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United striker sets Christmas target

Robin van Persie, Wayne RooneyWayne Rooney said Manchester United are aiming to be top of the league by Christmas, after picking up what the striker called a “massive win” against Arsenal yesterday.

Robin Van Persie’s third goal in as many games against his former club since joining United, sparked raucous celebration at Old Trafford, as United fought tooth and nail to secure what could prove to be a huge three points, given that not only have David Moyes’ men cut Arsenal’s lead to five points, they’ve also sent a strong message to the rest of the league.

With Chelsea drawing on Saturday and Spurs and Manchester City losing yesterday, United seized their chance with superb timing.

“We knew we had to win today at all costs. That was the toughest we’ve been to break down and we defended really well. We knew we could not afford to lose, we couldn’t let Arsenal get 11 points away from us,” explained Rooney.

“The other results today and yesterday also gave us a boost and we are right back in it now. It’s a massive lift, a great weekend for us ahead of the international break. Our aim is to be top or thereabouts at the new year.”

David Moyes was extremely pleased with Rooney and Van Persie’s contribution, as the strikers combined for United’s winner and put in a huge shift for the team.

“Great players score great goals in big games and he is a great player. I have got to say, his sidekick today played great as well, Wayne, the two of them were fantastic, Wayne made it, Robin scored it.

“I always hoped that Robin would show that and he has done since I came here – he has been great. The two forwards, one scoring the winning goal and one making it, their performance merited the title of big players. They really did. In the big game, they came up trumps,” said Moyes.

After a poor start of the season which saw United losing against Liverpool and City and drawing at home against Chelsea, the Reds have now gone nine games unbeaten in all competitions and have won their last three league games, but yesterday’s win was undoubtedly Moyes’ finest moment since replacing Sir Alex Ferguson.

“Yeah, especially in the first half. A resilient job was required in the last 20 minutes but overall it was a good three points against a very much in-form Arsenal team. It’s another step in the right direction for us. We have got a lot of big steps to take here. It is going to take a while for me to get it all the way I’d like it to be.

“I don’t know if it puts out any statement. Everybody for years has known how good Manchester United have been. My job and the team’s job is to make sure that we do that again. We know that we are going to get a few bloody noses along the way.”