Robin van Persie's exquisite volley against Aston Villa on Monday night was a finish fit for the occasion as Manchester United claimed a 20th league crown and, according to Sir Alex Ferguson, it was the 'goal of the century'.

Van Persie netted a first-half hat-trick at Old Trafford as Manchester United cruised to the Premier League title, and the Dutchman's second goal on the night was one of quite breathtaking brilliance.

Wayne Rooney provided the assist with a expertly directed and weighted pass over the top of the Villa back four, which Van Persie latched onto with perfection - arrowing a crisp left-footed strike past a stunned Brad Guzan.

It was reminiscent of a goal scored for Arsenal against Everton last season, where Alex Song turned provider, but Ferguson believes Monday's cracker was the best of Van Persie's career.

"It was goal of the century for me. It was marvellous – the technique with his head down, over the ball and just perfect timing. It was a magnificent strike," said the Manchester United manager after the game.

"He scored exactly the same goal [for] Arsenal. He is in his mature years and winning the league tonight meant a lot to him."

Manchester United secured a 3-0 win thanks to their £24 million summer acquisition, who now sits at the summit of the Premier League goalscoring charts and has a first title winning medal ready to be collected come the end of the season.

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