Manchester United 4 Wigan 0

Man­chester Uni­ted had edged out new­ly pro­moted South­ampton by 3-2 at St Mary´s in their pre­vi­ous Pre­mier Lea­gue mat­ch thanks to a tre­ble from sum­mer sign­ing Robin van Per­sie, whi­le Wi­gan Ath­let­ic had played out a 2-2 draw to Sto­ke City at DW Sta­dium. Wi­gan had de­feated Uni­ted the last time the te­ams met in the Pre­mier Lea­gue, how­ever, wi­th at­tack minded mid­fielder Shaun Malo­ney scor­ing the on­ly goal of the clash early in the sec­ond pe­riod. The story was dif­fer­ent this time, tho­ugh, as long serving man­ager Sir Al­ex Fer­guson was able to cel­eb­rate his 500th Lea­gue ga­me at Old Traf­ford wi­th a win over The Lat­ics. Af­ter a goal­less fir­st ha­lf, Uni­ted took full con­trol of the ga­me af­ter the re­sump­tion, and goals from Paul Scho­les, Javi­er Her­nandez, Al­ex­an­der Buttner, and Nick Pow­ell saw the well or­gan­ised ho­me te­am com­plete a fine 4-0 vic­tory. The fir­st frame of the tie was rather bor­ing wi­th not a lot hap­pen­ing, whi­le the sec­ond ha­lf was played at a fren­et­ic pace. An age de­fy­ing per­former, Ry­an Gig­gs ap­peared in his 600th Pre­mier Lea­gue mat­ch for Man­chester Uni­ted ag­ainst Wi­gan, and his fel­low mid­field vet­er­an Paul Scho­les also had some­thing to cel­eb­rate as the for­mer Eng­land in­ter­na­tion­al starred in his 700th ga­me for The Reds. And as ex­pec­ted be­fore the mat­ch, Man­chester Uni­ted had no prob­lems what­soever in dis­pos­ing of Rob­erto Martinez´s Wi­gan te­am in a rather one-sided fix­ture. Sir Alex´s men should have gone in­to an early lead al­ready on four min­utes, but a weak spot kick from Mex­ic­an front­man Javi­er Her­nandez was stopped by away goal­keeper Ali Al Hab­si. The save gave the vis­it­ing si­de a con­fid­ence boost and they kept the red shirts at bay un­til the sound of the ha­lf time signal.

But events took their in­ev­it­able course. A mere six min­utes in­to the sec­ond pe­riod, Paul Scho­les re­cor­ded his 155th goal for Man­chester Uni­ted when the mid­field en­tre­pren­eur slammed the ball in the net from clo­se ran­ge af­ter the Wi­gan shot stop­per could on­ly parry a dan­ger­ous low cross ball from Por­tuguese in­ter­na­tion­al Lu­is Nani. New boys Al­ex­an­der Buttner and Nick Pow­ell also made a ma­jor im­pact as the ag­gress­ive ho­me play­ers de­cided to move up a gear. In the 63rd min­ute of the battle, Uni­ted doubled their lead when a fe­ro­cious ef­fort from Buttner was de­flec­ted in­to the back of the net by team­mate Her­nandez. Then in the 66th min­ute of the ac­tion, the £3.9 mil­lion sum­mer singing from Dutch Ere­divis­ie club Vitesse Arnhem ham­mered ho­me United´s third goal of the af­ter­noon be­fore Pow­ell sco­red the fourth from twenty-five-yards out wi­th on­ly eight min­utes re­maining of nor­mal time. It was an amaz­ing de­but for Nick Pow­ell and Sir Al­ex Fer­guson was full of praise for the young and tal­en­ted Eng­land U19 in­ter­na­tion­al af­ter the clash wi­th Wi­gan. Born in Crewe, Pow­ell made his de­but for loc­al club Crewe Al­ex­an­dra as a sec­ond ha­lf sub­sti­tute in a 3-2 Lea­gue Two de­feat to Chel­ten­ham To­wn at Whad­don Road on the 19th of  Au­gust 2010, and ma­naged to notch up a total of 64 fir­st te­am out­ings for The Rail­way­men be­fore he was sig­ned by Man­chester Uni­ted on the 2nd of Ju­ly 2012. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: An­ders Linde­gaard, Rio Fer­dinand, Ra­fael da Silva, Ne­manja Vid­ic, Al­ex­an­der Buttner, Lu­is Nani, Paul Scho­les, Mi­chael Car­rick, Ry­an Gig­gs, Javi­er Her­nandez, Dan­ny Wel­beck. Sub­stitutes: Da­vid de Gea, An­tonio Va­lencia, Jon­athan Evans, Tom Clev­er­ley, Shinji Ka­gawa, Nick Pow­ell, Robin van Persie.


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