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November 20, 2010
• Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: M. Atkinson
• Attendance: 74181
Martin Atkinson brings an end to a torrid second half for Wigan. Any chances of getting anything from the game went as Alcaraz and Rodallega were sent off within three minutes of each other and the game became about keeping the score respectable. Wigan were already disappointed to go behind just before half time as Patrice Evra stole in at the back post to make it 1-0 and Roberto Martinez will be very proud of the way his men defended to keep the score to 2-0. United's second goal coming through Hernandez. It was far from vintage from United but Arsenal's and Chelsea's results mean that this has been a very productive weekend for them.
Another huge chance missed by United. Nani plays another inviting ball into thearea and somehow the ball finds Rooney whose snap shot is straight at the Wigan keeper.
t should be 3-0 now as Rafael plays another brilliant ball into the area, the ball evades all of the Wigan defenders and Hernandez just needs to put it into an empty net from two yards out but the Mexican gets the ball tangled in his legs and it goes wide.
United continuing to push forward for another goal as a very tired looking Wigan defence just about deals with everything being thrown at them for the moment. Just five more minutes to hold out.
Refreshing to see that Wigan are still willing to commit men forward for set pieces. They send five men forward for a free kick despite the game being up long ago.
Rooney has looked decidely rusty since coming on and seems to be trying just that little bit too hard to make a meaningful contribution. Stark contrast between the confident Hernandez and Rooney.
Franco Di Santo
Brilliant run from N'Zogbia, who collects the ball in his own half and still wants to go forward as he drives well into the United half and wins a free kick from a dangerous position 35 yards out. The attempt goes straight through to Van der Sar and United attack again.
Goal Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
GOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!! It's been coming and substitute Javier Hernandez enhances his reputation further with a fine diving header. Rafael receives the ball on the right hand side and has time to pick his spot, Hernandez is alone in the area and the Mexican marksman makes no mistaske from 10 yards out.
United still not particularly hurrying in their build up to try and score a second goal. Wigan are finding it easier to defend than they may have imagined so so far.
Rooney's first meaningful touch in the game and he forces a good save from Al Habsi. Obertan's ball into the area is met by Rooney who climbs above all of the Wigan defenders to force the ball goalwards.
United still not carving out the clear cut chances that might be expected against 9-men as Wigan are camped in their own half determined to keep the score at 1-0.
Wigan look very frustrated here and must be very careful not to get another person sent off. Scholes now pulling the strings in midfield in search of more goals.
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
The space that United were looking for must surely be there now as the 9-man Wigan will attempt to see out the game at just 1-0. Hernandez now comes on for Carrick as Ferguson senses a big victory.
Red Card Hugo Rodallega
The game is most certainly up now as Wigan lose a second player in the space of 3 minutes as Hugo Rodallega has also been sent off. The striker striving to get to the ball dives in with two feet and its difficult to argue with Martin Atkinson's decision to send him straight off. Very naive play from Wigan in the last five minutes.
Yellow/Red Antolín Alcaraz
The game could be up now as Alcaraz makes a second rash challenge of the day and receives his second booking of the day. It was a silly challenge and it deserved another booking. Without a defender on the bench for Wigan Martinez will be forced to go for it with 10 men...
The raw goes up from the crowd and the introduction of Paul Scholes and that man Wayne Rooney to replace Park and the disappointing Macheda will push United forward a bit more.
Second half taken much of the same pattern as the first as Wigan attempt to keep things tight for the time being at least. When will Martinez gamble?
It wouldn't be a surprise if Rooney comes on soon as Macheda has looked out of sorts and too islated today. It will be interesting to hear the reception Rooney gets from the crowd.
Rafael's immaturity shows again as N'Zogbia is seemingly held up in the corner but the Frenchman is allowed to turn and Rafael gives away a free kick in a dangerous position. The free kick is poor and Rafael escapes further punishment.
No changes at half time from either side as Wigan get the second half underway. It will be interesting to see if Wigan play the same way as the first half now that they are behind.
Football can a cruel game and once again that is shown. Wigan came to United to stifle them and then catch them on the break and plan seemed to be working as United grew frustrated at not getting the ball forward until Patrice Evra popped up on the stroke of half time with an important header that will see United leapfrog Arsenal into second place if the scores remain the same.
45' + 1'
GGGOOOOOOOOAAAAL! Just as the groans of discontent were getting louder at Old Trafford and Patrice Evra pops up with just his third goal for United. Park finds himself in acres of space and plays a wonderful ball towards the back post and Evra's run isn't followed and the full-back dives in the head the ball into the bottom corner. Not what Wigan deserved but no-one at United seems to care.
Assist Ji-Sung Park
Goal Patrice Evra
Penalty shout turned down for Wigan. The impressive N'Zogbia again torments on the left hand side as he beats Vidic who then leans into the winger but Stkinson see nothing wrong with the challenge.
