Barclays Premier League
JJB Stadium, Sat 14 October 2006
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
MANCHESTER UNITED 3
(Vidic 62, Saha 66, Solskjaer 90)
Wigan: Kirkland; Boyce, Hall, De Zeeuw, Baines; Teale (Valencia 69), Landzaat, Scharner, Kilbane (Todorov 69); Camara (McCulloch 60); Heskey. Subs not used: Pollitt, Jackson.
United: Van der Sar; Brown (Giggs 45), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Solskjaer, Carrick, O’Shea, Scholes; Rooney, Saha. Subs not used: Kuszczak, Smith, Richardson, Jones.
United were the early pacesetters in the league with 19 points from the first eight games when the Reds travelled to the JJB Stadium for only the second time in the club's history. Chelsea, Arsenal - who had inflicted the Reds' only defeat so far - and surprise high-flyers Portsmouth rounded out the top four.
Action: Wigan stunned the Reds early on, Leighton Baines' superb free-kick giving them the lead. But United, inspired by the half-time introduction of Ryan Giggs, hit back with three second-half strikes to stay top of the league. Nemanja Vidic headed home his first goal for the club to equalise before Louis Saha's instinctive finish put the Reds in front. Ole Gunnar Solsksjaer wrapped up the win with a low drive past Chris Kirkland.
Reaction: The Reds eased past FC Copenhagen 3-0 in midweek before beating Liverpool 2-0 at Old Trafford eight days later thanks to goals from Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand. League form continued to be strong, with eight wins in the next nine games before a 1-0 defeat at Upton Park in December. By then United were five points clear of Chelsea. The Blues would never make up the gap as United took the Premier League trophy back to Old Trafford after a three-year absence.