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Wigan complete a six-month loan of Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Robles

Wigan complete six-month loan of Atletico Madrid keeper Robles

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

20:34 GMT, 17 January 2013

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UPDATED:

20:34 GMT, 17 January 2013

Wigan have signed goalkeeper Joel Robles on loan from Atletico Madrid until the end of the season.

The 22-year-old had been on trial at the DW stadium and boss Roberto Martinez was sufficiently impressed to bring the 22-year-old into his first-team squad.

Atletico confirmed the deal tonight in a statement on their website, which read: 'Atletico Madrid and Wigan Athletic have reached an agreement so that Joel Robles, after a trial period with the English club, will play on loan until June 30 with the Premier League team.

Joel Robles has been courted by the likes of Man City and Tottenham

Young star: Joel Robles has been courted by the likes of Man City and Tottenham

'The goalkeeper will return to the ''rojiblanco'' at the end of this loan period.'

Robles has yet to break into the Atletico first team on a regular basis, with Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois currently on loan with the club and the established preferred choice of coach Diego Simeone.

The 6ft 5in shot-stopper had a loan spell with Rayo Vallecano last season before returning to the Vicente Calderon stadium.

At Wigan he will provide competition for number one Ali Al Habsi and reserve Mike Pollitt.

Roberto Martinez will now have stronger competition between his keepers

Happy man: Roberto Martinez will now have more competition between keepers

Manchester United stay top as Chelsea stutter again

Quickfire Van Persie keeps United top as City stay in touch… but it's another night on the boos for Benitez as Chelsea draw blank

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UPDATED:

21:57 GMT, 28 November 2012

Any goal you can score, I can score quicker…

Theo Walcott scored the fastest goal of the Barclays Premier League season (52 seconds), but he was soon overtaken by former team-mate Robin van Persie.

The Manchester United striker has now hit the net in his last five games against West Ham and he scored after 33 seconds to get the leaders off to a flying start.

Quick of the mark: Robin van Persie scored after just 31 seconds as Manchester United hosted West Ham

Quick of the mark: Robin van Persie scored after just 31 seconds as Manchester United hosted West Ham

Flying start: Theo Walcott was celebrating after scoring for Arsenal in the first minute of their match at Everton
Flying start: Theo Walcott was celebrating after scoring for Arsenal in the first minute of their match at Everton

But there were no goals for the second successive game at Chelsea, where Fulham celebrated a point.

It was the only match without a goal and it brought more boos for Rafa Benitez.

The result (predicted by MailOnline’s Neil Ashton before kick-off) leaves Chelsea seven points behind the leaders Manchester United and the home fans sang the name of sacked manager Roberto di Matteo again.

Start me up: Mario Balotelli (left) was back in the Manchester City XI for the first time in six games

Start me up: Mario Balotelli (left) was back in the Manchester City XI for the first time in six games

All eyes on Rafa: Benitez was taking charge of his second game since being handed the reins at Chelsea

All eyes on Rafa: Benitez was taking charge of his second game since being handed the reins at Chelsea

On a night with eight Premier League games, Manchester City won at Wigan with Mario Balotelli scoring his first Premier League goal of the season.

It followed a mistake by Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi and James Milner scored a screamer into the top corner to see them home.

Spurs defeated Liverpool, with Gareth Bale scoring at both ends – including a comedy own goal.

Rousing reception: Mark Clattenburg (3rd right) was cheered to the rafters after he warmed up for his return

Rousing reception: Mark Clattenburg (3rd right) was cheered to the rafters after he warmed up for his return

Pick that out: Gareth Bale (right) doubled the lead for Spurs against Liverpool with a free-kick

Pick that out: Gareth Bale (right) doubled the lead for Spurs against Liverpool with a free-kick

At Goodison Park, Everton drew 1-1 with Arsenal, despite Walcott’s speedy opener. Marouane Fellaini scored the equaliser.

Swansea stopped high-flying West Brom with a convincing 3-1 win. Michu scored two to take his tally to eight Premier League goals this season. Only Luis Surez has scored more (10).

