Alexander BÃ¼ttner, second from right, scores the third goal for Manchester United against Wigan Athletic. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images
Ferguson was taking charge of a 500th home league encounter, Paul Scholes notching his 700th United appearance, Ryan Giggs the 600th in the Premier League and Rio Ferdinand’s count was taken to 400 in the 19-times champions colours.
The desired result for them came courtesy of strikes from Scholes, Javier HernÃ¡ndez, a buccaneering third from Alexander BÃ¼ttner and a 25-yarder from his fellow debutant, Nick Powell.
Scholes showed he still retains his nose-for-a-goal when sniffing in the area on 51 minutes. Michael Carrick’s awareness had him pivoting and finding Nani, who was lurking to the right. The Portuguese winger struck a cross-shot that Ali al-Habsi only parried and Scholes smashed home for a 107th league strike to make it 34 Premier League clubs he has now scored against.
HernÃ¡ndez’s goal came after smart work from Giggs and BÃ¼ttner. IvÃ¡n Ramis became the latest added to the Welshman’s file of patsies when a hip-swivel left him floundering. When Giggs lost, then retook possession, he flipped the ball to the Dutch left-back, in for a Patrice Evra not included in the match-day 18. BÃ¼ttner’s delivery was turned in by HernÃ¡ndez, and better yet was to come from him.
From a wide left berth his run began with Arouna KonÃ© being beaten before Emmerson Boyce, James McCarthy and Ramis were also left trailing. BÃ¼ttner finished the show by beating Habsi.
This would have been United’s fourth had HernÃ¡ndez not missed a sixth minute penalty won by the theatrics of Danny Welbeck. Habsi saved to his left as karma righted the wrong decision of Michael Oliver, the referee.
A pleasing afternoon for the Reds closed with Powell â€“ on as a replacement â€“ forcing home a second debutant’s goal. That was a 4-0 rout complete. And all without Evra, Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa â€“ the latter two starting the afternoon on the bench, only.