New Manchester United manager David Moyes sidelined Robin van Persie

Manchester United’s Robin van Persie has already left us behind. He never made the most of his potential at Liverpool, letting the club eventually sell him to Arsenal. Van Persie could barely justify that rate, and by the time he kicked on at United he looked like a player who had never fully recovered from losing his Arsenal captaincy. Last night he delivered to the United faithful, such as they were, a sending off — a “penalty”, in his mind — for a 20-yard foul in what was little more than a meaningless warm-up for the big match against Sevilla.

Van Persie is a former center-forward for Arsenal, but he and Marcus Rashford both got forward on United’s right flank last night, and Van Persie led the celebrations with a head-butt on Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne.

After the match, Van Persie said that he had “come here for business”. Not just for money, presumably — the Dutchman said he was still earning his (Welsh) broadcasting job, his only work during the season. But for image management.

David Moyes was out as manager this season, and the task of winning fans back fell to Solskjaer. His apparent failure to pick up on last year’s performance, when United beat Sevilla in their semi-final, was clear.

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