MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United won its record 20th English league title, beating Aston Villa 3-0 Monday night on Robin van Persie’s first-half hat trick to clinch the championship with four games to spare.
Van Persie, signed from Arsenal last summer, put United ahead 83 seconds in when he scored from close range. He doubled the lead with a volley in the 12th minute and completed his hat trick in the 33rd minute with his league-high 24th goal of the season.
“It is a great feeling,” the Dutch forward said. “It is a fantastic team and fantastic players. It is a championship for every single one of them.”
Manchester United (27-4-3) has a 16-point lead over Manchester City (20-5-8).
This is the earliest a club has clinched the Premier League title since Manchester United on April 14 2001, according to STATS. With victories in its last four matches, United would break the points record of 95 set by Chelsea’s in 2004-05.
LIVERPOOL: Fined Luis Suarez on Monday for biting an opponent a day earlier, and demanded that the troublesome striker work on his disciplinary problems.
The Uruguayan striker bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic’s arm during Sunday’s Premier League match.
Suarez was previously suspended for seven matches in 2010 while playing for Ajax after biting a player.