By Robert Morris
Manchester United went joint top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic after goals from Patrice Evra and Javier Hernandez.
A month or so ago it appeared we would never see Wayne Rooney in a Manchester United shirt ever again, however, the England international has now returned from his training camp in America to take a spot on the Red Devils bench. Despite the odds stacked against them – Wigan have conceded 10 goals in two league matches against United last season – the Latics started brightly at Old Trafford. A slip from Nemanja Vidic almost allowed Rodallega to pounce in the box.
A couple of minutes later and Wigan almost took the lead. Confidently taking on four United players, a charge from Charles N’Zogbia went close although his shot was blocked by the on-rushing Van der Sar. The winger caused further trouble soon after, failing under Vidic’s presence in the box. The penalty appeals were eventually turned down, although a spot kick could easily have been given.
Seconds before the break, the reds snatched a lead. A delightful cross by Ji Sung Park was met by Evra at the back post and the Frenchman placed a precise header past Ali Al Habsi for his first goal in three and a half years.
Sir Alex Ferguson waited until the 56th minute until he introduced Rooney off the substitute’s bench with the striker receiving a mixed reception on his return. In their chances weren’t dented enough, Wigan’s hopes took a huge dent when Antolin Alcaraz was given a second yellow card after a cynical challenge on Darren Fletcher. Despite his protests, Roberto Martinez’s side went down to 10 men. They soon fell to nine men, as Rodallega saw a straight red card following a horrific two-footed challenge.
United rapped up all three points in the 77th minute when substitutive striker Hernandez’s low diving header was driven into the net.
Not exactly the best performance from Manchester United this season, however, on a day in which Arsenal and Chelsea dropped points, the Red Devils continued their unbeaten run. With the addition of Rooney back fit, the title looks in reach.