Manchester United 2-0 Wigan, Match report: United cruise to comfortable win in David Moyes' first competitive game

Mike Hewitt

Robin van Persie struck early in both halves to give David Moyes a victory in his first competitive match for Manchester United

As the David Moyes era kicked off at Wembley under a shadow both metaphorical and literal, London enjoying some rare sunlight, it appeared to have made little difference to the outcome. Just six minutes into the game, Manchester United were ahead, and Robin van Persie was the goalscorer. Even more typically, it was he who had helped create the opportunity too, doing well to control a ball and release Patrice Evra down the left, then delaying his run to get on the end of his cross and plant a superb header out of the reach of Scott Carson and into the bottom far corner.

United were looking confident, and could have doubled their advantage just afterwards but for an intervention from Leon Barnett, the new Wigan signing just managing to get ahead of Danny Welbeck to deny the young striker as he lurked at the near post looking to make a connection with Wilfried Zaha's low, drilled cross.

United were to suffer midway through the first half, however - Rafael's withdrawal through injury and replacement with Chris Smalling (Phil Jones moving to right back) appeared to cost them much of their drive, with Moyes' men struggling to put Wigan under too much pressure despite enjoying the majority of possession. Indeed, they almost found the scores levelled again when Smalling was caught under a high ball and beaten by James McClean, but his cross was too rash to find Grant Holt arriving in the six-yard box.

That woke United back up, and Danny Welbeck had two opportunities just after, first doing well to turn and fire a snap-shot which Carson tipped around the post, before heading the subsequent corner over the bar. Although dominant, United appeared to be suffering from familiar problems - a lack of control in midfield failing to provide their fluid attack with the drive necessary to impose themselves on the Wigan backline.

United ought to have made it 2-0 shortly after the break after Welbeck was responsible for some fine play, aiding the team in getting forward then elegantly spinning to play in Tom Cleverley arriving on the edge of the area, but the midfielder badly fluffed his lines, sending a poor effort wide.

Robin van Persie doubled both his and United's tally just afterwards. Danny Welbeck was yet again involved in keeping United ticking over and flowing in attack, and when he found Van Persie on the edge of the area, his low drive was deflected by James Perch away from Carson and into the net to give the Reds a comfortable lead.

Frustratingly, United's injury problems weren't to end there, Wilfried Zaha heading off to be replaced by Antonio Valencia - once again donning his number 25 shirt - after picking up a knock to his knee.

The excellent Welbeck was yet again involved as United went close another time, but neither he nor Van Persie could work the space to shoot as the ball was passed short around the Wigan area, Valencia eventually picking up the ball but seeing his low cross-cum-shot deflected just wide of the far post.

A classic United counter-attack could have seen United make it 3-0 just afterwards, some fine flowing football seeing Evra and Van Persie released on goal, but the Frenchman's cross was too lethargic and was cut out before it could find his teammate, who would surely have completed the first Community Shield hat-trick since Eric Cantona for Leeds twenty-five years ago.

David Moyes introduced Adnan Januzaj and Shinji Kagawa at the expense of Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie late on in a bid to inject a last burst into United's attack, but the game largely fizzled out thereafter, with neither of the duo or Anderson able to provide the necessary spark. A routine win for United, and one that rarely looked in doubt, although the performance was professional rather than spectacular.

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