Sorry Toon : Papiss Cisse fired Newcastle ahead against Stoke but the joy was short lived

Sorry Toon : Papiss Cisse fired Newcastle ahead against Stoke but the joy was short lived

Newcastle’s run of bad results continued – it’s only one win in nine games since Alan Pardew signed his new eight-year contract. They led 1-0 at Stoke, but lost 2-1.

Grant Holt stormed off the pitch after being substituted at Southampton, where Norwich stretched their unbeaten run to seven matches in a 1-1 draw.

Referee Mark Clattenburg made a return to the game and was clapped during his warm up by home supporters.

All white on the night: Swansea refused to lie down when they faced high-flying West Bromwich Albion

All white on the night: Swansea refused to lie down when they faced high-flying West Bromwich Albion

Roberto Matrinez backing for Jordi Gomez

Martinez wants critics to cut hat-trick hero Gomez some slack

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UPDATED:

18:55 GMT, 24 November 2012

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez hopes Jordi Gomez has answered his critics among the Latics fans after his hat-trick earned a much-needed three points against Reading.

The Spaniard was making only his third start of the season in the Barclays Premier League and was jeered early in the game for a few poor touches.

Eat that: Jordi Gomez left his critics eating humble pie with a hat-trick

Eat that: Jordi Gomez left his critics eating humble pie with a hat-trick

Match facts

WIGAN: Al Habsi, Boyce, Ramis (Lopez 48), Figueroa, Stam, McCarthy, Jones (McArthur 82), Beausejour, Gomez, Kone, Maloney (Si Santo 45). Subs not used: Pollitt, McManaman, Boselli, Fyvie.

Goals: Gomez 58, 68, 90+2

Booked: McCarthy, Jones

READING: Federici, Gunter, Morrison, Gorkss, Shorey, Robson-Kanu, Leigertwood, Tabb (McCleary 72), McAnuff, Le Fondre, Roberts (Pogrebnyak 83). Subs not used: Taylor, Mariappa, Hunt, Harte, Cummings.

Goals: Morrison 35, Al Habsi 80 (og)

Referee: Howard Webb

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But he responded superbly with goals
in the 58th and 68th minutes to turn things around after Sean Morrison
had given Reading a 35th-minute lead.

The Royals looked to have snatched a
point with a major stroke of luck in the 80th minute when Wigan keeper
Ali Al Habsi dropped a wet and spinning ball against the bar that then
rebounded against him and went in.

But Gomez had the last word two
minutes into injury time to earn Wigan a 3-2 win that lifted them five
points clear of the relegation zone.

The midfielder is only the third
Latics player to score a Premier League hat-trick after Marcus Bent and
Henri Camara, and Martinez believes he has been treated unfairly by some
of the Wigan fans.

'The role Jordi had to play today was
as unfair as you're going to get,' said the Latics boss. 'Because he
missed the first two or three passes, all of a sudden the crowd let him
know.

Diving in: Shaun Maloney (right) challenges Reading's Jobi McAnuff

Diving in: Shaun Maloney (right) challenges Reading's Jobi McAnuff

'I've seen it so many times and it's
very difficult to compose yourself, and it would have been all too easy
for him to hide and look away from the challenge. But that's not Jordi
at all. Nobody deserved a hat-trick more today than him.

'It's not just the three goals, he always shows for the ball, he had another two great opportunities.


Heading for Reading: Morrison (top right) powers home the opening goal

Heading for Reading: Morrison (top right) powers home the opening goal

'The crowd were too vocal against
him and I hope that today they realise that the only thing Jordi does is
give his life for Wigan Athletic and to win football games. I hope we
all realise that and he gets a bit of warmth the next time he's on the
pitch.'

In contrast, Al Habsi has been a huge
hit since joining Wigan from Bolton in the summer of 2010 and he had
made a brilliant flying save from Adam Le Fondre's header moments before
his howler.

Rising high: Morrison (centre) gives Ali Al Habsi no chance

Rising high: Morrison (centre) gives Ali Al Habsi no chance

Going down: David Jones (top) clatters into Reading's Jay Tabb

Going down: David Jones (top) clatters into Reading's Jay Tabb

Martinez was more than happy to
forgive his keeper, saying: 'Goalkeepers are exposed to that, they're
the last men, and it's just Ali doesn't do that, which is why you're so
surprised.

