Previous
Leicester City
Manchester United
5
3
FT
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
West Bromwich Albion
0
1
FT
Game Details
Everton
Crystal Palace
2
3
FT
Game Details
Manchester City
Chelsea
1
1
FT
Game Details
Levante
Barcelona
0
5
FT
Game Details
VfL Wolfsburg
Bayer Leverkusen
4
1
FT
Game Details
Toronto FC
Chivas USA
3
0
FT
Game Details
Getafe
Valencia
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Wigan Athletic
Ipswich Town
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Chester City
Wrexham
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Spezia
Carpi
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Valenciennes
Clermont Foot
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Academica de Coimbra
Estoril
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FK Amkar Perm
Krasnodar
1:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FK Torpedo Moscow
Dinamo Moscow
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Istanbul Buyuksehir BSK
Trabzonspor
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Bursaspor
Besiktas
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Defensa y Justicia
San Lorenzo
9:10 PM GMT
Game Details
Racing Club
Newell's Old Boys
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Douglas Haig
Guarini A. Franco
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Unión de Santa Fe
Huracán
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Santamarina
Patronato
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
River Plate
Fénix
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Shimizu S-Pulse
Gamba Osaka
5:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Vegalta Sendai
Kashima Antlers
5:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Albirex Niigata
Urawa Red Diamonds
5:30 AM GMT
Game Details
FC Tokyo
Tokushima Vortis
6:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Yokohama F. Marinos
Sanfrecce Hiroshima
6:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Omiya Ardija
Kawasaki Frontale
6:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Next
Manchester CityManchester City
ChelseaChelsea
1
1
FT
Game Details
Dec 17, 2012

O'Neill: Van Persie is United's Messi

Robin van Persie is as important to Manchester United as Lionel Messi is to Barcelona, according to Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill.

• Blog: Chelsea lose

O'Neill's side suffered a 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford on Saturday in which Van Persie opened the scoring to take his tally for the season to 15 goals from 21 appearances in all competitions.

The Dutchman has been the match-winner for United on several occasions this season, most recently in the 3-2 derby win at Manchester City.

And O'Neill believes United now have a forward who compares to reigning World Player of the Year Messi in terms of his importance to the team.

"With players of the calibre of Van Persie in your side, you always have a chance of winning football matches," he said.

"Would, for instance, Barcelona have the same effect if Lionel Messi didn't play? The number of goals Messi has scored is incredible. They are a very talented team but without him you don't know, because Messi is their talisman. "Honestly, Van Persie can get goals out of very little. It looks like nothing is happening and you have players there in the area. But all of a sudden he has opened up a gap."

United beat Premier League champions City to Van Persie's signature in the summer, and O'Neill said that has seen them steal a march on their rivals in this season's title race.

"You always felt that United would give themselves a big edge by getting Van Persie," he said.

"He was a great purchase. It means Manchester United are capable of scoring goals because Wayne Rooney is a top-quality player as well.

"We are making judgments before Christmas here - but if Van Persie stays fit, that will make a massive difference to United's challenge. They have a great chance of winning the league.

"United have paid close on £30 million for a player who had just one year left on his contract, so that might tell you how valuable they perceive him to be.

"But it's not just the perception - the reality is that he has been fantastic so far."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.