Hitman Michu left admiring Robin van Persie's masterclass
IT is not often Michu is left in awe of an opponent's finishing — it is the Spaniard himself who is usually the subject of admiring glances.
Michu took the Premier League by storm last season but, on the opening weekend of this campaign, he could only stand and watch a Robin van Persie masterclass.
The Dutch striker was in breathtaking form as David Moyes began his Manchester United reign with a 4-1 win over Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.
Having scored 30 goals last season, van Persie began the new one in the same vein with a sublime double on the opening weekend.
His first was an acrobatic hooked volley which arrowed into the bottom corner, and his second a little swivel followed by an emphatic thump from the edge of the area.
Swansea were shocked. They hadn't played badly, but van Persie's two strikes left the hosts 3-0 down and wondering how it had happened.
"For me, to be honest he is the best striker in the world," said Michu. "He had no clear chances today and it is just incredible — he ended up with two goals. It stops with him, he is the best.
"He had two chances and he scored two goals but that is why they are fighting for the championship.
"I don't know how many goals he will score (this season). A hundred, maybe a thousand! One thing is for sure, he is going to score a lot."
A thousand goals might be asking a little too much, but Michu will be expected to score a few this season.
He marked his first term at Swansea with 22 goals, and the 27-year-old has already opened his account for this campaign with a strike in the Europa League.
Michu scored in both matches against United last season and, although he could not find the net on Saturday, he came close on a number of occasions.
The former Rayo Vallecano man prompted a couple of good saves from David De Gea, headed narrowly wide and saw one effort ruled out for offside.
Having had their fair share of opportunities, Swansea might have felt the 4-1 scoreline was a little harsh — but Michu was philosophical about the defeat.
"We had a lot of possession against a strong side and we created chances," he added.
"We had the ball, we went to the wing and we put a lot of crosses in the box but they scored four goals because of the players they have.
"They are a better side than us, they have a lot of very good players, a lot of top players. For us it is difficult to compete with teams like that but we will try. We can be happy because we did play well."
Swansea will not have to wait long to get the United result out of their system, as they host Romanian side Petrolul Ploiesti in the first leg of their Europa League play-off on Thursday.
"I don't think our morale will be affected," said Michu. "We lost 4-1. I think we did well but we need to improve.
''They are better than us but we have no time to feel sorry for ourselves, we have an important game in just a few days and we need to keep our chins up."