'Minutes before he had the save of
the game. Internally as a team you should be there to help your
team-mate when he makes a bit of an error, which happens, it's a game of
errors and you need to be able to overcome whatever situation comes
your way.

'Today we showed that type of performance. In the first half we had a little bit of the feeling of something to lose.

It takes two to tango: James McCarthy (left) and Jason Roberts try to keep their balance

It takes two to tango: James McCarthy (left) and Jason Roberts try to keep their balance

'We weren't sharp or as effective as
we can be, and to concede from a set-play and allow Ali to have a
mistake, I think it was more our approach and our mentality, and we need
to change that.

'But it was pleasing to see the
players found a reaction and a way to overcome that. To give that win to
the dressing room pleased Ali more than anyone.

'I think it's the time to thank him
for the amount of times he got the team out of difficult situations with
his outstanding performances.'

make mine a double: Jordi Gomez (right) dives to head home Wigan's second

make mine a double: Jordi Gomez (right) dives to head home Wigan's second

To come away with nothing in such
circumstances was a real blow to Reading, who arrived in the north west
on the back of their first Premier League victory of the season against
Everton last weekend.

Boss Brian McDermott was frustrated
they could not see out the game but felt his side should have had a
penalty for a foul by Maynor Figueroa on Jay Tabb when the score was
1-1.

'I thought we deserved a point, and I thought it was the least we were going to get,' said McDermott.

Bald truth: Brian McDermott (left) felt Reading were worth a point against Roberto Martiniez's (right) side

Bald truth: Brian McDermott (left) felt Reading were worth a point against Roberto Martiniez's (right) side

Bald truth: Brian McDermott (left) felt Reading were worth a point against Roberto Martiniez's (right) side

'I think if the referee had given the
penalty on Jay Tabb we would have gone on to win the game. Someone of
Howard Webb's experience and quality, you would have expected him to get
that one right.

'When you're 2-2 in the 92nd minute
and we've got the ball, you've got to make sure you see the game out. If
you have to take a point in this league then take it and move on.

'We have to learn quickly from that.
We've seen out the last couple of games really well but unfortunately we
haven't seen this one out.'

Jordi joy: Gomez (right) celebrates with James McArthur after completing his hat-trick

Jordi joy: Gomez (right) celebrates with James McArthur after completing his hat-trick

Wigan 1 West Brom 2: Match report

Wigan 1 West Brom 2: Morrison's happy return as Baggies trouser first away win

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UPDATED:

17:09 GMT, 10 November 2012

James Morrison came back from injury to set up West Brom's first away win of the Barclays Premier League season as his powerful header helped the visitors sink Wigan at the DW Stadium.

Scotland midfielder Morrison was forced to miss the Baggies' win over Southampton on Monday night, due to a hamstring problem, but he returned to help inspire Steve Clarke's men to three points which keeps them firmly rooted in the league's top six.

Cheers: West Brom's James Morrison celebrates the opener

Cheers: West Brom's James Morrison celebrates the opener

MATCH FACTS

WIGAN: Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell (Stam 63), Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, Watson (Gomez 84), Beausejour, Kone, Di Santo (Boselli 84), Maloney. Subs not used: Pollitt, Jones McManman, Fyvie.

Goals: Kone 44

Booked: McCarthy

WEST BROM: Myhill, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Mulumbu, Yacob, Lukaku (Rosenberg 85), Morrison (Gera 67), Brunt, Long (Odemwingie 67). Subs not used: Daniels, Popov, Dorrans, Tamas

Goals: Morrison, Caldwell (og, 43)

Booked: Yacob, Lukaku, Jones, Gera

Referee: N Swarbrick

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Morrison met a cross from Chris Brunt
to head an unstoppable opener past Ali Al Habsi, before a Gary Caldwell
own goal put the Baggies in command.

Arouna Kone reduced the deficit and the Latics piled on the pressure but could not claim a point.

The visitors started with Peter
Odemwingie on the bench despite his two-goal haul against Southampton,
but his replacement Romelu Lukaku quickly made his presence felt with a
surging forward run.

