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PREMIER LEAGUE: Scholes scores in milestone game as Man Utd ease past Wigan

Manchester United have produced a huge second to defeat Wigan Athletic 4-0 at Old Trafford in Paul Scholes' 700th appearance for the club.

Sir Alex Ferguson was cautious with his starting line-up, putting injury doubts Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa on the bench, and replacing Patrice Evra with Alexander Buttner at left-back.

At half-time it appeared to be a strange move from the great manager but as always he was vindicated with his selection process as United scored four times in the second half to notch up their third victory of the new campaign.

Veteran midfielder Scholes marked his milestone game with the opening goal in the 51st minute when he tapped in from close range when Nani's cross from the right caused some confusion in the box before Javier Hernandez, who had earlier missed a penalty, added a second just over 10 minutes later.

The Mexican was on hand to deflect Buttner's goalbound attempt into the back of the net to put United in the driver's seat.

An impressive Buttner, who signed from Vitesse Arnhem this summer, then opened his United account in the 66th minute with a sharp finish off Ali Al Habsi from a tight angle following a dazzling run.

Another United new boy in Nick Powell also got himself on the scoresheet when he came off the bench to make it 4-0 with eight minutes remaining with a well-struck effort from range.

Early on, United were awarded a questionable penalty when Danny Welbeck went down under minimal pressure from Latics goalkeeper Al Habsi with the Omani able to deny Chicharito from the spot. It is believed that Welbeck will face calls for diving with the incident set to be reviewed this week.

Nevertheless, it was a stellar second-half performance from Ferguson's men who are now second on the table, just one point behind Chelsea as Wigan drop to 13th with their second defeat of the season.

Manchester United: 4 (Paul Scholes 51', Javier Hernandez 63', Alexander Buttner 66', Nick Powell 82') Wigan Athletic: 0

Old Trafford, Manchester - 75,142

Yellow cards:MU - Alexander Buttner 45+1', Danny Welbeck 90+2' WIG - Emmerson Boyce 49', James McArthur 56'

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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