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Wigan Athletic 0 - Manchester United 2

JJB Stadium

11/05/08 3pm

Attendance: 25,133

United pass Latics exam

Any doubts about Latics commitment today were well and truly laid to rest after a totally committed performance from the team in blue against a United team who are worthy Premier League champions.

Maynor Figueroa was given his first team debut replacing the rested Kilbane and his baptism of fire was to mark the PFA player of the year Ronaldo.

The game started in bright sunshine on a peach of a pitch with both sides looking to play the ball around at a pace which was breathtaking.

Latics didn`t look overawed and with Valencia and Palacios were driving Latics forward it seemed we were in for a cracking game.

Both teams were committed and this was apparent with a crunching tackle by Scholes on Palacios which could have merited a red card but the inconsistent Mr Bennett felt it only merited a yellow.

Latics best chance in the first 20 minutes came to Marcus Bent who hit the side netting with a rasping shot.

Shortly after that Latics had a shout for a penalty when Ferdinand appeared to handle a shot from Koumas.

Mr Bennett turned down that appeal but gave the assent when Rooney went down in the penalty area under a tackle from Boyce who appeared to win the ball.

Ronaldo wasted his last penalty against Barcelona but made no mistake today sending Kirkland the wrong way.

Any suggestion that Latics would throw the towel in were comprehensively dispelled as Latics tore into United. Mr Bennett showed his inconsistency once again when Palacios broke down the wing to be cynically blocked by Scholes.

A second yellow seemed certain but once again Mr Bennett chose not to implement the rules merely admonishing a telling off .

The second half was greeted with thunder and lightening and torrential downpours and both teams started if they had they had been giving a half time roasting.

United pressed forward with Latics seemingly content to sit back and catch United on the break.

Brown was particularly effective harassing each and every United player. United had several good chances to increase their lead but each time found Kirkland in imperious form, saving well from Tevez , Rooney and a Ronaldo free kick.

Mr Bennett was once again inconsistent when he refused to give a penalty to United when Bramble appeared to foul Scholes.

At the other end a superb header by Heskey from a Koumas free kick hit the top of the net with Van Der Saar well beaten.

United clinched the title when Giggs beat the offside trap running onto a neatly weighted Rooney pass slotting the ball past the advancing Kirkland sparking wild celebrations in the North Stand and pockets in the other stands.

Latics still didn`t give up and had a couple of half chances which landed straight into Van Der Saar`s arms

Full time brought great celebrations, not just from the Manchester fans but from the Wigan fans for a tremendous second half of the season.

Star Player

Wilson Palacios.....World class and he's a Latic

Player Ratings


Kirkland… 8

Some superb saves, defiantly the best English keeper.

Boyce…7

Worked hard against the best attacking force in Europe. Unlucky to concede a penalty.

Figueroa…8

His battle with Ronaldo was an epic. What a debut. If we haven`t signed him up permanently do it tonight.

Bramble…7

Didn`t look out of place against exhalted opposition.

Scharner…7

Didn`t get chance to shine in attack but worked hard all afternoon

Brown…8

A superb committed performance.

Palacios… 9

Showed Tevez up today, just lacks a goal

Valencia…8

As usual most of our attacking flair came through him. Gave Evra, the best left back in the country a testing time.

Koumas…7

An enigma, some superb creative work and some awful work. I don`t expect him to be at the club next season.

Bent…6

Not good enough, doesn`t seem to have developed any understanding with Heskey

Heskey..8

Gave Vidic a real test. Came close with a couple of headers

Sibierski…6

Little chance to shine

King…7

A couple of good runs which bode well for next season. Looks fitter than when he came in January.

Manager Rating

Steve Bruce…10

We were down when he took over. Has given the team self belief and discipline. Now needs to secure the long term futures of Palacios, Valencia et al and buy a striking partner for Heskey.

Ref Watch

Mr Bennett…4

Didn`t get anything right today, gave a penalty that wasn`t and should have given one for each side which weren`t. Should have sent Scholes off and didn`t.




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The Journalist

Writer: baskerville Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday May 11 2008

Time: 6:39PM

Your Comments

Cant believe you gave Bennett a 4, That was the most inept performance from a referee that I have seen since Dowd at Highbury
worbo
Yeah, Scholes should have been sent off. However, thanks Wigan for giving it your all and putting in a good perfromance!
Fan of Blues
he gets a 4 for blowing the whistle to start each half. Not sure Dowd would get that correct. Biggest two games of the season and we have Bennett and Foy referring them. Where was Howard Webb?
baskerville
You have had a great season and will pushing for mid table next season. Wigan made the difference because Chelsea couldnt beat you
redandwhitestripemad
 

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