On this day in football: April 22nd – van Persie’s screamer and goodbye to Shearer

The history of the beautiful game is heavily dusted with magic moments and iconic events.

In our On This Day in Football feature, we bring together the glorious goals, the cult heroes, the days of despair and the outright bizarre from every day of the year.

Our retrospection pays tribute to the events that mark the game’s history in day-by-day chunks and snippets of information that will give every football supporter their daily hit of football trivia.

Check out today’s listings below:

22nd April, 2013 – Robin rings up number 20 in style

Manchester United, comfortably clear of the chasing pack, were just one victory away from their 20th English title when they welcomed Aston Villa to Old Trafford for a Premier League contest under the lights on April 22nd 2013.

After just two minutes, prolific centre-forward Robin van Persie settled any United nerves with a tap in from close range, though his second goal just nine minutes later remains one of the most iconic goals in the club’s history.

The Dutchman’s strike partner Wayne Rooney spotted van Persie’s movement from deep and pinged a sweeping long-range pass that arced beautifully into his path.

Van Persie followed the flight of the ball as it dropped over his shoulder before unleashing a ferocious first-time volley from the edge of the penalty area that flew unerringly past Villa keeper Brad Guzman.

The former Arsenal star completed his hattrick on 33 minutes, sealing United’s 13th Premier League title and their last under the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson.

22nd April, 2006 – Shearer bows out

On April 22 2006, legendary striker Alan Shearer announced his retirement from the game. The Newcastle United superstar made his exit as the all-time leading goalscorer in the Premier League with 260 goals – a record that looks close to unmatchable 14 years later.

Shearer moved to his boyhood club Newcastle in 1996 after a title-winning spell with Blackburn Rovers, for a then world-record transfer fee of £15m.

While he never managed to fire the Magpies to silverware, Shearer provided dozens of moments to thrill the St. James’ Park faithful.

He scored his 206th and last goal for Newcastle against their bitter local rivals Sunderland, before tearing the medial ligament in his left knee later on the same game. The injury pushed his summer retirement plans forward and brought an end to an incredible career for Shearer.

Other events of note on April 20th:

1959 Crystal Palace goalkeeper Vic Rouse became the first Fourth Division player to win a full cap when the Eagles stopper played for Wales against Ireland.

1978 Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest won the league with a scoreless draw at Coventry City. They were the fifth (and to date last) team to win the English top flight as a newly-promoted team.

1982 Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, better known as Kaká, was born in Gama, Brazil. He went on to win the Ballon d’Or and World Player of the Year award in 2007. Kaká played with distinction for AC Milan and Real Madrid before injuries took their toll on his career.

2000 FC Gueugnon became the first–and to date only–team from outside the top flight to win the Coupe de la Ligue in France, beating Paris Saint-Germain 2-0. Marcelo Trapasso and Sylvain Flauto scored the decisive goals.

2000 Manchester United seal another Premier League title win with a comfortable 3-1 win over Southampton at The Dell. An Francis Benali own goal sandwiched in between first half strikes from David Beckham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer do the damage.

2007 Three-time FIFA World Player of the Year and all-time World Cup leading scorer Ronaldo made a guest appearance on hit TV show, The Simpsons. The Brazilian provided the voice for an animated version of himself in the episode that aired that night.

2012 West Brom battle their way to a 1-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield thanks to a 75th minute Peter Odemwingie goal. The Reds lost six of their last 10 league games as they limped to an 8th placed finish. They also lost the FA Cup Final to Chelsea.

2018 Five different scorers register as Man City hammer Swansea City 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium. David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus all get on the mark. Swansea are eventually relegated from the top flight.

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