Wigan 0 United 5
WAYNE Rooney smashed through the 100 goal mark for United as the Reds bounced back to winning ways in style at Wigan. Sir Alex Ferguson asked for a reaction to the midweek defeat at Burnley, and the manager got one with goals from Wayne Rooney (two), Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen and Nani. The goals took Rooney's tally for United up to 101. Yet United found it hard going in the first half even though they had plenty of possession. Ferguson looked concerned at the break after making seven changes to his side in a bid for victory at the DW Stadium. United were looking menacing every time they poured forward and Berbatov headed into Chris Kirkland’s arms following a cross from Nani early on. Wigan, however, almost took the lead with their first real attack in the 26th minute. Jason Koumas showed good skill to work his way to the edge of the penalty area. He tried to curl the ball beyond Ben Foster only for the goalkeeper to react superbly and divert it to safety. Wigan came close to opening the scoring in the 49th minute when Charles N’Zogbia won a free-kick off Patrice Evra early in the second half. N’Zogbia dusted himself down and and picked out Paul Scharner in the area. He peeled away from his marker only to head narrowly wide of the post. United goals Antonio Valencia, such a cult figure during his time at Wigan, had to endure catcalls and jeers after going to ground in the 54th minute. The Ecuador winger, however, was smiling two minutes later when he supplied the cross that led to the opening goal. It came from Rooney - a fine header into the corner - and a landmark one as well. He savoured the moment and the goal was his reward for another typically hard shift. That was the cue for United to turn the screw and Berbatov added a second two minutes later. He started and finished the move cheekily chipping the ball over Kirkland before finding the net with his second touch after Scholes supplied the through ball. United made it 3-0 in the 65th minute thanks to Rooney’s second goal of the game. There was touch of luck about this effort as his shot took a slight deflection off Mario Melchiot to wrong-foot Kirkland after Berbatov had supplied the opening. Rooney was given a rousing reception by the visiting fans when he was replaced by Michael Owen in the 72nd minute. It was damage limitation now for Wigan, who had lost at home to Wolves in midweek. However Owen made it 4-0 to United with his first goal for the club, a cool finish into the corner in the 85th minute after he had been set up by Nani. Nani had the final word with a superb free-kick in stoppage time from 25 yards that sailed over a stranded Kirkland’s head.
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