United returned to winning ways in style as Wayne Rooney reached and passed a century of United goals, while Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen - with his maiden Reds strike - and Nani sealed a handsome victory at the DW Stadium.
An end-to-end first half failed to yield any goals, but a glut of second half strikes sealed a 10th successive victory over Wigan - with the undoubted highlight coming as substitute Owen got off the mark with a sublime finish as United reacted positively to Wednesday's shock defeat at Burnley.
After the lacklustre reverse at Turf Moor, Sir Alex Ferguson sought to freshen his side with seven changes of personnel, drafting in Gary Neville and Nemanja Vidic for their first appearances of the season, and putting together a completely new midfield four of Nani, Darren Fletcher, Paul Scholes and former Latic Antonio Valencia. Berbatov replaced Owen as Rooney’s strike partner.
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