MANCHESTER United began 2013 at the home of Wigan Athletic. The team are never and should never be motivated soley by revenge but it was the result in this fixture last season which played a big part in the title not ending up with us that day in Sunderland. In more general terms, United needed to win to continue their good form, maintain their lead at the top of the table and maybe keep a second consecutive clean sheet if at all possible.
Rio Ferdinand returned in place of Vidic, Ashley Young switched to the right to accommodate the returning Ryan Giggs on the left and Robin Van Persie started up front with Javier Hernandez.
Wigan were certainly hard working in the early moments, starting with a three man defence, they knew their roles with United in possession but it was the linesman that saved the home side from going a goal down on ten minutes, Javier Hernandez’s effort was chalked off as offside following a classy pass from Ryan Giggs. Giggs later assisted Hernandez again with a cross following a pass from Tom Cleverley, Hernandez’s effort was blocked by Maynor Figueroa. Wigan attempted the counter attack but it was stopped by Jonny Evans.
Rafael had an effort saved by the Wigan ‘keeper but United were soon to make the breakthrough when on thirty five minutes, Patrice Evra, forward again, sent a right footed low drive from the corner of the six yard box, it was saved by Ali Al Habsi but Javier Hernandez was on hand to send the ball into the back of the Wigan net. United were in the lead and many an away fan would hope for brighter things after a largely sleep inducing game up to that point.
The United fans prayers were answered two minutes before half time when Robin Van Persie latched on to a Hernandez pass, fainted to shoot with his left foot, switched on to his right foot and then curled the ball into the corner. United cruising into the break and nothing but positive, Wigan had offered nothing in reply.
United continued to dominate in the second half; Ashley Young found Hernandez who saw his right foot effort go over the bar but the Mexican was on the score sheet for a second time three minutes later. Van Persie saw a free kick charged down by the Wigan defence, it fell kindly to little pea who volleyed into the ground and watched it defeat Ali Al Habsi for the third goal without reply.
The scoring was completed with Robin Van Persie’s second goal two minutes from time but in truth it was a gift presented by Wigan’s hapless defending; Rafael finds substitute Danny Welbeck who crossed for the Dutchman to finish well in the bottom corner.
United cruised to victory, two each for both strikers and David de Gea practically phoned in his performance. United top on fifty two points as the League takes a break for the FA Cup next weekend.
There will be line up changes, but we should still have enough to pop the bubbles of West Ham; success at the last possible minute, that seems to be the song we are singing.
In a bit – GTS