Manchester United Thump Wigan
Goals by Patrice Evra and substitute Javier Hernandez secured a most important 2–0 triumph for Manchester United over local rivals Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford on Saturday. Wayne Rooney received a mixed welcome from the Manchester United supporters when the prodigal son came off the substitute’s bench in the 57th minute of the match to make his long awaited return to the first team from an ankle injury after his contract row.
French defender Patrice Evra opened the scoring when he headed Manchester United in front from a brilliant Ji-sung Park cross shortly before the interval. While Wigan Athletic enjoyed the better of the first-half opportunities, the Manchester United players saw much more of the ball after the break. As referee Mike Atkinson was either filled with Darwinism or else had got his whistle choked up with mud, Antolin Alcaraz received his second booking after a foolish challenge on Darren Fletcher on 59 minutes while Hugo Rodallega was ordered off after a mindless attack on Rafael da Silva just a few moments later.
Javier Hernandez eventually came on for Michael Carrick midway through the second half and the lethal striker sealed the points for Manchester United as he headed home a cross from Rafael after 77 minutes. Wayne Rooney should have scored in the dying moments of the match but his effort went straight at the goalkeeper. Although Rooney appears to have the finesse of a rhino at the very moment, he is most likely to start against Rangers in the Champions League on Wednesday. Sir Alex Ferguson’s second placed side are now level on points with fellow title contenders Chelsea, who remain top on goal difference.