A game which started off with some surprising selections, an old 4-4-2 formation and a couple of milestones to savour for United, ended in a familiar fashion. United, after a dodgy start to the game found their footing in the second half and from then it was usual business for the Red Devils as they sealed the game against a sloppy Wigan with a 4-0 win.
Here are some key highlights from the game at Old Trafford.
Players find it rewarding when they pull it off, but diving is not something a fan would want to see in a game. Danny Welbeck, who otherwise had a decent game overall, was the culprit of this crime this time around. Although, it didn’t count for much thanks to a Hernandez penalty – another addition to a growing list of blunt efforts from the spot this season.
It certainly panned out to be a perfect day for the debutants, as both Alexander Buttner and Nick Powell managed to get their names on the scoresheet. The left-back, Buttner in particluar was pretty alert with his marking against a crafty Emmerson Boyce, while imposing his own attacking attributes to score a memorable debut goal for his side. Powell also looked pretty much a part of the team’s setup in his cameo off the bench, as he announced himself with an absolute scorcher off his right foot.
The way Wigan went on with their defending all afternoon it always looked like it would end with a flurry of goals once the deadlock was opened. No doubt, it was destined for Paul Scholes on his 700th appearance to cash in with a vintage forward run into the box. The midfield oozed with confidence in his presence, as he came up with another all round show to seal the win before heading towards the bench. No matter how much Sir Alex would want him for another year, he would be certainly worried for the fact that he may never find another Paul Scholes in the future.
Playing with a block of three defenders hasn’t been working for this Wigan side, as it fails to provide the usual steel one expects from Martinez’s side. The backline often looked lethargic with their offside lines, while the advancing wing-backs left too much space for United to exploit in the attacking third. Gary Caldwell never looked comfortable against the overlapping runs from United and was made to pay for it twice in the second half with goals from Hernandez and Buttner on the same flank.
On a rather forgettable evening for Wigan, where goals were just bound to flood their end any moment, there was some attacking intent that could please Martinez. Shaun Maloney and Franco Di Santo at times looked at their sparkling best during the few counter-attacks they managed to salvage in the first half. Had Arouna Kone taken his chances in the first 45 minutes, Wigan would’ve had something more significant to take away from Old Trafford.Published 16 Sep 2012, 00:01 IST