It immediately became apparent that there was more zip and purpose in United than there had been at Turf Moor. Only an heroic goal-line block from Titus Bramble prevented Darren Fletcher from turning home Nani’s neat pull-back after just four minutes.
It took only another four minutes for another good opening to come and go. Fletcher was again involved, slipping the ball through for Berbatov, and the Bulgarian instantly teed up Scholes with a delightful back-heel, only for the veteran midfielder to fire over from just inside the area.
Rooney then chanced his arm twice in a minute, hitting the target with one while the other was deflected wide, but Wigan grew in stature as the half reached its midway point. Vidic and Patrice Evra had to be alert to make blocks deep inside their own box, and Ben Foster was forced into a full-length