REPORT: LATICS 0 MAN UNITED 4
Braces from Javier Hernandez and Robin Van Persie stunted Latics Premier League momentum as Manchester United ran out 4-0 winners at the DW Stadium.
Both of the United strikers were quick to pounce on defensive errors but, the game wasn't as one sided as the score line suggests, with Latics dominating in possession for long periods and having a goal ruled out for offside.
Roberto Martinez made just one changed going into the game as former Man United man David Jones dropped to the bench, with James McArthur returning to the starting line-up.
United on the other hand made five changes as Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Nemanja Vidic, Danny Welbeck and Shinji Kagawa all dropped to the bench.
Latics began the game in a comfortable fashion as the stroked the ball across the midfield and frustrated United who for spells couldn't get a touch of the ball.
Franco Di Santo and Arouna Kone battled hard going forward and seemed to have Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans on the back foot as they were breathing down the United defenders' necks.
After failing to create from their pressure in the opening 10 minutes, Latics almost found themselves behind when Hernandez had the ball in the net but was ruled offside.
It was a simple story from then on as possession play wasn't enough for Latics to force themselves on top of the Premier League leaders and the signs of a more comfortable United started to show.
On the half an hour mark came the first warning shot when Robin Van Persie's in-swinging free kick from the right wing was spilled by Ali Al Habsi.
Tom Cleverley and Hernandez were lurking to follow the ball in but, Al Habsi himself and captain Gary Caldwell launched themselves in to block as the ball went out for a corner.
Five minutes later came the opener and this time Hernandez pounced another Al Habsi parry after Patrice Evra's acute angled shot was pushed into the danger zone in the six yard box.
Just before half time United doubled their lead and Hernandez was involved again as his cross from the right found Van Persie inside the left of the box, the Dutchman avoided a challenge from Ivan Ramis and delicately curled his shot into the top corner past Al Habsi.
The hour mark was to be a crucial point in the game and Latics were desperately close to being back in the game when Di Santo's low ball across the six yard box was finished off by Kone, only for the Ivorian to be ruled rightly offside by a yard.
Despite a resurgence after the disallowed goal, Latics couldn't stop United from sealing their victory and on 63 minutes Robin Van Persie helped Hernandez get his second goal.
The Dutchman's free kick from a Caldwell foul on Rafael was lashed into Latics' wall and Hernandez was quickest to pounce as he was first to the second ball and slid it under Al Habsi for 3-0.
United took the sting out of Latics' performance as the game drew to a close and with two minutes remaining the rounded off their win when Emmerson Boyce and Maynor Figueroa's mix-up inside the area allowed Hernandez to square the ball across the box for Van Persie's second as he slotted the ball into the bottom corner.