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21st Feb 2018

Robin van Persie’s notifications blew up during Manchester United draw

That's a lot of mentions

Darragh Murphy

You’ll always hear that it’s one of the most difficult techniques in football.

A ball coming over your shoulder, begging to be hit on the volley and sometimes it hits the back of the net but, more often than not, it’s blazed over the bar.

There’s no denying that Romelu Lukaku is a talented centre-forward but he seemingly hasn’t quite mastered that particular skill as he side-footed an inch-perfect diagonal from Alexis Sanchez into the stands at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium on Wednesday night.

Manchester United played out a 0-0 draw in their Champions League round of 16 first leg clash against Sevilla but they weren’t without opportunities.

It was a frustrating 90 minutes for Lukaku up front, plenty of which he’s already experienced since making his £75 million move from Everton last summer.

The first-half chance made the United supporters watching from home hark back at the days when Robin van Persie was hammering home such efforts for the Red Devils.

The Dutchman won the Premier League in his first season at Old Trafford and secured the title with a first-half hat-trick against Aston Villa in 2013.

RVP’s second of the afternoon came via an almost identical chance to the one Lukaku blasted high on Wednesday.

Van Persie perfectly judged a Wayne Rooney pass and hammered the ball into the Villa net with a strike that was regarded by Sir Alex Ferguson as “the goal of the century for me.”

Having mastered the art of the volley, Van Persie scored some belters in his time but he considers his second against Villa that day as the greatest of his career.

“Maybe if you look at the day, the occasion and the importance of the goal it was my best one,” Van Persie said. “It was a great pass from Wayne for a start. He had to spot my run because I went in front of Ron Vlaar. It was straight into my path. The only thing I had to do was time it right and keep my body straight, level with the ball.”

And if he needed to be reminded of the quality of the hit from five years ago, he just has to take one look at his Twitter mentions on Wednesday evening…