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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
January 1, 2013
• The DW Stadium, Wigan
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 20342
J. Hernández 36', 64'
R. van Persie 43', 88'
What a start to 2013 that was for Manchester United. Stick with Goal.com for all the reaction to this afternoon's games and also this evening's goings on. For now, though, I've been Chris Teale and I really appreciate you joining me.
90' + 2'
FULL-TIME, and Manchester United take a very professional and comfortable 4-0 win over Wigan thanks to doubles from Robin van Persie and Chicharito. The away side looked rarely troubled in defence while creating a number of chances despite a slow start to both halves. Wigan meanwhile offered little in attack and struggled to cope with the rumbling United juggernaut that is now unbeaten in nine Premier League games and sitting pretty atop the table.
Two minutes are added on in this game.
Assist Danny Welbeck
Goal Robin van Persie
GOAL!!! Far too easy, as United now lead 4-0. Danny Welbeck comes forward on the right, tees up van Persie in the middle and he taps home for his second. Game over, although in truth it was done as a contest a long time ago.
Oh dear. Maynor Figueroa has a wild shot from distance that goes into the top corner of the stand behind de Gea.
Wigan seem to have woken up a little, but still can't make any real headway into the United penalty area.
That wasn't far away from Gomez, whose free kick goes just wide of de Gea's top left corner, with the Spaniard scrambling to make sure it was covered.
Yellow Card Chris Smalling
Oh dear Chris Smalling, who has his arms all over Kone and brings him down in a dangerous position. He could have been sent off for that, but escapes with just a yellow.
As we enter the final 10 minutes, it is very much apparent that Man United are happy to hold onto their 3-0 lead and not push forward for more, while Wigan are offering next to nothing in attack.
Oh dear Jordi Gomez. He makes a little space for himself but sends his shot well wide of David de Gea's goal.
Good passage of play there from Wigan, with Kone, Boyce and di Santo all involved before Maloney powers in a shot that is well blocked again.
Ronnie Stam looks full of energy having come on and forces a block from Evans.
Wigan come forward on a rare attack but are unable to get through what so far has been a very solid United defence.
Franco Di Santo
What a goal that would have been from van Persie, who showcases his strength to shrug off two Wigan defenders and put a shot from just outside the box over the bar.
That third goal has really taken the wind out of Wigan's sails, as the away side continue to pour forward.
Goal Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
GOAL!!! 3-0 United!!! Robin van Persie sees his free kick deflected into the Wigan area, and there is Chicarito to sweep home and probably kill this game off for good.
Yellow Card Gary Caldwell
Gary Caldwell then earns himself the first booking of the afternoon after tripping Rafael who was marauding forward from right-back.
Al-Habsi is really struggling. Ashley Young sends in a great cross and Chicharito beats the Wigan goalkeeper to the ball in the penalty area but scoops his shot over the bar. The Omanian is having a nightmare out there.
Looking at the replays, that was a great call from the assistant referee, who has had a splendid game this afternoon.
GOAL!! No!! Di Santo sends a great cross across the box and Kone is there to bury it into the back of the net, but he's correctly ruled offside. Massive let-off there for United.
Not the greatest from Chicharito, who skies a shot from outside the box well over the crossbar. He may be confident, but that was disappointing.
Wigan can't get out of their own half at the moment, as the away side pour on the pressure, clearly hunting a third to kill this game off once and for all.
Early chance there for Chicharito, who bursts away down the right but slices his shot high and wide. He's full of confidence though.
To describe the opening exchanges of this half as "scrappy" would be kind. Both sides struggling to string together more than two passes at the moment.
Back we come for the second half, which is kicked off by Wigan.
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME, and Manchester United lead 2-0 thanks to goals from Chicarito and Robin van Persie. In truth, this first half has not been the greatest, with both teams struggling to keep the ball and gain any momentum. Chances have been few and far between, with the best falling to the away side who have been driven forward by Ryan Giggs and Chicarito primarily. However, they upped the tempo in the latter part of the half and have two goals to show for their work. Wigan, meanwhile, have looked threatening at times but have not created anything to show for it as their opponents’ defence has held firm.
