United must play new way

Marouane Fellaini's winner made it a miserable United debut for Robin van Persie (below).

Marouane Fellaini's winner made it a miserable United debut for Robin van Persie (below).

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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson wants to see his team play more to the strengths of new recruit Robin van Persie after the Dutchman’s debut ended in defeat at Everton.

Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini was the outstanding player at Goodison Park and scored the goal in the 1-0 win with a powerful header early in the second half.

Robin van Persie

Robin van Persie

Van Persie appeared as a second-half substitute and Ferguson rued the former Arsenal striker’s new team-mates not involving him as much in the danger areas as he had wished.

Fergie said: “We were a wee bit disappointing in terms of finishing off the approach play we had. We played around him (Van Persie) too much, we didn’t show enough penetration.”

“With Robin in your team you know you want to use his ability against centre-backs in situations he is very good at - but we didn’t use him enough.

Everton manager David Moyes said: “I am really pleased because they performed ever so well and got a great result.”

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Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany believes having a fit and hungry Carlos Tevez is as good as any new signing.

Tevez helped City to a 3-2 win over Southampton on Sunday, and even wandered to the touchline for advice from manager Roberto Mancini, something unimaginable during the war of words which resulted in the striker spending a large chunk of last season away from City’s Carrington training ground.

Kompany said: “People talk about new signings but having Carlos at his best level, which he wasn’t last season because he was away for most of it, is just like one. I still say we have improved.”

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Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel insists there was never any doubt in his mind about signing a new contract.

“After last season there was a lot of talk about my future, but I have to say that the first priority for me was always to sign a new deal with Liverpool,” said the 27-year-old, who has agreed a new three-year deal.

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Alex Song fulfilled a childhood dream by clinching a move to Barcelona and now the former Arsenal midfielder wants to build up a trophy collection.