Skip to main content


16:03 11th August 2013
By  Nick Taylor


A Robin Van Persie double saw Manchester United claim the first piece of silverware of the 2013/14 season with a header on six minutes and a fortunate deflection just before the hour mark.

Latics put in a physical performance to match anyone but couldn't find the decisive openings to get themselves level.

Owen Coyle made just one change from the side that beat Barnsley 4-0 last weekend in the Championship as James McClean came in to make his debut in place of Jean Beausejour.

It wasn't an ideal start for Latics and after six minutes Man United grabbed the lead ahead of what would be an extremely close first half.

Robin Van Persie collected the ball on the edge of the area and played the ball out to his provider Patrice Evra who whipped in a left footed cross for the Dutchman to head home.

He leaped and got some hang time, beating Latics' defence to loop a header in Scott Carson's bottom right hand corner.

It was a shock to the system for Latics who soon upped their game and gave as good as they got from the Premier League champions.

The width created by James McClean and Shaun Maloney was looking to be Latics' best route to an equaliser and after some physical tussles and a lot of fierce forward runs down the flanks, McClean was the man to create the FA Cup winners' first chance of the game.

Grant Holt was nearly the man to turn in an excellent McClean cross on 32 minutes when his outswinging left footer found a sliding Latics number nine in the area but without a solid connection Holt could only turn the ball wide under pressure from Evra.

Moments later McClean was at it again as he raced onto a clipped pass over Phil Jones by Stephen Crainey.

The energised winger collected the ball on the by-line and began his run inside the box but a fizzed low cross was too powerful for a late arriving Holt to turn in as any touch on the ball from a blue and white or red shirt would have seen the score level at 1-1.

A minute before half time Latics pushed even harder for the equaliser when a Ben Watson free kick found Emmerson Boyce at the back post, his header back across the box found James Perch but the centre half couldn't steer it towards goal.

Latics continued their push for an equaliser at the start of the second half and McClean was again the man at the centre of Latics endeavour, winning free kick after free kick as he taunted the United defence.

It was that golden chance that Latics were waiting for but it was United who found it first.

A minute before the hour mark Van Persie grabbed his second of the afternoon with a low, left footed shot from the edge of the area which took a wicked deflection of an outstretched James Perch boot as he tried to block the shot.

Carson had the shot covered and looked like he would gather but a slice of bad luck caught Latics out.

Owen Coyle used the second half as a good period to rotate his team ahead of the heavy fixture period Latics are set to face and with that, each outfield substitute featured.

United came close on a number of occasions but Latics remained firm to deny a third goal, with Leon Barnett on hand to dominate at the back.

As the game fizzled out towards the end Latics fans showed their appreciation for their FA Cup winning side but on the day the Community Shield went to the Premier League champions.