The return of Manchester United's 'Flying Dutchman'

Manchester United 3

Dutch striker Robin van Persie showed a glimpse of what he and his national team manager Louis van Gaal can provide at Manchester United next season.

Will Robin van Persie's incredible performance against Spain in the World Cup Group B opener last night spark a domestic change in fortune for the Manchester United striker?

With Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal set to take over the managerial post at Old Trafford after the tournament, the duo will look to capitalise on Van Persie's impressive form for his country of late. 

The Dutchman wasn't as successful with his shooting boots at club level last season (although his goal tally was affected by injuries), as the likes of Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero and Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney bettered him in the goals per game stakes. 

  TeamPosGoals / appsAppsMins
Luis Suarez Liverpool FW 0.94 33 2,964
Sergio Agüero Man City FW 0.74 23 1,539
Wayne Rooney Man Utd FW 0.59 29 2,448
Robin van Persie Man Utd FW 0.57 21 1,584

However, the Netherlands' impressive victory against the defending world champions - and the part Van Persie played in it - augurs well for the Red Devils next season.

The Dutch found themselves 1-0 down after an early Xabi Alonso penalty, but then mounted an astounding fightback.

Just before half-time, Van Persie latched onto a hanging ball from left-back Daley Blind and the 'Flying Dutchman' hung in the air to guide his header past the rooted figure of Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas. 

Van Persie looked hungry for more, and soon showed his technical craft as he took on an audacious volley which fizzed against the Spanish crossbar.

Arjen Robben and Stefan de Vrijs made it 3-1 to Van Gaal's side and, if that wasn't enough, Casillas gifted Van Persie his second goal of the match after a miscontrol from a simple back-pass. Robben then completed the rout in the 80th minute, after his burning pace and prowess in front of goal left the Spanish defence for dead.

It seems that Van Gaal imbues Van Persie with a real sense of self-belief. The celebrations after Van Persie's first goal encapsulated the relationship between player and manager, and United fans will be eager for their partnership to continue to thrive next season and beyond.

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