Saturday’s game against Wigan saw United ring the changes, with Hernandez, Giggs, Scholes and Buttner all being drafted into the starting XI. There was also a few milestones for certain players, Rio’s 400th game, Giggsy’s 600th PL appearance, and Scholes’ 700th club appearance.
Looking at our next five or six fixtures, you could go as far as saying that United had to win this one, and they certainly delivered a pleasing result and a pleasing performance, especially in the second half. Debut goals for both Alexander Buttner and Nick Powell capped off a confident performance from the reds.
United: Lindegaard, Rafael, Rio, Vidic, Buttner, Nani, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Chicharito, Welbeck
Subs: De Gea, Evans, Valencia, RVP, Cleverley, Powell, Kagawa
Wigan: Al Habsi, Boyce, Caldwell, Figueroa, Ramis, Beausejour, McArthur, McCarthy, Maloney, Di Santo, Kone
Subs: Pollitt, Watson, Crusat, Jones, Gomez, Boselli, Miyaichi
Sir Alex rung the chances for this one, Lindegaard kept his position in goal and Nani, Scholes, Giggs, Hernandez and Buttner were all drafted into the starting XI. RvP and Kagawa seemingly overcame knocks they picked up on international duty and take their place on the bench.
United controlled the game throughout and the first real chance of the game came from the penalty spot, Danny Welbeck made the most of a challenge from the onrushing Al Habsi and won United a penalty, Javier Hernandez stepped up and fired a tame penalty into the keepers midriff. Wigan sat back and lowered the tempo and pace of the game dramatically, limiting us to just the odd chance in the first half, the best of which fell to Danny Welbeck, who headed just over the Wigan goal.
The second half was more of the same, as Wigan tired, the chances started coming, Nani fired a low cross into the penalty area and Al Habsi parried it to the feet of Paul Scholes who slammed home from close range giving United the 1-0 lead. 10 minutes later the lead was doubled, debutant Alex Buttner drilled the ball into the path of Javier Hernandez, who smartly placed the ball past the oncoming Al Habsi. The Dutch left-back certainly won’t forget his debut, an incredible run in which the 23-year old weaved his way past 4 Wigan players, resulted in him firing a shot straight through the Wigan keeper, giving us a 3-0 lead.
Nick Powell was then handed his first taste of Premier League football, and shortly after he scored his first goal, giving the Old Trafford faithful a glimpse of what the youngster has to offer. Hernandez laid the ball in his path, a sweet drop of the shoulder from Powell allowed him a yard of space, and he struck the ball hard and low into the bottom corner from 20 yards out completing the 4-0 rout.
Man of the Match
Danny Welbeck: The England striker certainly deserved a goal, his work rate and willingness to win the ball back was great to watch, he linked up play superbly and looked tireless throughout.