By Andrew Kennedy
The Dutchman saw a cross-cum-shot diverted into the back of the net by Titus Bramble as the Red Devils earned a 1-0 win to maintain their 15-point lead at the top of the league
The Dutchman’s effort appeared to be heading wide before deflecting off Phil Bardlsey and then subsequently into the back of the net via Titus Bramble’s knee.
However, Van Persie is confident the strike will be counted towards his tally – taking his number for the season to 20 in the league – and in turn ending his own personal goal drought of late.
“No question about that,” Van Persie told Sky Sports. “I think you could see that. It’s been a while so it’s always good to score again and it was an important and today it was all about the three points and we got them.
“We got the three points and we knew before that it was going to be tough. Away at Sunderland is always very hard. They work hard and play a game with lots of long balls and second balls. Everyone fought hard and I think it was a well deserved win.
“This team, if you ask me, is just full of winners. Everyone knows what he has to do. I was never in doubt at 1-0, I was always confident we would win this game.
“Players like [Michael] Carrick, [Nemanja] Vidic, [Chris] Smalling has been playing really well. [Alexander] Buttner comes in and plays well, everyone knows what he has to do.”
Michael Carrick was glad to put to bed last season’s memory of the Stadium of Light, when the Red Devils learned they had missed out on the Premier League title due to Manchester City’s late win at home to QPR on the final day of the season.
“I think [Sunderland supporters] weren’t the only fans that enjoyed that but that’s gone,” he added.
“We’ve got something to different to win and aim for this time and it was about getting the points for us and ticking another one off, keeping the run going which we did and we’re delighted.
“I thought we played some really good football first half. Controlled the game, didn’t really have as many goalscoring opportunities as we’d have liked but I felt we were in control.
“We knew second half was going to be different because they’re fighting for their lives and we didn’t expect it to be easy at all but we defended well and we kept together and delighted with the three points.”
Despite the win ensuring United maintained their 15-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, the midfielder’s focus remains firmly on Monday’s FA Cup quarter-final replay at Chelsea and the Manchester derby the following weekend.
He stated: “It’s obviously getting closer because it’s one game less and we’ve won again but that’s all it is. We’ve still got a go again, we’ve got a game Monday and [Manchester] City next week. We’ll keep rolling on.”