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Premier League

  • December 26, 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: P. Dowd
  • • Attendance: 75183

Manchester United 5-0 Wigan: Dimitar Berbatov hat-trick downs visitors as champions romp to fifth successive Premier League victory

Manchester United 5-0 Wigan: Dimitar Berbatov hat-trick downs visitors as champions romp to fifth successive Premier League victory

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The visitors were harshly done by with Conor Sammon's red card but the Bulgarian's treble and goals from Park Ji-Sung and Antonio Valencia underlined United's superiorit

Dimitar Berbatov was the hat-trick hero for Manchester United as they crushed helpless ten-man Wigan 5-0 to record a fifth successive Premier League victory.

Park Ji-Sung recorded an early opener after just seven minutes after a thrilling run by Patrice Evra. Conor Sammon was then sent off for the visitors, somewhat harshly, for an elbow on Michael Carrick towards the end of the first-half, followed immediately by Berbatov's well-taken first goal.

A fine turn from Berbatov saw him notch the third in the second half before Antonio Valencia buried a fantastic long-range strike on 75 minutes. The Bulgarian striker then capped off his afternoon when he dispatched a penalty, awarded for a foul by Antonio Alcaraz on Park on the edge of the area.

Antonio Valencia, starting at right-back, quickly found space in an attacking capacity, but it was his counterpart at left-back, Patrice Evra, who forged the breakthrough after seven minutes- He embarked on a swashbuckling run past multiple defenders into the area before pulling back to Park who, with little space, aimed a clinical finish into the corner of the net.

A terrible two minutes for the visitors then began when Sammon was somewhat harshly red carded for what referee Phil Dowd judged was an attempted elbow on Carrick.

The blow was compounded when Berbatov immediately capitalised, displaying strength and technique to take the ball at point-blank range away from the clutches of Alcaraz and finish stylishly past the helpless Ali Al-Habsi, leaving Wigan reeling at the break.

The hosts almost went three up immediately after the restart, Park’s close-range header blocked by Al-Habsi with the South Korean unable to reach the rebound. Berbatov then shot over in a threatening start for Ferguson’s men.

But the Old Trafford outfit delighted their faithful by extending their lead just before the hour, Berbatov displaying a delightful spin on the ball to take Gary Caldwell out of the equation before putting it away emphatically.

Substitute Rooney then carved out a great opportunity for Hernandez with a lofted ball into the box, but the Mexican’s point-blank shot was saved well by Al-Habsi.

But it did not take too much longer for the rampant hosts to score again, with Carrick’s simple pass supplying Valencia on the right following a Wigan clearance. The Ecuadorian took one touch before rifling into the far corner in style.

Things went to bad for worse for Wigan when Alcaraz was adjudged to have fouled Park in the area. The penalty was awarded despite the Paraguayan’s insistence that the offence occurred outside the box, and Berbatov’s spot-kick was calmness personified to wrong-foot Al-Habsi and seal his hat-trick.

When the full-time whistle arrived to spare the visitors further humiliation, United celebrated a win that saw them catch up to leaders Manchester City's points tally.