There was little Brad Guzan could do to stop Robin van Persie and Manchester United’s march to a 20th league title on Monday.
Behind a first-half hat trick from the star Dutch striker, Guzan and his Aston Villa side found themselves on the painful end of a victory lap as Sir Alex Ferguson’s men celebrated a 3-0 win at Old Trafford that clinched the English Premier League title, Ferguson’s 13th as United manager.
Guzan was helpless on all three of van Persie’s goals, beginning just 83 seconds in off a feed from Ryan Giggs, continuing with a gorgeous thumping volley off Wayne Rooney’s long, weighted pass in the 13th minute and then rounding the US No. 2 just 20 minutes later off another feed from Giggs to complete the hat trick.
United are now 16 points clear of second-place Manchester City and dethroned the defending EPL champions with four matches to play.
Guzan and Villa, meanwhile, failed to put further distance between themselves and the drop zone – they remain in 17th place on 34 points, just three ahead of 18th-place Wigan Athletic with four to play.