London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Javier Hernandez and Robin van Persie each submitted a brace as Barclays Premier League leader Manchester United began the year on a winning note, blanking Wigan Athletic, 4-0, Tuesday at the DW Stadium.
Before his scoring strike in the 35th minute, Hernandez scored past Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi but it was ruled offside.
Hernandez will not be denied the next time when he calmly slotted a parried attempt by Patrice Evra past Al Habsi for his 11th goal of the season and his 30th overall in the Premier League for United.
Van Persie doubled United’s lead in the 43rd minute with his 18th goal of the season, calmly stepping inside Ivan Ramis before firing into the far corner with his right-foot.
Hernandez added another goal in the 63rd minute before Van Persie added a fourth in the 88th minute as United passed the 50-point mark, taking their haul to 52 from 21 games this season.
“It’s a very good result here. If you look at their home record they’re a very difficult team to play against. The final two goals, particularly Robin’s, were terrific football and it was a really good scoreline,” said United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
The win kept United seven points clear of closest rival and defending champion Manchester City, which earlier defeated Stoke City, 3-0.
“We have a seven-point lead. It’s not what I would say is a healthy lead but it is a lead and it gives us something to kick on with. We just don’t want to make the mistakes we did last year,” Ferguson added.
Meawhile, Tottenham Hotspur climbed to third place after a 3-1 home win over Reading while Swansea City and Aston Villa played to a 2-2 draw.
Mark Noble and Joey O’Brien scored to help West Ham United pull off a 2-0 victory over Norwich City while Fulham beat West Bromwich, 2-1.
Arsenal dropped to fourth place, one point behind Tottenham Hotspur, after a 1-1 draw with Southampton.