Scholes on target as United defeat Wigan

Alexander Buttner, right, was on target as Manchester United claimed a 3-0 victory over Wigan

Paul Scholes, right, scored on his 700th appearance for Manchester United

First published in National Sport News © by

Paul Scholes marked his 700th Manchester United appearance by sending the Red Devils to their biggest win of the season - a 4-0 victory over Wigan at Old Trafford.

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. 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.

Danny Welbeck created the first opportunity after three minutes. Charging into the Wigan box, the striker 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.

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

Wigan should have gone in front when Rio Ferdinand missed Jean Beausejour's cross but Arouna Kone hit his shot wide.

After the break, Michael Carrick's brilliant pass through the Wigan defence found Nani, who drove the ball straight at the visitors' goal. Al Habsi could only push the ball out to Scholes, who from four yards, could not miss.

Wigan clung on for a little while longer but when Ryan Giggs teed up Buttner, Hernandez was able to turn the Dutchman's misdirected shot home.

It was three when Buttner forced his way past Emmerson 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.

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