Maynor Figueroa drilled a low
long-range shot just wide for the home side in the fifth minute and
James McCarthy's persistence also fashioned an early chance after he
robbed Claudio Yacob and pressed forward.

And it took Baggies goalkeeper Boaz
Myhill – in for his first senior Baggies game in 21 months due to injury
to Ben Foster – nine minutes to prove worthy of his call-up as he
pulled off a superb save to deny Ben Watson.

The visitors slowly began to find
their rhythm, with the alert Al Habsi racing from his goal to deny
Lukaku, as the home side, who continued to shade possession in an open
game, were too often let down by a stray final ball.

Heading home: Morrison (centre) climbs to nod West Brom in front

Heading home: Morrison (centre) climbs to nod West Brom in front

More scrappy play from the hosts
almost cost them dear after 26 minutes when indecision in defence forced
Al Habsi to once again come out and save from Morrison then dive on the
loose ball as Lukaku waited to pounce.

But there was nothing scrappy about
the opener on the half-hour as Brunt flung in a precise cross from wide
on the left and Morrison aimed his magnificent header past Al Habsi from
the edge of the six-yard box.

Heads we win: Morrison leaves Ali Al Habsi with no chance

Heads we win: Morrison leaves Ali Al Habsi with no chance

And the visitors almost increased
their lead seven minutes later when Billy Jones cut in from the right
and unleashed a fierce left-footed drive which flashed just wide of the
busy Al Habsi's left-hand post.

That seemingly inevitable second
goal duly arrived after 43 minutes when Jones' effort from a tight angle
was deflected into his own net by Wigan captain Caldwell – but less
than a minute later Kone pulled one back when he poked home Beausejour's
cross.

Catch me if you can: Wigan's James McCarhty closes on Romelu Lukaku (left)

Catch me if you can: Wigan's James McCarhty closes on Romelu Lukaku (left)

Beausejour had the first chance of
the second half when he hit a shot from the left side of the box high
over Myhill's bar after the goalkeeper had parried from Watson, then
Caldwell headed just wide as the home side enjoyed a significant spell
of pressure.

The Baggies should have extended
their lead in the 56th minute when Lukaku lashed a shot on the turn
which was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Al Habsi at point-blank
range.

Remembering the fallen: Roberto Martinez (right) and West Brom's Steve Clarke sport their poppies

Remembering the fallen: Roberto Martinez (right) and West Brom's Steve Clarke sport their poppies

Shaun Maloney should have done better
for Wigan when he was teed up by a pass from Franco Di Santo in the
middle of the box in the 72nd minute, but blazed his shot well over the
bar.

Not this time: Romelu Lukaku (left) is thwarted by Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi

Not this time: Romelu Lukaku (left) is thwarted by Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi

Then a chance for Di Santo came to
nothing in the 80th minute when he got his head on a Beausejour cross
from the left but could only direct the ball against team-mate Kone,
from whom it deflected onto the roof of the net.

Jones brings groans: Billy Jones celebrates after his cross was turned in for the winner

Jones brings groans: Billy Jones celebrates after his cross was turned in for the winner

Last laugh: Lukaku celebrates after Gary Caldwell turned a cross into his own net

Last laugh: Lukaku celebrates after Gary Caldwell turned a cross into his own net

Liverpool target Al Habsi pledges his loyalty to Wigan

I love it at Wigan! Liverpool target Al Habsi pledges his loyalty to Latics

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UPDATED:

08:00 GMT, 7 November 2012

Ali Al-Habsi has played down suggestions he is being lined up for a January move to Liverpool by insisting he is happy at Wigan.

The Oman goalkeeper’s reputation has blossomed over the past 18 months and he has become an integral part of Roberto Martinez’s squad, which has led to him gaining admirers.

Liverpool’s current No 1 Pepe Reina, by contrast, has suffered a dip in form recently and that has led to speculation that Brendan Rodgers is considering bidding for Al-Habsi when the window opens.

Impressive: Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi

Impressive: Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi

Al-Habsi, however, has stressed he is
settled at The DW Stadium and Liverpool’s main priority in January will
be to bolster their forward line.

