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International Soccer - England

Van Persie's hat trick seals title for United

Manchester, England (Sports Network) - Robin van Persie capped his first season at Manchester United in style on Monday as the Dutchman netted a hat trick in United's 3-0 title-clinching win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

It is the club's record 20th league crown, and it returns the title to the red half of Manchester after United lost out to rivals Manchester City on goal difference on the final day of the season last term.

With City losing 3-1 at Tottenham on Sunday, United knew that three points against Villa on Monday would be enough to clinch the league with four matches to spare.

And Sir Alex Ferguson's men wasted little time in blitzing the visitors with Van Persie netting all three of his goals in the first 33 minutes.

The first came less than two minutes into the match as Rafael's cross found Ryan Giggs at the back post, and the Welshman volleyed the ball back through the face of goal to Van Persie for a simple finish.

Rafael hammered a volley off the post from 20 yards in the 10th minute, but United scored again a few minutes later with a piece of magic from Van Persie.

Wayne Rooney lobbed a ball over the top from midfield to the edge of the penalty area, where Van Persie drifted under the ball and volleyed a brilliant shot inside the right post.

It was a world-class finish from a top player, and he wasn't done scoring.

Giggs once more had a hand in the goal as he got down the left wing and drew a pair of defenders before squaring the ball to Van Persie, who avoided goalkeeper Brad Guzan and fired his shot off the post and into the net.

The second half played out like a victory lap for the hosts, who still have a chance to break the record for most points in a Premiership campaign.

That number sits at 95, which was set by Chelsea, but United can set a new mark with wins in its final four games.

04/22 16:57:18 ET

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