Manchester United 5 Wigan 0

Dimitar Berbatov

Man­chester Uni­ted 5 Wi­gan Ath­let­ic 0, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Dec­ember 26, 2011. Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov sco­red a tre­ble as Man­chester Uni­ted saw off Wi­gan Ath­let­ic on Box­ing Day 2011. And as Man­chester City were held to a goal­less draw by West Brom­wich Al­bion, Uni­ted were now level in the Pre­mier Lea­gue title race wi­th their bit­ter rivals. 

De­fend­ing Pre­mier Lea­gue Cham­pi­ons Man­chester Uni­ted had out­classed and out­played mid-ta­ble Ful­ham to the tune of a 5-0 score at Craven Cot­tage thro­ugh goals from Dan­ny Wel­beck, Lu­is Nani, Ry­an Gig­gs, Way­ne Roo­ney, and Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov in their pre­vi­ous Pre­miership en­counter, where­as re­leg­a­tion can­did­ates Wi­gan Ath­let­ic had drawn 0-0 ag­ainst Ken­ny Dalglish´s Liver­pool at DW Sta­dium. At Old Traf­ford, a com­mand­ing and in­spir­a­tion­al dis­play from Ber­batov saw The Lat­ics soundly beaten by Man­chester Uni­ted on Box­ing Day. Uni­ted opened the scor­ing ac­count in the eighth min­ute of the fix­ture as a cut-back from de­fender Pat­rice Ev­ra fou­nd mid­fielder Ji-Sung Park who ma­naged to si­de-foot the ball pa­st Wi­gan shot stop­per Ali Al Hab­si and in­to the back of the net to hand the ho­me te­am the ad­vant­age. As the fir­st pe­riod un­fol­ded, Ath­let­ic for­ward Con­or Sam­mon was giv­en his march­ing or­ders by ref­er­ee Phil Dowd for el­bow­ing Mi­chael Car­rick in the 39th min­ute of the mat­ch, and then, wi­th five min­utes left of the ha­lf, Ber­batov made it 2-0 to Man­chester Uni­ted when the ever dan­ger­ous marks­man be­at Al Hab­si wi­th a trade­mark ef­fort from a few yards out.

Man­chester Uni­ted didn´t rest on their laurels af­ter the break and Ber­batov re­gistered his sec­ond goal of the af­ter­noon as he ham­mered the ball pa­st Al Hab­si and in­to the net thir­teen min­utes in­to the sec­ond pe­riod, put­ting his em­ploy­ers in­to a com­fort­able 3-0 lead. Sir Al­ex Fer­guson ev­entually de­cided to make a double sub­sti­tu­tion four min­utes pa­st the hour ma­rk, wi­th Lu­is Nani and Ry­an Gig­gs ma­king way for Fe­d­erico Ma­cheda and Way­ne Roo­ney re­spect­ively, and more goals were to fol­low. An­tonio Va­lencia stret­ched the lead fur­ther for Man­chester Uni­ted wi­th a low power­ful shot in the 75th min­ute of the one-sided ga­me and on­ly three min­utes la­ter the hosts were han­ded a pen­alty by Dowd which Ber­batov sub­sequently con­ver­ted to com­plete his hat-trick. In oth­er Box­ing Day fix­tures, Liver­pool were held to a sur­prise 1-1 draw by bot­tom-of-the-ta­ble Black­burn Rov­ers at An­field, Sto­ke City and As­ton Vil­la played out a goal­less draw at Brit­an­nia Sta­dium, Sun­der­land and Ever­ton drew 1-1 at Sta­dium of Light, Bol­ton Wan­derers suf­fered a 2-0 de­feat at the hands of New­castle Uni­ted at Ree­bok Sta­dium where Hatem Ben Arfa and Demba Ba fou­nd the net for The Mag­pies, whi­le fourth pla­ced Chel­sea could on­ly man­age a 1-1 draw ag­ainst thir­teenth po­si­tioned Ful­ham at Stam­ford Bridge. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: An­ders Linde­gaard, An­tonio Va­lencia, Mi­chael Car­rick, Jon­ny Evans, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Lu­is Nani, Dar­ron Gib­son, Ry­an Gig­gs, Ji-Sung Park, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, Javi­er Her­nandez. Sub­stitutes: Da­vid de Gea, Ra­fael da Silva, Zeki Fry­ers, Mame Biram Di­ouf, Fe­d­erico Ma­cheda, Way­ne Roo­ney, Dan­ny Wel­beck. Wi­gan Ath­let­ic Te­am: Ali Al Hab­si, Ant­olin Al­caraz, Maynor Figueroa, Ga­ry Cald­well, Ron­nie Stam, Jordi Go­mez, Da­vid Jones, Ja­mes Mc­Carthy, Mo Dia­me, Vic­tor Moses, Con­or Sam­mon. Sub­stitutes: Mi­ke Pol­litt, Ste­ve Go­houri, Al­bert Crus­at, Ja­mes McAr­thur, Ben Wat­son, Franco Di Santo, Hugo Rodallega.


Dimitar Berbatov Quickfacts

Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov amassed 27 goals in 70 Pre­mier Lea­gue ga­mes for Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur be­fore he was sold to Man­chester Uni­ted for a fee of £30.75 mil­lion at the front end of the 2008-09 season. 


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