|1||Van der Sar|
It didn’t stay that way for long, though. Two minutes later, Hernandez put the Reds ahead with a clever finish from close range after Nani fired a low ball into the six-yard box. The temptation must have been to hit the ball hard but the young Mexican, who’s scored in each of United’s four away wins this term, chose instead to deftly flick the ball over Ali Al-Habsi in the Wigan goal.
It was a terrific finish, albeit against the run of play, and United were again indebted to van der Sar when, within a minute of the restart, he dashed off his line and smothered James McCarthy’s effort.
On a patchy pitch, against the league’s 18th-placed side, the Reds may have expected a bruising battle at the DW Stadium. Instead, the two teams produced more goalmouth action in the opening 20 minutes than United fans experienced all evening in Marseille during Wednesday's bore draw.
But for a heavy touch on the edge of the penalty area, Hernandez may have netted again in the first half, while Nani rounded off a well-worked passing move by smashing a left-footed shot off the inside of Al-Habsi’s post.
Despite creating chances, Sir Alex’s men never looked in command. Every time Wigan attacked they did so in numbers and when the Latics lost the ball they pressed United high up the pitch in an effort to win it back. Moses, Rodallega and McCarthy were particularly impressive and will no doubt have felt aggrieved trudging off at the break a goal down.
Just as they did in the opening period, Wigan flew out of the traps after the break. Left-back Maynor Figueroa stung van der Sar’s palms when he unleashed a rocket from distance, while Rodallega beat Vidic in the air to head goalwards on 50 minutes.