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16:59 22nd August 2009


Man Utd grab five at DW Stadium as Latics put in brave performance


Rooney 56, 65
Berbatov 58
Owen 85
Nani 90

Report by Paul Chialton

Manchester United were at their destructive best for ten minutes of the second-half to make this a disheartening result for Latics who deserved much more.

Goals from Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov did the damage for the visitors, Rooney heading home from an Antonio Valencia cross, and having a shot deflected off Mario Melchiot and in the net. Berbatov's strike came in between , fed in by Paul Scholes, over Chris Kirkland, leaving the Bulgarian with an easy finish.

Michael Owen rubbed salt in the wounds late on chipping one past Kirkland with his left foot, a superb finish, and Nani capped things off bending a 30-yard free-kick onto the bottom-left corner.

But Sir Alex Ferguson's men had, by no means, dominated the game. On the contrary, it was Latics who had been in control for the first-half, really pushing United and not letting them find the rhythm they later had.

In fact, straight after Rooney's opener Hugo Rodallega threatened to pull things level, heading against the bar from a Jason Koumas cross.

In the middle of the pitch debutant Mohamed Diame showed exceptional promise, hunting the ball down with the superb Hendry Thomas, and not phased rubbing shoulders with the likes of Scholes and Rooney.

In the final third, Jason Koumas and Charles N'Zogbia looked most likely to find the back if the net, enjoying themselves running at the defence cutting inside and looking for opportunities.

Koumas came closest,  jinking past Gary Neville charging towards the area and curling one to the right corner, only for Ben Foster to push wide.

N'Zogbia found himself in a number of good positions but maybe tried a little to hard to get back on his strong foot before being intercepted.

In the end United's class shone through, the ability to look so effortless yet so deadly was the difference. Certainly not what Roberto Martinez's men deserved, but this can be a cruel game and Latics will have an ideal opportunity to pick themselves up again against Blackpool on Wednesday.

Latics: Kirkland; Melchiot, Bramble, Scharner, Figueroa; Diame (McCarthy, 73), Thomas; N'Zogbia (Scotland, 73), Gomez, Koumas (Sinclair, 62); Rodallega
Unused Subs: Pollitt, Edman, Boyce, King

Man Utd: Foster; Neville, Evans (O'Shea, 72), Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Scholes (Gibson, 72), Fletcher, Nani; Rooney (Owen, 72), Berbatov
Unused Subs: Kuszczak, Da Silva, Welbeck, Giggs

    Data provided by Press Association