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14:07 26th February 2011


Latics rue missed opportunities as United hit four at DW Stadium


Hernandez 17, 74
Rooney 84
Fabio 87

Report by Paul Chialton

A Javier Hernandez brace denied Latics their first Premier League result against Manchester United, despite a spirited performance.

Enjoying good spells of possession the home side created some guilt-edge chances but were denied by superb goalkeeping from Edwin Van Der Sar on no fewer than three occasions.

A feisty start had Man Utd on the back-foot early-on and when Victor Moses charged down Paul Scholes' pass the winger found himself through on goal, but could his shot was blocked by the Dutch 'keeper's outstretched leg.

From the resulting counter-attack Nani found space on the left-side of the area and crossed low for Javier Hernandez nipped-in at the near-post to open the scoring against the run of play.

Roberto Martinez's men were determined to pull-back though and almost levelled things up immediately when cute play inside the away penalty area created an opening at the back-post for James McCarthy.

The Republic of Ireland struck with plenty of venom but his effort was charged down by Van Der Sar to make another telling save.

Gradually the visitors grew into the game and Latics found it increasingly difficult to create opportunities.

Maynor Figueroa's long-range effort after the break stung Van Der Sar's hands, and when Hugo Rodallega shrugged off Nemanja Vidic his cross was fired over by Victor Moses.

The home defence had their work cut-out for them towards the mid-way point of the second-half, and although Ali Al Habsi had previously made a couple of fine stops he was helpless to prevent Hernandez and Wayne Rooney stretching the lead.

On both occasions the United attack beat the offside trap, Hernandez latching onto Rooney's through ball before finishing calmly and the England striker tapping home into an empty net after Dimitar Berbatov had done the hard-work.

It was left for substitute Fabio Da Silva to round things off three minutes before the end finding space at the back-post before slotting past Al Habsi.

A game that slipped away from Latics then, despite their bright start and a promising first-half performance out-done by the visitor's clinical finishing in-front of goal.

Latics: Al Habsi; Gohouri, Alcaraz, G. Caldwell, Figueroa; Watson (Gomez, 89), Diame, McCarthy; N'Zogbia (McArthur, 89), Moses (Di Santo, 65), Rodallega

Subs: Pollitt, S. Caldwell, Thomas, Lopez

Man Utd: Van Der Sar; Fabio, Smalling, Vidic, O'Shea; Nani (Fabio, 85), Carrick, Fletcher, Scholes (Gibson, 77); Rooney, Hernandez (Berbatov, 77)

Subs: Kuszczak, Brown, Rafael, King

    Data provided by Press Association