Manchester United made amends for its humbling by Burnley as Wayne Rooney’s double and Michael Owen’s first goal for the English Premier League champion inspired a 5-0 win at Wigan on Saturday.
Sir Alex Ferguson reacted to Wednesday’s shock 1-0 loss at newly-promoted Burnley by making seven changes and the United manager was rewarded with a superb second half display.
It took the revamped United line-up a while to find its rhythm but, after a goalless first half, Rooney struck in the 56th minute when he met a cross from former Wigan winger Antonio Valenica with a perfect header.
That was Rooney’s 100th goal for United and it opened the floodgates.
Dimitar Berbatov put United in complete control in the 58th minute. The Bulgarian finished a flowing move by chipping over Chris Kirkland and shooting into an empty net.
Rooney ended any doubts about the result in the 65th minute when his shot deflected off Mario Melchiot and flashed past the wrong-footed Kirkland.
Owen, signed from Newcastle in the close-season, came off the bench to score for the first time since Janaury with a sublime clipped finish.
Nani, who set up Owen’s goal, got on the scoresheet himself in the 90th minute.
Arsenal maintained its impressive start to the season with a 4-1 victory over struggling Portsmouth at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners had confounded critics who wrote off their title hopes by thrashing Everton 6-1 last weekend, then winning at Celtic in the Champions League in midweek.
Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor repaid another slice of his £25 million transfer fee as the Togo star’s cool finish sealed a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton at Eastlands.
The results: Arsenal 4 (Abou Diaby 18, 21, William Gallas 51, Aaron Ramsey 68) bt
Portsmouth 1 (Younes Kaboul 37); Birmingham 0 drew with Stoke 0; Hull 1 (Fathi Ghilas 61) bt Bolton 0; Manchester City 1 (Emmanuel Adebayor 17) bt Wolverhampton 0; Sunderland 2 (Kenwyne Jones 32, 53) bt Blackburn 1 (Gael Givet 21); Wigan 0 lost to Manchester United 5 (Wayne Rooney 56, 65, Dimitar Berbatov 58, Michael Owen 85, Nani 90).