Paul Scholes scored on his 700th Manchester United appearance as the Red Devils brushed aside a woeful Wigan Athletic 4-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League.
Sir Alex Ferguson was forced to start Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa on the bench due to injury worries and he chose to rest left-back Patrice Evra, but it paid off as new-signing Alex Buttner has fantastic debut, scoring one and creating another.
Buttner’s assist was for Javier Hernandez, who had missed an early penalty after Danny Welbeck won a contentious penalty, to make the game 2-0 just after the hour mark.
The Dutch full-back drove the ball across goal for Chicharito to finish easily, before firing past Latics goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi at his near post – the Oman international should have done better.
Paul Scholes had opened the scoring six minutes into the second half, latching onto a Nani cross and relieving the pressure in a game that had become an even contest following the missed spot kick.
Another debutant, 18-year-old Nick Powell, finished off the rout with just under ten minutes remaining when he skipped around Steven Caldwell on the edge of the area before firing home.
It was a disastrous second half performance by Roberto Martinez’s men, especially as they matched the home side well in the first period.
It was four minutes before the end of that first half when Wigan could have taken the lead, but summer signing Arouna Kone miscued his shot wide at the back post from inside the six-yard box.
Martinez’s side are unable to shake-off the Jekyll and Hyde tendencies that have them flirting with relegation each year.
United now move into second behind Chelsea, a point ahead of Arsenal and Manchester City.
But Ferguson will be most happy to have earned a straightforward win in a game where he was not able to pick his strongest line-up – it was a canter at Old Trafford.
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