A tale of two halves! – An unbelievable match saw Latics more than compete in the first half of this game before hitting the self destruct button in the second, United were flattered yet again with a 0-5 win.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE – DW STADIUM – Saturday 22nd August 2009


Wayne Rooney (56)
Dimitar Berbatov (58)
Wayne Rooney (65)
Michael Owen (85)
Nani (90)

At 3.45 p.m. the Latics camp was a very happy one indeed having just competed with and for good periods of the first half, been on top of a confident looking Manchester United team. Had we took our chances we could well have gone in at half time with the lead.

Latics new style of passing football was working a treat against a wounded Man Utd, their midweek loss to Burnley must have been eating away at them and they must have thought that this game was going to go the same way.

Koumas was especially enjoying himself but for all his trickery and good runs he was finding it hard to get a killer pass through Vidic in the United defence. Bramble and Scharner did their job at the other end, thwarting both Rooney and Berbatov.

Paul Scholes was booked for a nasty challenge on Jordi Gomez as the Spaniard got on top during the first half hour and Scholes should later have walked for another nasty challenge, but the midfielder got lucky as Webb let him off.

Evra had to be at his best to deny Gomez and Foster saved well after a well hit shot from Jason Koumas. Scharner somehow headed over from the resulting corner as another chance went begging. Gomez again went close after turning Scholes inside out but his shot was high and wide.

N’Zogbia had a decent chance to go through on goal with ten minutes to the break, but the impressive Vidic tracked back well and disposed him before he could get i the danger zone for a shot.

Diame was very impressive on his debut, had he played midweek I feel that result could have been very different. He filled the whole in midfield that was left gaping against Wolves. Hendry Thomas has or last effort of the half, a 40 yard shot that was never going to bother anybody.

I have to ask though, that so far in our opening games I wonder why a natural left footer is playing on the right and a natural right footer on the left. Sure it would be best served to have them on their proper wings, maybe swapping every now and then.

The second half by contrast was a nightmare as Wayne Rooney was gifted his 100th goal closely followed by the first of three screw ups by Chris Kirkland. The Latics keeper came off his line flapping about instead of letting his defence clear the danger, Berbatov said thanks as he dinked it over Kirky and then placed it in the empty goal.

Rooney added another as Latics just went to pot after the two quick goals. Michael Owen came on to score his first goal for his new club and salt was rubbed in the wound as Nani added another through a free kick deep into injury time.

A second half to forget but we can take heart from the opening 45 and we have to because we need to start winning again and soon. I would guess that Bobby just might try out a few new faces in the Carling Cup on Wednesday.

Referee: Howard Webb
Attendance: 18,164
1 Chris Kirkland 12 Ben Foster
25 Mario Melchiot 2 Gary Neville
31 Maynor Figueroa 3 Patrice Evra
7 Paul Scharner 15 Nemanja Vidic
19 Titus Bramble 23 Jonny Evans
27 Mohamed Diame 18 Paul Scholes
14 Charles N’Zogbia 24 Darren Fletcher
15 Jordi Gomez 8

Antonio Valencia

10 Jason Koumas 9 Dimitar Berbatov
6 Hendry Thomas 10 Wayne Rooney
20 Hugo Rodallega 17 Nani
12 Mike Pollitt 29 Tomasz Kuszczak
3 Erik Edman 22 John O’Shea
30 Marlon King 20 Fabio da Silva
17 Emmerson Boyce 11 Ryan Giggs
24 James McCarthy 28 Darron Gibson
9 Jason Scotland 7 Michael Owen
16 Scott Sinclair 19 Danny Welbeck
19′ Yellow Card Paul Scholes
49′ Red Card Patrice Evra
56′ Goal Wayne Rooney
58′ Goal Dimitar Berbatov
61′ Player Off Jason Koumas
Player On Scott Sinclair
65′ Goal Wayne Rooney
70′ Player Off Paul Scholes
Player On Darron Gibson
71′ Player Off Jonny Evans
Player On John O’Shea
71′ Player Off Wayne Rooney
Player On Michael Owen
73′ Player Off Charles N’Zogbia
Player On Jason Scotland
73′ Player Off Mohammed Diame
Player On James McCarthy
76′ Yellow Card Hugo Rodallega
84′ Goal Michael Owen
90′ Yellow Card Paul Scharner
90′ Goal Nani