Swansea City completed a Premier League season double over Manchester United at the weekend with a 2-1 win at the Liberty Stadium and their captain has revealed he was asked to rough up Robin van Persie - by a mascot.
Speaking after the match, Ashley Williams said he is constantly reminded of an incident in the corresponding fixture two years ago involving the Dutchman, which prompted Sir Alex Ferguson to claim Van Persie was "lucky to be alive".
Williams drew this reaction from the Old Trafford legend by hitting Van Persie in the head with a clearance while the former Arsenal captain was lying on the ground. It brought on an angry reaction from him, but it made Williams famous.
Goals from Ki Sung-Yeung and Bafetimbi Gomis saw the Swans claim victory after initially falling behind to an Ander Herrera strike just before the half hour mark. It was the same scoreline as the opening fixture to the Premier League season in Manchester.
Williams was delighted with this and revealed that the mascot before the game had asked him to repeat the Van Persie incident, and the Wales international explained that it is not he first time it had been brought up by a fan.
Article continues below
“That incident made me famous for a couple of days and it’s what people always remind me about that day – even the mascot asked me whether I could do it again!” he is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
It seems the Liberty Stadium is not a happy hunting ground for Van Persie, as he left on Saturday with his foot in a protective boot and is a doubt for their clash with Sunderland on Saturday.
Luck Run Out?
Defeat to Swansea could be a crucial moment in Manchester United's season as it came after a run of only one defeat in 19 matches, in which many had speculated that Louis van Gaal was instilling a winning habit in a team short of confidence.
However, losses were being avoided despite some very ordinary performances and there was some suggestion that as soon as the penny dropped and United started playing well along with getting results, Van Gall would have them as challengers again.
At Swansea there was even a slight improvement over the showings of recent weeks, but nothing like what is expected of a side that recruited so expensively last summer. If the points become as scarce as strong showings, they are in real trouble.