Groans of frustration all around Old Trafford as Wigan's confidence grows and they begin to control the ball. Very little urgency shown from United to win the ball back.
Wigan continuing to work extremely hard in the middle of midfield and are stopping United from making any clear chances.
N'Zogbia is such a key player for Wigan and the Frenchman just showed why. Seemingly going nowhere, he changes pace to lose Carrick and then slalom's through Ferdinand, Rafael and Nani and is only stopped by the rushing Van der Sar who blocks his shot for a corner. Absolutely wonderful skill by the winger and United must be careful.
Another big chance against the run of play for Wigan as N'zogbia chips the ball forward towards Rodallega who looks offside but it'snot given and he flicks first time to Stam. Stam's header takes the ball away Vidic but he skews his shot from 8 yards wide but he really should have done better from that far out. United fans sounding a little frustrated now.
Bit of handbags in the corner as Figueroa is shepherding the ball out for a goal kick and Nani climbs all over the defender so much so they both land in a heap and both have a shove at each other. Martin Atkinson shows good common sense and calms the situation well
Yellow Card Antolín Alcaraz
Wigan just starting to penned back into their own half now as United look to use the ball a bit more intelligently.
Yellow Card Mohamed Diame
Incisive running from Park down the left, and the first time anyone has threatened for United, ends with the Korean being fouled 30 yards out. Nani lines up the free kick and hits it straight in the grateful hands of Al Habsi.
Patience is going to be the key for United this afternoon as Wigan are working desperately hard to press and make it diffcult for the home side. For the moment United are happy to build slowly and wait for the openings.
Wigan aren't using the ball particularly smartly when they do get it thus far, too many times they punt long balls towards Rodallega who is competing with Ferdinand and Vidic and unsurprisingly is not winning the ball a great deal.
United controlling possession as Wigan press to win the ball back but the game is playing at a pretty slow tempo for the moment and United can't find a way through the Wigan backline.
Macheda has never scored for United after starting for them and at the moment he looks very isloated on his own and Obertan may have to get closer to the youngster to help him out.
Despite playing with 5 across the midfield Martinez's men are looking to get forward as much as possible and as the match wears on there could be spaces opening up for United to exploit.
Excellent save from Al Habsi. Good work from Park down the left hand side and slides the ball inside to Obertan. The Frenchamn looks up to find Nani whose neat one-two with Fletcher gives him plenty of space and Nani's shot is deflected by Diame and looked like it was creeping in the corner as Al Habsi got across expertly to parry for a corner.
Wigan having a sustained period of possession for the past couple of minutes and United seem content to let them pass the ball between the midfield. Wigan working very hard to get the ball back when they do lose it
Decent opening this time for United. Free Kick from the left and an inviting ball from Nani is missed by everyone and Al Habsi had to be alert to parry the ball away from goal.
Excellent chance for Wigan, throw from Figueroa and N'Zogbia truns Rafael inside out then drills a ball into the area which isn't dealt with by Vidic. Rodallega. though slips and Van der Sar just manages to get the block in from the striker. Early worry for United at how easy N'Zogia found space on the left.
Wigan begin the game with a compact 4-5-1 formation to try and stifle United and use their pace on the wings to trouble them on the break. United enjoying the possession thus far, as expected.
Manchester United get the game underway in front an expectant full house at Old Trafford.
Victor Moses can't find a way into the starting line-up despite scoring the winning goal against West Brom last week. Roberto Martinez shuffles his pack and decides to go with just one up front and will expect Hugo Rodallega and Charles N'Zogbia to do plenty of the running for his team this afternoon
United welcome Wayne Rooney back on the bench for the first time since his infamous contractual negotiations. He is joined by the returning Paul Scholes who is back after suspension and Javier Hernandez. Surprisingly United start with Federico Macheda who scored the first goal on their comeback against Aston Villa last weekend.
Wigan line-up: Al Habsi Gohouri Alcaraz S. Caldwell Stam Figueroa Thomas N'Zogbia Gomez Diame Rodallega Subs: Pollitt, Watson, Moses, McArthur, Di Santo, Boselli, McManaman
Manchester United line-up: Van der Sar Evra Ferdinand Vidic R. Da Silva Ji-Sung P. Carrick Fletcher Nani Obertan Macheda Subs: Kuszczak, O'Shea Evans, Giggs, Scholes, Rooney, Hernandez
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to Goal.com’s live commentary of Manchester United vs Wigan Athletic at Old Trafford. United will be hoping to capitalise on Arsenal’s defeat to Tottenham and move into second to keep the pressure on leaders Chelsea, while inconsistent Wigan will be hoping to continue their good form which has seen them pick up four points from their last two home games.
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