Furthermore, at no point has Rodgers
ever said he is looking to replace Reina, who has missed the last four
games with a hamstring problem.

‘I heard about what was said at the
weekend but that kind of thing is not of any importance to me,’ said
Al-Habsi, who has flourished since moving to Wigan from Bolton,
initially on loan, in 2010.

‘I am very, very happy at Wigan – as
has been the case since I first came here. I am doing well, my form is
coming on with every game I play, and my confidence is very high.

Watching brief: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Watching brief: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

‘All I want to do is concentrate on
my job here and to help the team, because there is lots of work to be
done. The most important thing for any professional is to enjoy what
they are doing and that goes for football as much as anything.’

Wigan have started to find some
consistency after a sticky start to the new campaign and their win at
Tottenham last Saturday was their second in succession.

Al Habsi told The Wigan Observer: ‘If
you enjoy what you're doing then you are able to do your job right, and
that has always been the case at Wigan.’

Wigan invite Oman striker Eid Al Farsi on one-week trial

Wigan invite Oman striker Eid Al Farsi to have one-week trial at DW Stadium

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UPDATED:

13:43 GMT, 2 October 2012

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez will run the rule over Oman international Eid Al Farsi on a one-week trial at the DW Stadium.

The 25-year-old striker impressed Latics chiefs when he scored the country's only goal in their 4-1 defeat to Republic of Ireland at Craven Cottage last month.

Man in the middle: Oman striker Eid Al Farsi (C) will have a one-week trial at Wigan

Man in the middle: Oman striker Eid Al Farsi (C) will have a one-week trial at Wigan

Al Farsi will travel to the North-West after Oman's World Cup qualifier against Jordan on October 16, where he will link up with compatriot goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi.

'We have received an official letter from Wigan to send Eid Al Farsi for a week so that they could evaluate his performance and then decide if they want to hire him or not,' Oman Football Association chairman Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi told the Times of Oman.

'It’s too early to predict (if he will be successful) that but it is great news for Oman Football.

'We have seen in the past some players were also called for trials by various clubs but I hope Eid could make an impression. I hope he succeeds in it.'

Danny Welbeck blasted by Roberto Martinez for diving and dangerous tackle

Furious Martinez blasts Welbeck for diving and 'reckless' challenge on Di Santo

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UPDATED:

19:55 GMT, 15 September 2012

Danny Welbeck's reputation took a heavy fall at Old Trafford on Saturday when Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez accused him of diving to win a penalty and claimed he should have also been sent off for a ‘reckless’ late challenge on striker Franco di Santo.

Welbeck, 21, was already under the spotlight after being shown on television replays trying to win a penalty for England against Ukraine with a theatrical fall at Wembley on Tuesday.

And he incensed the normally calm Martinez when he invited contact from Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi after four minutes at Old Trafford then sprawled forward, arms outstretched, before rolling on to the ground.

Tumble: Danny Welbeck goes to ground after rounding Ali Al-Habsi

Tumble: Danny Welbeck goes to ground after rounding Ali Al-Habsi

The Premier League’s youngest referee,
27-year-old Michael Oliver, pointed to the spot but Javier Hernandez’s
weak effort was saved by Al-Habsi.

‘The penalty was as bad a decision as
you are going to see in the Premier League. You know what he’s trying to
do. If you see the replay, you will see what I’m trying to say.

‘It was a shocking decision. He dived.’

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson now has to decide whether to have a private word with Welbeck about going to ground too easily.

His team-mate Ashley Young suffered with the same problem last season and earned a reputation for trying to win soft penalties.

Martinez also felt Welbeck should have been dismissed for the late lunge on Di Santo.

Oliver brandished a yellow card for
the challenge but Martinez said: ‘There were some tackles that if it had
been the other way around there would have been a couple of red cards.

‘In Welbeck’s last challenge, his foot is over the ball on Franco. It is a red card.’

United's biggest win of the season was scarred by a short burst of anti-Liverpool chanting from a small minority of home fans.

On
Friday, Sir Alex Ferguson expressed the hope that, following this
week's damning judgement on the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989, when 96
people died, a line could be drawn in the sand on the sour relations
between the two sets of supporters.

