Wigan Athletic 0-5 Manchester United: Michael Owen On Target As Champions Demolish Wigan

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Manchester United travelled to Wigan Athletic hoping to bounce back from their midweek shock defeat to Burnley and put their season back on track.

With that in mind manager Sir Alex Ferguson made wholesale changes to his starting line-up with Michael Carrick left out, Michael Owen benched and Nemanja Vidic, Paul Scholes, Nani and Gary Neville all returning.

Yet Roberto Martinez was also hoping for a response from his team following their defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers and handed new signing Mohamed Diame a start, only hours after joining the club.

The home side began the game brightly yet the first real chance of the opening minutes fell to the champions.

Maynor Figueroa was guilty of conceding possession, allowing Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov to combine to good effect.

The ball was then fed out to Nani who crossed for Darren Fletcher but his goal-bound shot was cleared off the line superbly by Titus Bramble.

Moments later and the visitors had another chance with Berbatov’s backheel being picked up by Paul Scholes but the United veteran fired his shot wastefully over the bar.

Wayne Rooney was also looking lively as he searched for his 100th United goal but the England international couldn’t beat Chris Kirkland in the home goal despite several openings.

Yet the visitors were not having it all their own way and Martinez’s men had chances of their own to open the scoring in the first half.

A super curling effort from Jason Koumas forced goalkeeper Ben Foster into a strong save whilst only a last-ditch tackle from Patrice Evra denied Hugo Rodallega clear sight of goal.

Chances continued to flow for both sides as the interval approached. First, Rooney was denied by Kirkland’s outstretched leg before Nemanja Vidic denied Charles N’Zogbia.

The second half began in much the same fashion with Rooney again going close but mis-hitting his volley before Paul Scharner flashed a header just wide of Foster’s post.

However, with almost an hour gone the deadlock was finally broken and it was little surprise to see Rooney finally notch up his century as a Red Devil.

Former Latic Antonio Valencia did the damage on his return, crossing from the right where the England international was on hand to head past Kirkland.

Yet the home side were almost back in it within seconds of going behind. A cross from Koumas found Rodallega connecting well with the ball but a diving Foster just managed to tip his effort to safety.

A frantic couple of minutes then saw the home side’s agony compounded as the visitors doubled their lead.

Rooney and Scholes combined to good effect to feed Berbatov and the Bulgarian dinked the ball past Kirkland before poking home to add the second.

Martinez responded by throwing on Scott Sinclair for Koumas but there was to be no denying Ferguson’s men.

Valencia and Berbatov combined again to find Rooney whose shot from the left took a huge deflection off Mario Melchiot to beat Kirkland.

With the game all but safe Ferguson made a triple substitution sending on Owen, Darron Gibson and John O’Shea and with five minutes to go Owen got his name on the scoresheet with his first United goal.

Nani was the creator, rolling the ball to the substitute to clip over Kirkland and in off the post.

There was still time for more and Nani completed the rout with the fifth goal to seal a fine afternoon and the perfect reply to those doubting the champions following their midweek upset.

Goal

~ by footballdirecta on August 22, 2009.

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