The original title of this was ‘Oh My God, We Finally Won An Away Premier League Match By More Than One Goal’, but I thought it unnecessary to be (even more of) a smarty pants in this situation.
Regional proximity means that Manchester United-Wigan is technically considered a rivalry matchup, but when it comes to rivalries, you normally expect a little more parity in the results department.
However, for all of our veritable ownership of Wigan since they made the step up to the Premier League, we have had a number of testy trips to the DW Stadium, and given our track record away from home this season, nothing lsss should have been expected from Saturday’s visit.
And unsurprisingly, we found ourselves in a familiarly precarious position, trying to hang on to a lead in the second half away from home and dealing with a side which, while short on talent, was certainly not lacking in the confidence department.
But atypical of what we’ve seen on many an occasion this season, home or away, United shut the door and shut it emphatically, scoring three goals in the final 20 minutes to wrap up a fourth away win of the season.
In the end, the scoreline is no doubt a little flattering in respect to the overall performance, and to say otherwise would be overlooking the nearly hour-long interval between Javier Hernandez’s first and second goals. But to see the squad show that killer instinct from a winning position away from home for the first time this season is an extremely encouraging sign considering what came before and what lies ahead.
Still, we do need to be concerned about how we continue to be generous with allowing opponents to shift the momentum in their favor in key periods. We certainly had our chances to double our advantage before the floodgates opened, but all the same, Wigan had opportunities to find an equalizer, and were they blessed with more attacking talent, things could have turned out much differently.
On that note, things could also have turned out much differently had action been taken when Wayne Rooney unnecessarily elbowed Wigan’s James McCarthy in the head in the eighth minute. But even though he was able to escape without as much as a yellow card from Mark Clattenburg, Roo’s not out of the woods yet, as he’ll find out today whether or not the FA will dole out any punishment for his attempt to lay the smack down on the youngster.
In the event that there is a ban – and that’s highly unlikely, at least from my view – it’d be terrible timing, to say the least, but we have the comfort of knowing that there’s someone who’s more than capable of filling in.
So, it’s three valuable points in the bag, and we’ve regained a four-point advantage atop the Premier League table over Arsenal, who were occupied with other matters over the weekend and will claim a game in hand this week due to our extra league commitments.
The next of our eight-day, three-match stretch doesn’t really need any introduction, but one will be coming up later on, so be on the lookout for it.
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- Bruno Fernandes sends message to Manchester United fans after 2-1 win against Chelsea
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- Juventus cool interest in exiled Man Utd star Jadon Sancho due to financial concerns