Complaint: Roberto Martinez also blasted him for a challenge on Franco Di Santo

Complaint: Roberto Martinez also blasted him for a challenge on Franco Di Santo

Unhappy: Martinez was annoyed at Welbeck

Unhappy: Martinez was annoyed at Welbeck

It is a feeling shared by all senior figures at Old Trafford, who can only hope the songs are not repeated when United head to Anfield next Sunday.

'The manager has made the club's position very clear on this matter,' said United after the game. 'It is now up to the fans to respect that.'

Manchester United 4 Wigan 0: Paul Scholes scores on 700th appearance

Man United 4 Wigan 0: Scholes marks 700th appearance with goal in Old Trafford rout

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UPDATED:

16:57 GMT, 15 September 2012

Paul Scholes marked his 700th Manchester United appearance by sending the Red Devils to their biggest win of the season after victory over Wigan at Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson described Scholes' cameo at Southampton last month as like someone 'opening a door'.

On Saturday, the veteran midfielder did not just open it. He sent it crashing off its hinges.

Opener: Scholes scored on his 700th appearance

Opener: Scholes scored on his 700th appearance

Match facts

Man Utd: Lindegaard, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic (Evans 77), Buttner, Nani, Scholes (van Persie 71), Carrick, Giggs (Powell 71), Hernandez, Welbeck. Subs not used: De Gea, Valencia, Cleverley, Kagawa.

Booked: Buttner.

Scorers: Scholes 51, Hernandez 63, Buttner 66, Powell 82.

Wigan: Al Habsi, Boyce, Caldwell, Ramis, Figueroa, Maloney (Gomez 59), McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour (Jones 69), Kone, Di Santo. Subs not used: Pollitt, Crusat, Watson, Boselli, Miyaichi.

Booked: Boyce, McArthur.

Referee: Michael Oliver.

Attendance: 75,142.

Mixing a typically astute performance
with some of those thunderous challengers for which he is noted,
Scholes also broke the deadlock with his 155th United goal.

Few could have been converted in such
ease as he tapped home after Ali Al Habsi had pushed Nani's low cross
straight into his path.

Javier Hernandez, who missed a
first-half penalty, bagged a second when he turned home Alexander
Buttner's misdirected shot, then the Dutchman capped a fine debut by
driving home the hosts' third, putting more pressure on an
underperforming Patrice Evra, who watched from the stand.

Robin van Persie was introduced 19
minutes from time but it was his fellow substitute Nick Powell who
wrapped up the win on his debut, blasting in from 20 yards.

Although he declared Van Persie and
Shinji Kagawa fit on Friday, Ferguson opted to leave both men on the
bench as he cast an eye towards the start of his side's Champions League
campaign against Galatasaray on Wednesday.

Even with Wayne Rooney missing, the alternative was not too shabby as Hernandez was paired with Danny Welbeck.

Praised for his performances at Euro
2012 and again for England against Ukraine in midweek, Welbeck is a
player of immense potential.

It was sad therefore to see what he did after just three minutes.

Level pegging: neither side managed to score in the first half

Level pegging: neither side managed to score in the first half

Level pegging: neither side managed to score in the first half

Charging into the Wigan box, Welbeck
was greeted by Ali Al Habsi, who quickly decided to pull out of his
challenge, wisely deeming it to be unsafe.

Welbeck went down anyway. And referee Michael Oliver bought it.

Hopefully, Welbeck will learn from such incidents and avoid them in future.

The post-script at least was fitting as Al Habsi turned away Hernandez's spot-kick with a smart, low save to his left.

Initially, United made light of their setback.

Paying the penalty: Ali Al-Habsi saved Hernandez's spot-kick

Paying the penalty: Ali Al-Habsi saved Hernandez's spot-kick

With veteran duo Ryan Giggs – making
his 600th Premier League appearance – and Scholes flitting in and out of
the game and Alexander Buttner looking dangerous on his debut, the
hosts carved out a succession of opportunities.

Welbeck flashed a volley wide from Nani's cross before having a shot deflected wide by Gary Caldwell.

