Man United recovers with 5-0 win at Wigan
Manchester United recovered from its shock midweek defeat with a 5-0 Premier League win at Wigan, while Arsenal continued its strong start to the season by beating visiting Portsmouth 4-1.sports Updated: Aug 24, 2009 16:44 IST
Manchester United recovered from its shock midweek defeat with a 5-0 Premier League win at Wigan, while Arsenal continued its strong start to the season by beating visiting Portsmouth 4-1.
Wayne Rooney hit his 100th and 101st club goals and Michael Owen struck his first to help give defending champion United the victory it desperately wanted after Wednesday's 1-0 loss at newly promoted Burnley.
"You have to react to a defeat," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "We got a performance there. We had six chances in the first half and we didn't take any of them. The important thing is to have patience and we did that."
Victory kept United, which is chasing a record fourth straight title, level with Arsenal on six points, but the Gunners have played two games to United's three ahead of the teams' meeting next weekend.
Manchester City kept pace on six points after Emmanuel Adebayor scored for the second straight match to give his new team a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Sunderland and Hull also won. United has started the season slowly following the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid and struggled to break down Wigan for 56 minutes on Saturday.
But former Wigan winger Antonio Valencia then crossed from the left for Rooney to head in and become the 21st player to score 100 goals for United.
Wigan then hit the bar before Rooney and Paul Scholes combined in the 58th to set up Dimitar Berbatov, who lifted the ball over goalkeeper Chris Kirkland and into the net.
Rooney made it 3-0 in the 65th with a deflected shot to move to 101 goals in 241 appearances and Owen replaced his former England teammate before beating Kirkland with a near-post shot. "Strikers have to score," Ferguson said. "That's their mantra."
The win moved United up among the pack at the top of the Premier League, although Tottenham and Chelsea both have the chance to go three points clear when they play Sunday.
Tottenham is at West Ham, while Chelsea plays Fulham. Everton is at Burnley in Sunday's other match, with Aston Villa at Liverpool on Monday.
Arsenal still looks to be the team in form after it followed an opening 6-1 win at Everton and 2-0 Champions League qualifying win at Celtic with a big win over struggling Portsmouth. Abou Diaby scored twice before defender Younes Kaboul got a goal back in the 37th, but William Gallas and Aaron Ramsey added second-half goals to make the Gunners the league's top scorers. Former Arsenal striker Adebayor got Manchester City's only goal against newly promoted Wolves with a low right-foot shot, while Hull rebounded from Wednesday's 5-1 home loss to Tottenham with a first home win in the league since December.
United States striker Jozy Altidore came on for his debut as a 60th-minute substitute and set up the winning goal for Kamel Fathi Ghilas with his first touch a minute later.
"The fans will take to him," Hull manager Phil Brown said. "He's a big, bubbly character."
Kenwyne Jones scored twice to give Sunderland a 2-1 win over Bolton, which has yet to win a game, while Birmingham and Stoke drew 0-0 in the day's other match.
Two of last season's relegated teams, Middlesbrough and Newcastle, share the lead of the second-tier League Championship after winning Saturday. Boro beat Doncaster 2-0, while its local rival won 2-0 at Crystal Palace.
West Bromwich Albion, the third demoted team, could join the co-leaders on 10 points if it beats visiting Ipswich later Saturday.