persie who took a couple touches before stroking the ball into the net from six-yards out, 3-0.
It was a much improved second half from Villa as United took their foot of the pedal.
In the 54th minute some sloppy play by Rooney saw him lose the ball and allow Christian Benteke to fire a shot on goal from 20-yards out, but David De Gea was alert to the danger with a fine save low and to his left.
In the 75th minute De Gea was at his best yet again, this time with a great fingertip save to deny Karim El Ahmadi from 35-yards out.
Shinji Kagawa should have found United’s fourth a minute later when he missed a glaring chance from 14-yards out, but it was not to matter as the Red Devils ran out 3-0 winners and lifted their 20th League title.