The score line may suggest a relatively easy day at the office but it was far from it.
Manchester United did beat Wigan by two goals at Old Trafford but in reality had to thank the referee for sending off two Wigan players, which gave United the upper hand in the closing stages.
With Wigan seemingly unable to beat Manchester United in the recent past and being the lowest scorers in the Premier League, most thought this would be a good opportunity to increase out goal difference and close in on those above.
The game though wasn’t quite that easy. Wigan set up with five men across the middle and closed the space for United to play in.
Hendry Thomas was particularly impressive for the away side, as he didn’t allow any of United’s midfielders time to settle on the ball.
Michael Carrick struggled and was extremely disappointing. He seeming in capable of finding a team mate and was caught in possession fart too often.
In a disjointed first half performance during which United were frustrating to watch and impotent in the final third, it was Wigan who made the better opportunities with Jordi Gomez firing over the bar, Ronnie Stam putting an effort wide then Charles N’Zogbia weaved his way past three players before Edwin van der Sar made a good block.
But then towards the end of the half, Ji-Sung Park swung a ball in from the right and Patrice Evra took advantage of some indecision by Ali Al Habsi in the Wigan goal to head home from close range to score his first for three and a half years.
In the second half United introduced Wayne Rooney and he was met with a mostly warm reception though there were noticeable jeers from the Old Trafford crowd.
Not long after the strikers introduction Antolin Alcaraz was sent off for a foul on Darren Fletcher that earner the Wigan captain his second yellow card. Then minutes later Hugo Rodallega was given his marching orders for a ridiculous lunge on Rafael.
United dominated for the rest of the match as you would expect but created little clear cut chances until Javier Hernandez sealed the win with a wonderful stooping header from a Rafael cross.
Towards the end of the game United did have a few more chances but were unable to increase the winning margin, but will be buoyed by the fact that both Chelsea and Arsenal lost today leaving Fergie’s men joint top with Carlo Ancelotti’s charges.
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