Match Report: Wigan vs Man United



TKTG brings together all the best articles from around the web regarding Manchester United’s 4-0 away win over Wigan Athletic.  Two goals each from Javier Hernandez and Robin Van Persie helped keep United’s 7-point lead over neighbours City.

Match Report: BBC Sport

Javier Hernandez and Robin van Persie scored twice as Premier League leaders Manchester United coasted past Wigan to preserve their seven-point advantage.

The Mexican striker side-footed the opener after Ali Al Habsi had parried Patrice Evra’s shot into his path.

United went 2-0 up when Van Persie turned Ivan Ramis and curled a sublime shot into the far corner.

Hernandez lashed home Van Persie’s deflected free-kick before the Dutchman turned in Danny Welbeck’s low cross.

United’s eighth win in nine league games maintained their grip on top spot in the table at the end of a busy Christmas schedule and provided a fitting way for manager Sir Alex Ferguson to celebrate turning 71 on New Year’s Eve.

Wigan, in contrast, appear destined for their annual relegation fight after sliding to 17th place, just one point above the drop zone.

A lively start from United showed their determination to avoid a repeat of last April, when a shock 1-0 defeat at the DW Stadium contributed to them surrendering an eight-point lead to Manchester City in the title race and set Wigan on the road to safety.

The recalled Hernandez was a lively spearhead to United’s attack and, after firing his first chance straight at Al Habsi from a narrow angle, he collected a Ryan Giggs pass and drilled into the net, only to be correctly denied by the linesman’s flag.

Read the complete BBC Sport Report by Sam Sheringham


Match Analysis:  ESPNFC

He could be the difference, Roberto Mancini said, and there was something different. Robin van Persie deployed his hitherto lesser-used right foot to deliver two goals, one wonderfully. Yet in every other respect he was the same. The Premier League’s leading scorer in 2011 and 2012 started 2013 in the same vein. He is in the goal machine who combines efficiency with artistry.

The stylist’s statistics are improbable. Rewind a few years, and they might have been deemed impossible. In the days before the boundaries of goal scoring were extended by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the hallmark of a class striker was his ability to score a goal every other game. Not now. Van Persie has 64 in 76 Premier League games.

His Manchester United career has already included 16 goals and six assists in 21 matches. As scorer or supplier, he has provided more than a goal per game. In Tuesday’s 4-0 win, as United gained a modicum of revenge for the April defeat at the DW Stadium that helped cost them the title, there was more evidence to support Mancini’s theory that van Persie could ensure the crown returns to Old Trafford this season.

Above and beyond the blur of numbers, however, are the images. When the facts fade from memories, Wigan defender Ivan Ramis may still recall how he ended up lying on his backside, facing in the wrong direction, before goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi was defeated by a shot curled beyond him. “His play for his first goal was absolutely magnificent: his turn, his balance, no drawback. It was a really good goal,” Sir Alex Ferguson said….

MAN OF THE MATCH: Javier Hernandez. It has hardly mattered for United that Wayne Rooney has missed the past three games. His Mexican understudy scored the winner against Newcastle and was involved in the first three goals at Wigan, including a rare assist for van Persie’s spectacular effort.

WIGAN VERDICT: If a defeat was predictable, it nonetheless showed how important Saturday’s win at Aston Villa was. Martinez’s squad has been stretched to the limit, and the manager substituted defenders Gary Caldwell and Ramis for fear that, after recovering from injury, they risked being sidelined again. A further worry is that it was the lively Kone’s last league game before he departs for the African Nations Cup.

MANCHESTER UNITED VERDICT: Michael Carrick was quietly excellent, giving United a platform to play in midfield, and Ferguson suggested he and Evra, who have started all four Christmas games, will be rested for the FA Cup tie at West Ham. Presumably Jonny Evans also will be. Chris Smalling, a possible replacement then, was perhaps fortunate to escape a red card for hauling back Kone when he seemed to be the last man.

Read the complete ESPNFC article by Richard Jolly


ESPNFC:  Fergie – RVP is complete footballer

Sir Alex Ferguson hailed striker Robin van Persie following Manchester United’s 4-0 win over Wigan on New Year’s Day, describing the Dutchman as “a completely rounded footballer”.

Van Persie scored a brace in a victory which saw United maintain their seven-point advantage over second-placed Manchester City. His latest performance left Ferguson gushing with praise as he reflected upon signing the 29-year-old last summer.

“Robin is a completely rounded footballer, his ability to make and take goals is fantastic,” Ferguson was quoted as saying in the English press.

“His play for his first goal was absolutely magnificent – his turn, his balance, no drawback, just sidefooted it in. It was a really good goal. We knew we were getting a top player, a major player who would make a difference to the team. That’s why we went for him.

Read the complete ESPNFC article here.




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