It wasn't particularly exciting, however victories like this are what titles are made off. Not spectacular. But efficient. Another three points to ensure we keep Manchester City at arms length. Another of those most rarest of clean sheets too...
Wigan started well enough. All though the Manchester United goal was not troubled in the first half they certainly frustrated us plenty with their passing. The match seemed to be going in a similar fashion to Wigan's famous victory at the back of last season which so damaged our title effort. United could not get out of first gear.
However around the half hour mark United turned it up a notch. A series of corners and a couple of set pieces were very troublesome, due to Robin Van Persie's marvelous left foot. One such corner was poorly cleared by James McCarthy, nodding it back into danger. Once it was cleared the ball then made it's way back toward the danger area with Jonny Evans. He found Patrice Evra in the box. He could not find another goal to add to his already impressive tally, however his shot was parried into the path of Javier Hernandez who does not miss inside 6 yards with the goal gaping.
Wigan did respond. It took a deft touch off of Rio Ferdinand's nut to stop Franco Di Santo from a header just out side the 6 yard box. However despite this rally, David De Gea was the most underworked person in Wigan today (Even on New Years Day!)
And it was soon two. Hernandez was fortunate that the ball fell to him after ricocheing off two stripey shirts. He drove forward and passed to RVP in the box. It was a pass he could not have made when he came to the club. Testiment to his improvement of his all round game. The defender blocked off the shooting passage with the Dutchman's left foot. Never mind as his right is just as good. He shifted it and caressed it home. Beautiful. Thank god we kept him away from City....
Into the second half and we dominated for the first fifteen. Wigan were so poor. Continually coughing up possession off the ball in their own half. However they came to life when Kone found the back of the net from a good cross. The lino's flag came up to rescue the United defense. The third time he had correctly ruled out a goal, after Chicarito had a couple scratched off after latching onto Ryan Giggs's passes.
Soon after and Chicarito had his second. An RVP free kick was wasteful. However the rebound fell into the path of Hernandez's swinging right foot. The Mexican is a magnet for dropping balls in the box.
Soon after Micheal Carrick and Rio Ferdinand was hauled off. The former had enjoyed a wonderful game and his removal sparked a period of Wigan dominance in our half. But in the dying embers of the game RVP made it four due to horrible defending. Rafael surged down the right. His flick was intercepted, and then given straight to Danny Welbeck in the box. He found the Premier Leagues top scorer in a world of space. The rest was a formality.
We next travel to West Ham on Saturday in the FA Cup. Expect many starters to be rested, and for those returning from injury to get valuable minutes. Depending on how serious big Sam will take the competition, it may be a very difficult trip to London