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Manchester United vs Wigan Athletic. Premier League.

Old TraffordAttendance75,300.

United go top

Image: Tevez: Opening goal

Manchester United over-ran Wigan with four second-half goals to storm to the top of the Premier League at Old Trafford.

Manchester United over-ran Wigan with four second-half goals to storm to the top of the Premier League at Old Trafford. A brace from Cristiano Ronaldo and goals from Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney secured United their sixth victory in succession. Wigan came to Old Trafford to defend and worked hard to keep United at bay in the first-half. But a superb individual goal by Tevez on 54 minutes opened the flood-gates and United just got better as the game went on to fully deserve their victory. Indeed, had Chris Kirkland not been able to stretch out a hand and paw away an early Salomon Olembe header which seemed destined for his own goal, Wigan might well have been totally crushed. Referee Mike Riley's inexplicable decision not to award Ronaldo an early penalty, when he collected the rebound and was instantly bundled over by Michael Brown, was also significant in that sense as United's momentum stalled amid a hat-trick of unwanted injuries. Sir Alex Ferguson had already suffered one blow as Louis Saha was forced to pull out in the warm-up. It was at the back though where the major damage was inflicted as Nemanja Vidic failed to recover from an early clash of heads with Marcus Bent. Within seven minutes, Ferguson had lost John O'Shea as well after the Irishman pulled up with what appeared to be a muscle problem. The second substitution provided Danny Simpson with his Premier League debut and Rio Ferdinand with his third central defensive partner as Gerard Pique, given only his second league start, took over from O'Shea, who had taken over from Vidic. Given the huge injury list he already has to contend with, Ferguson could certainly have done without the disruptions and it hardly helped United's flow either. An increasingly wound-up Rooney was booked for leading with his studs as he slid into Titus Bramble. Having done little to suggest they might be about to breach Wigan's defences, Ferguson might have been anxious at the break. If the Scot was worried, those fears were quickly dispelled. Giggs had already rattled the bar when Rooney spun on halfway and fed Anderson, who in turn released Tevez. The former West Ham star is not noted for his speed but he had enough pace to hold off Kevin Kilbane, enough skill to step inside Bramble and Kirkland and enough patience to wait for the right moment to belt his shot into the bottom corner. It was if a pressure valve had been released around Old Trafford and within five minutes, United netted a second as Ronaldo rose to nod home from point-blank range after Kirkland had only been able to parry a Giggs cross that flicked off Kilbane. From that moment on, there was only one outcome and more good work from Anderson and Pique, who had adapted to his changing circumstances admirably, offered Rooney the chance to tee up Ronaldo for number three. The effort was Ronaldo's fourth goal in five games and while he may still be 19 adrift of last season's phenomenal total, much like United, the brilliant Portugal winger is starting to find his form after a slow start to the campaign. Re-acquainted with the taste for goals, Ferguson's men wanted more and Rooney duly obliged when he nodded home Simpson's excellent cross eight minutes from the end.
Manchester United Team Statistics Wigan Athletic
4 Goals 0
0 1st Half Goals 0
9 Shots on Target 2
7 Shots off Target 6
3 Blocked Shots 0
12 Corners 2
12 Fouls 9
3 Offsides 1
1 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
86.7 Passing Success 78.1
23 Tackles 30
100 Tackles Success 76.7
56.6 Possession 43.4
55.7 Territorial Advantage 44.3

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