Latics were stunned in the first minute as Ronaldo fed a speculative ball across our six yard line which evaded all our defenders and Rooney was in the right place at the right time to fumble the ball home. From then on the game was a very even affair and Latics showed why they are 7th in the league.
The game was end to end stuff with both teams having their chances, yet both keepers were rarely called into action. Zaki and Heskey were getting fed quite well form Valencia and man of the match Palacios and if Ryan Taylor had kept his head we could well have got the draw we so deserved for this display.
Zaki was the first to have a chance, heading over from 8yards after a great delivery from Taylor. Palacios went on a great run, rounding two defenders and unleashing a shot, well a sort of shot that limped its way in to Van der Sar’s relived hands.
It took some great defending from United’s man of the match Vidic, as he dealt with most of the aerial efforts we could put into the Reds box. Ryan Taylor was denied by him after a free kick was looking certain to land on Heskey’s head.
Even Figueroa, fresh from his injury time winning goal on Sunday tried to get in the act, but his effort was well wide of the mark after Palacios had laid the ball onto him. Valencia skinned O’Shea just before the break only for his cross to be headed out for a corner by Vidic, with Zaki poised to volley home.
The second half carried on in the same way, a great match for the neutral to watch, both teams looked like they could score at any time and it was just in the final third that they let themselves down.
Wigan enjoyed large parts of the second half possession, but attack after attack was broken down by a resilient United defence before we could get a telling shot off. We had to wait until late on in the game before a moment of genius from Valencia almost saw us get the equaliser.
After a great run down the wing, Luis Valencia showed excellent skill to nutmeg Jonny Evans and dart into the box, but he lost his composure and fired over the bar when he really should have hit the target. Ryan Taylor had an earlier chance where Palacios rolled the ball to him, but his shot was just over the bar with Van der Sar beaten.
The last chance of the match summed up Heskey’s day as he met Scharner’s cross, only for him to send the ball wide of the post when he had the goal at his mercy. Steve Bennett ended the game and the first minute aside we showed what a decent team we have got, let’s hope that the team stays together hey……
Report by Jason Taylor