Scholes, after robbing Shaun Maloney with a thunderous tackle, also had a piledriver blocked as the pressure intensified.

After Welbeck had headed over,
Hernandez and Giggs combined to send Nani clear but the Portugal
wide-man, whose United future is in doubt, sent a delicate chip sailing
harmlessly over the bar.
Surviving so many scares gave Wigan added belief.

Scramble: Scholes beats the Wigan defenders to the loose ball

Scramble: Scholes beats the Wigan defenders to the loose ball

A team who until April had never even
taken a point off their north-west neighbours, Wigan should have gone
in front when Jean Beausejour floated a cross to the far post.

When Rio Ferdinand, who was
celebrating his own milestone – 400 United games – missed it, at the
very least Arouna Kone should have tested Anders Lindegaard, who had
been preferred in goal to David de Gea.

The moment was too much for Kone
though and as he jabbed at the ball with the underneath of his boot, he
could only send it rolling wide.

Making amends: Hernandez doubled United's lead

Making amends: Hernandez doubled United's lead

Kone stooped to send a header over immediately after the restart, leading to a sense of agitation amongst the home support.

Not for the first time, Scholes settled the nerves.

At 37, he may not longer be capable of those old midfield bursts. However, his sense of timing remains impeccable.

If anyone doubts Michael Carrick's
abilities, they would have been answered by a brilliant pass through the
Wigan defence for Nani, who, in an all-too-infrequent example of
striker-friendly crossing, drove the ball straight at the visitors'
goal.

Mobbed: Buttner's team-mates rush to celebrate his goal

Mobbed: Buttner's team-mates rush to celebrate his goal

Mobbed: Buttner's team-mates rush to celebrate his goal

Al Habsi had to do something.

Unfortunately for the Omani, he could
only push the ball out to Scholes, who had sauntered in unnoticed and,
from four yards, could not miss.

Wigan clung on for a little while
longer but when Giggs teed up Buttner, Hernandez was able to turn the
Dutchman's misdirected shot home thanks to Emmerson Boyce's failure to
move up as Wigan tried to play offside.

One for the future: Powell took his goal well

One for the future: Powell took his goal well

Buttner was not finished either.

With Patrice Evra looking down from
the stands, the Dutchman forced his way past Boyce and James McCarthy
before driving a shot from the tightest of angles, which flew in off Al
Habsi.

Powell made a remarkable first contribution for United when he latched onto a loose ball and drove home eight minutes from time.

Special guest: British Olympic taekwondo gold medallist Jade Jones was presented with a United shirt before the game

Special guest: British Olympic taekwondo gold medallist Jade Jones was presented with a United shirt before the game

Craig Gordon wanted by Wigan Athletic

Wigan want former 9m Sunderland keeper Gordon to replace Kirkland

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UPDATED:

10:03 GMT, 5 June 2012

Wigan have joined the race to sign ex-Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who is a free agent.

The Black Cats confirmed last month that the Scotland international would be released this summer when his contract expires, sparking interest from a number of top flight clubs.

Free agent: Gordon appeared just once for Sunderland last season

Free agent: Gordon appeared just once for Sunderland last season

Former England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland left the Latics to join Sheffield Wednesday on a free transfer to last month, leaving Ali Al-Habsi as the club's only player in the position.

Gordon was signed by Sunderland in 2007 for 9 million – still a British record for a goalkeeper – but his career has been blighted by injuries.

The former Hearts keeper appeared just once for Sunderland last season, but he has 40 caps for his country.

Chris Kirkland joins Sheffield Wednesday

Former England cap Kirkland joins Sheffield Wednesday on a free

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UPDATED:

22:04 GMT, 23 May 2012

Chris Kirkland has agreed a two-year contract with Sheffield Wednesday.

The goalkeeper – who made one appearance for England in 2006 – will join when his Wigan deal expires next week.

The 31-year-old said he is ‘chomping at the bit’ over the move after spending the last two seasons playing second fiddle to Latics No 1 Ali Al-Habsi.

'Chomping at the bit': Kirkland has only played seven league games in the last two seasons

'Chomping at the bit': Kirkland has only played seven league games in the last two seasons