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12.05.2008 General News

Man Utd. 2-0 Wigan

Man Utd. 2-0 Wigan
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Manchester United pipped rivals Chelsea to clinch their 17th title triumph with victory at Wigan.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring for United from the spot after 33 minutes following Emmerson Boyce's foul on fit-again Wayne Rooney.

Emile Heskey then wasted Wigan's best chance with a second-half header.

And substitute Ryan Giggs clinched United's Premier League triumph - his 10th - with a cool finish from Rooney's pass 10 minutes from time.

It sent manager Sir Alex Ferguson dancing down the touchline in the rain at the JJB Stadium in triumph as United were confirmed as champions two points clear of runners-up Chelsea.

And the thousands of Manchester United supporters inside the stadium celebrated a second successive title as Giggs lifted the Premier League trophy.

Carlos Queiroz says winning the title feels magic
Ferguson will now turn his attentions to winning the Double when United face Chelsea in the Champions League final in Moscow on 21 May.

Wigan were as good as their pre-match words, putting up fierce resistance before United made their superiority tell when it mattered.

United were strengthened by the return of Rooney and Nemanja Vidic after injury, but Wigan proved more than a match in a closely-fought first half.

Paul Scholes was rightly booked by referee Steve Bennett for a wild challenge on Wilson Palacios as United fought to establish a foothold, although he also posed their best early threat with a 20-yard shot which he pulled wide.

Boyce then wasted a half-chance for Wigan before Steve Bruce's side were denied what looked to be a penalty after 22 minutes when Rio Ferdinand leaned to block Jason Koumas's shot with his upper arm.

Wigan's frustration increased 11 minutes later when Bennett pointed to spot after Rooney tumbled under Boyce's challenge and Ronaldo sent Chris Kirkland the wrong way with the minimum of fuss.

Scholes was then the beneficiary of remarkable leniency from referee Bennett when, having already been booked, he blatantly blocked Palacios as he escaped down the right flank.

As the whole stadium awaited the red card, Scholes and United were relieved when Bennett only delivered a stern lecture.

The second half began in a deluge, with the pitch becoming treacherous, and Ronaldo tested Kirkland with a rising 30-yard free-kick which the keeper turned over the top.

Wigan may have felt they were due a stroke of luck, and they got one after 52 minutes when Scholes was clearly fouled by Titus Bramble but referee Bennett and his assistants this time ignored United's claims.

United were more impressive after the break as they went in search of the second goal that would virtually seal the title, but Kirkland saved brilliantly low to his right from Rooney.

Kirkland was Wigan's hero again after 58 minutes with a crucial block from Carlos Tevez's deflected shot.

United made a double change with 25 minutes left, sending on Owen Hargreaves for Scholes and Giggs for Ji-Sung Park in quick succession.

Giggs' introduction saw the 34-year-old equal United's appearance record of 758 games held by Bobby Charlton who was watching the game from the directors box.

Heskey then gave United their biggest scare of the afternoon with a powerful header from Koumas's free-kick that was inches off target.

The title was on its way to Old Trafford after 80 minutes, and fittingly it was veteran Giggs who scored the clincher, taking Rooney's clever pass in his stride to slide home a composed finish from 12 yards.

United's second, plus a late equaliser for Bolton at Chelsea, sparked scenes of wild celebrations among the visiting fans who will now focus on the European Cup final in Moscow.

Source: BBC

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