One minute will be added on to this half.
Assist Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
Goal Robin van Persie
GOAL!!! 2-0 United! A cross comes in towards Robin van Persie, who manages to get the ball down, stay composed and bury the ball with his right foot. Cracking finish from the Dutchman, and the away side are well ahead now.
Then, Emmerson Boyce sends in a delicious ball towards Franco di Santo, but Ferdinand is there to glance the ball clear with his head.
Wigan are starting to get forward a lot more now, as Beausejour sees a superb cross just about cleared.
Goal Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez
GOAL!!! United are ahead! Patrice Evra sees a shot palmed away, but it's straight into the path of Chicharito who sweeps it home from six yards out. Finally, the away side have their goal.
Good shot there from Rafael that takes a deflection, but Al-Habsi is able to parry the ball away.
Al-Habsi needs to calm down a bit, as he slices a clearance into touch well inside his own half. That error a couple of minutes ago seems to be playing on his mind somewhat.
That could have been an opener for the Red Devils. Robin van Persie swings in a delightful free kick that Al-Habsi spills and is lucky that Gary Caldwell is there to clear for a corner.
Great cross there from Giggs, who links up well with Tom Cleverley and sends a fizzing ball into the box that is just feet away from the lurking Chicarito.
United look to get forward on the break, but Wigan have plenty back to defend well. Again, this game hasn't quite got going yet.
Young comes forward and tangles with Beausejour in the penalty area, but the referee is having none of it.
Oh dear. The ball breaks to Jean Beausejour after a header from Ferdinand, but his shot from outside the box goes well over the bar.
Rafael comes forward, looking for Chicarito, but his cross is overhit and goes harmlessly over the bar.
This game hasn't quite got going yet, as both teams search for a foothold and an extended spell of possession. It's not been easy for either.
The ball's in the net, but Chicharito is offside! Great ball forward from Ryan Giggs, and the Mexican goes slightly too early before showcasing a wonderful finish.
A pull-back reaches Kone, who is moving excellently, but his control is slightly off and the United defence clears.
Kone and Maloney are causing a few problems for the United defenders, with the former forcing a throw in a good position from Evans
Wigan have a chance through Kone, but his shot straight to David de Gea is irrelevant as he's offside.
There's a half-chance for Chicharito, who is played in by a long ball from Robin van Persie and unleashes a shot from an acute angle straight to Ali Al-Habsi.
Wigan have started pretty well, as Shaun Maloney tumbles down under a challenge from Jonny Evans. The home side are knocking the ball around well.
Early free kick there for Wigan, as Arouna Kone uses his strength against Rio Ferdinand.
We're underway, as the away side get the game going.
The home side make just one change, with James McArthur replacing David Jones in the midfield. Meanwhile, Man U make five changes, with Robin van Persie starting alongside Chicharito up front and Ryan Giggs starting on the left of midfield as he did against West Brom.
Now, here’s Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra; Young, Carrick, Cleverley, Giggs; Chicharito, van Persie. Subs: Lindegaard, Smalling, Vidic, Valencia, Scholes, Kagawa, Welbeck.
How are those teams looking? First, here’s Wigan: Al Habsi; Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa; Boyce, McArthur, McCarthy, Beausejour; Maloney, Di Santo; Kone. Subs: Pollitt, Jones, Gomez, McManaman, Boselli, Golobart, Stam.
Manchester United on the other hand are unbeaten in eight games, winning seven of those, in a run that stretches back to mid-November. However, they have only kept two clean sheets in that time in what must be a worry for manager Sir Alex Ferguson, although they find themselves seven points clear at the top of the table. If their defence can become more secure, the Red Devils could be well on course for another title.
Wigan have had a mixed season and find themselves in 16th, just one point above the relegation zone. However, they beat Aston Villa 3-0 in their last game, and will hope that result can kick-start some momentum and help them move further away from trouble. However, the Latics have failed to take many points off the top sides this season, so it could be a struggle for them today, even at home.
Happy New Year everyone, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE! text commentary on this Premier League game between Wigan and Manchester United. I'm Chris Teale, and I hope you're all doing well as we enter 2013.
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