Another game, another defeatbuit thats where the similarties end when comparing last night’s tremendous commited performance with Saturdays’ abject one.
Steve Bruce opted to make two changes one enforced replacing the injured Kirkland with super sub Richard Kingson and one tactical, replacing the underperforming Kapo with Boyce in a 4-5-1 formation, with Boyce slotting into the back four and Scharner making up a five man midfield.
Wild predictions had been made about how many United would score agaisnt a Wigan side whose recent form had been very patchy and one bookie reportedly claimed to have only taken £77 on a Latics win.
Latics very quickly showed the bookie that their belief was on shaking ground tearing into United with zest and gusto.
The first real chance fell to Valencia when he broke from the half way line outpacing the reds defence.
Just as he was shaping to shoot, Vidic appeared to knock Valencia’s leg and the ball spooned off to the side. Mr Stylers delivering his usual patchy performance signaled for a goal kick when a penalty and a red card could have easily been the result.
Untied’s passing game was a joy to watch and Melchiot and Figueroa had their hands full coping with the switching wing threats of Rooney and Ronaldo, the latter whose performance reminded me of a Pantomine villian, such was his histrionics when things didn’t go his way..
In the centre of defence, once again Bramble was a rock and shackled record signing Berbatov
United; firt real chance fell to Rooney when a sharp cross was met with his head witht he goal gaping but he headed well wide.
Latics midfield harried and intimiadeted their more illustrious opponents and Paul Scholes can consider himself lucky not to ahve collectged a yellow card int eh first half.
Up front for WIgan, Rodellega ,free from the shackles of his goal drought gave Vidic a torrid time thanks to soem quality supply from Valencia.
Rodellega it was who opened the scoring, a high ball was lost by both Vidic and Hugo fter their aerial challenge, Hugo reacted the quickest and fired the ball past the stranded Van Dar Sar to score his first goal at the JJB.
Un ited repsonded as expected and won a series of free kicks which were all blocked by the Wigan defensive all leaving Kingson without a shot to save.
At the other end, Vidic once again sailed close to the red card wind by appearing to elbow Rodellega in the windpipe. ROdellega needed approx 5 minutes treatment but once again Mr Style saw fit not to award a free kick.
Rodellega had another shot at Van Dar Sar but this was easily saved and from a free kick, N’Zogbia showed Ronaldo how its done curling a free kick to the top corner of the gaol which the United keeper did well so save.
United came out of the traps in the secoind half all fired up but Latic’s centre midfield three piece kept them at bay with Brown particulry outstanding defensively.
In the end it wass the gulf in quality of the two squads that proved the difference.
United brought Tevez on for Anderson and within a few minutes a beautiful back flip from a miss hit shot by Carrick left Kingson with no chance and United were level.
As the second half went on, Latics visibly tired espically Scharner and Brown but Bruce mindful of the quality of his bench persevered with his staring eleven. United pushed froward and we were treated to the sight of a Ronaldo dive in the penalty area which would have looked good in last summer’s olympics. Mr Styles correctly ruled no penalty but didn’t book Ronaldo for diving.
United pushing for a winner, brought on Giggs for Scholes and Latics dropped further and further back. Bruce opted to amke a change bringing Mido on for N’Zogbia and moving Rodelleag ontot he elft wing. Whetehr this was the catalyst for United to push furhter forward is unknown , however push froward United did and int he 85th once again they broke Wigan fan’s hearts this time with a wonder goal for Michael Carrick and once again Latics came away empty handed from an encounter with the red devils.
Surely the smallest keeper in the Premier League, largely untroubled in tbe first half and couldn’t be faulted for either of the two goals.
What he lacks in pace he made up for in skill and brains.
Worked hard to nullify the threat of Ronaldo
I would imagine the bookies have stopped taking bets on the player of the year.
Big Titus by a country mile
Steady Eddie’s return to centre half co-incided with a return to form
A superb free kick but once again drifted in and out of the game
Put in a great tackling display but tired visibly in the second hald and a fair few of his passes were poor
His battler with Scholes was worth the admission alone
A tremendous performance and he didn’t get booked.
Surely the most skillfil player ever to wear the Latics shirt( except for Jeff Peron of course).
Ran Rodellega close for man of the match. If he can build on this he will be a great asset but wearing gloves in May!!!!!
Ahmed M ido…5/10
Wasn’t on the pitch long and did absolutley nothing
Steve Bruce, did a tremendous job of motivating the team and the tactics were spot on although Watson should have come on for one of the three tiring midfielders late on.
Lets hope SB can retain the motivation for when we visit our freinds in Stoke!!!