Man Utd 4-0 Wigan

Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes celebrated another landmark in his glittering career by scoring the opening goal as Manchester United coasted to a resounding victory over Wigan at Old Trafford.

The 37-year-old, making his 700th appearance for United, tapped in from close range six minutes into the second half to inspire a victory that lifts his side in to second place in the Premier League table, a point behind leaders Chelsea.

United recovered from seeing Javier Hernandez have a controversial fifth-minute penalty saved by Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi by striking three times in 15 second-half minutes to decide the contest.

Hernandez turned in debutant Alex Buttner’s low cross to make it two, before the Dutchman himself beat Al-Habsi too easily from a narrow angle. Substitute Nick Powell, also making his debut, completed the rout with a thunderous 20-yard shot.

But for long periods United were well below their best, especially during a first half which Wigan finished the more convincingly.

But as the visitors’ exhaustive pressing game began to run out of steam, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side moved through the gears and then had the luxury of giving Robin van Persie a 20 minute run-out ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League match against Galatasaray.

Scholes was at the heart of United’s revival, pulling the strings with his laser-guided passing and well-oiled repertoire of feints and flicks.

There was more than one reminder that his tackling remains more than a little wild, but as he trudged off to a standing ovation 20 minutes from time, it was his goal that United fans preferred to remember.