Manchester United 3 Wigan 1

Cristiano Ronaldo

Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Wi­gan Ath­let­ic 1, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Dec­ember 26, 2006. Pre­mier Lea­gue ta­ble top­pers Man­chester Uni­ted won their fourth con­sec­ut­ive ho­me ga­me as they de­feated mid-ta­blers Wi­gan Ath­let­ic by three goals to one at Old Traf­ford wi­th the help of a brace by Cris­ti­ano Ron­aldo and a single from Ole Gun­nar Solksjaer. 

The at­tend­ance of 76,000 at The Theatre of Dreams on Box­ing Day 2006 cre­ated a new Pre­mier Lea­gue re­cord and also the highest for a Man­chester Uni­ted mat­ch at Old Traf­ford. The ho­me te­am en­joyed a flurry of op­por­tun­it­ies to open the scor­ing in the fir­st ha­lf of the ga­me, but their stri­kers were denied by Wi­gan Ath­let­ic goal­keeper Chris Kirk­land on each and every oc­ca­sion. Cris­ti­ano Ron­aldo re­placed Dar­ren Fletch­er at the in­ter­val and the in­dus­tri­ous marks­man qui­ckly made his pres­ence felt as he put Man­chester Uni­ted in­to the lead wi­th a head­er from a well-taken flag-kick by Paul Scho­les in the forty-sev­enth min­ute of the Box­ing Day fix­ture. The Por­tuguese, now smelling blood, fou­nd the back of the net ag­ain just a mere four min­utes la­ter when he sco­red a re­bound af­ter his ini­tial ef­fort had be­en par­ried by Kirk­land, ma­king it two-hil to the hosts. In­spired by his team­mate, Ole Gun­nar Solk­s­jaer went on to add a third goal for Man­chester Uni­ted on fifty-nine min­utes be­fore Leigh­ton Baines re­gistered a late con­sol­a­tion for the vis­it­ing si­de from the pen­alty spot in the last min­ute of nor­mal time af­ter Da­vid Wright had be­en fouled in­side the area by Mi­kael Silvestre.

Else­where on Box­ing Day, sec­ond pla­ced Chel­sea were held to a sur­prise two-all draw ag­ainst mid-ta­ble Read­ing at Stam­ford Bridge, Black­burn Rov­ers be­at Liver­pool by one goal to nil at Ew­ood Park thro­ugh an early sec­ond ha­lf goal from for­mer FC Porto for­ward Benni Mc­Carthy, Man­chester City de­feated Shef­field Uni­ted by an identic­al sco­reline at Bramall Lane, Ever­ton and Middles­brough played out a goal­less draw at Good­ison Park, Ar­senal over­came Wat­ford by two-one at Vicar­age Road, whi­le Bol­ton Wan­derers won by the ex­act same score ag­ainst New­castle Uni­ted at Ree­bok Sta­dium, wi­th French in­ter­na­tion­al Nic­olas Anelka net­ting the win­ner for The Trot­ters twelve min­utes in­to the sec­ond pe­riod. The Box­ing Day res­ults left Man­chester Uni­ted four points ahead of de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Chel­sea, and as much as four­teen points clear of bo­th Ar­senal and Bol­ton Wan­derers. Sir Al­ex Fer­guson: “We need­ed a quick re­sponse to what happened in the fir­st ha­lf and Cris­ti­ano Ron­aldo is in such great form; it was an ob­vi­ous move.” Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ed­win van der Sar, Wes Bro­wn, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Mi­kael Sil­vestre, Ne­manja Vid­ic, John O’Shea, Ji-Sung Park, Paul Scho­les, Way­ne Roo­ney, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Ole Gun­nar Sol­skjaer. Sub­stitutes: Cris­ti­ano Ron­aldo, Gab­riel Hein­ze, Kier­an Richard­son, Louis Saha, To­masz Kusz­czak. Wi­gan Ath­let­ic Te­am: Chris Kirk­land, Matt Jack­son, Leigh­ton Baines, Fitz Hall, Da­vid Wright, Em­mer­son Boyce, Kev­in Kil­bane, An­dreas Jo­hans­son, Emile Hes­key, Ga­ry Teale, Svetoslav To­dorov. Sub­stitutes: Jo­sip Skoko, Da­vid Cot­ter­ill, Denny Landz­aat, To­masz Cy­wka, Mi­ke Pollitt.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Man­chester Uni­ted over­came Pre­mier Lea­gue new­comers Wi­gan Ath­let­ic by four goals to nil at Old Traf­ford on the four­teenth of Dec­ember 2005 thanks to a double from Way­ne Roo­ney and one goal each from Rio Fer­dinand and Ruud van Nistel­rooy, wi­th the lat­ter find­ing the net from the pen­alty spot. 


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