Rooney and Red Devils run riot
We've done it again, Manchester United have once again won another trophy, although it's not the greatest trophy to win by any means, especially when you look at the success we have had over the past 14 years but at least we have won a trophy this year and once again our Wayne Rooney proved what an incredible player he is and just why I believe him to be one of the top 3 players in the world right now and in a couple of years will be the greatest footballer on the planet. Here's a review of the final:
Manchester United brought some cheer to a miserable season with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Wigan Athletic in the Carling Cup final at The Millennium Stadium.
Wayne Rooney ended a goal drought by netting in each half, while the tournament's top scorer Louis Saha was also on target, along with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Wigan were left to rue defensive frailties for the outcome as The Red Devils romped to the final's biggest margin of victory in the competition's history.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson sprang a selection surprise by leaving Ruud van Nistelrooy on the bench, while Stephane Henchoz was passed fit after picking up an injury at Tottenham last weekend.
Any thoughts Wigan may have had about shackling their more illustrious opponents were left in the dressing room as Henri Camara headed the first chance over the bar after two minutes, following good work by Gary Teale.
But Wigan suffered a blow just a minute later when goalkeeper Mike Pollitt hurt his hamstring and he was eventually replaced by John Filan on 14 minutes.
In between, Pollitt was a mere spectator when Rooney headed Gary Neville's clipped ball in to the box against the crossbar on seven minutes, after his persistence had earlier kept a United attack alive.
Park Ji-sung then saw his shot strike Arjan De Zeeuw's arm from close range, while Saha's drive was deflected off Henchoz before Pollitt limped off.
United were fuming on 17 minutes when Saha turned sharply from Park's pass on the edge of the box, only to be tripped by De Zeeuw, with referee Alan Wiley waving play on.
A powerful run from Rooney resulted in his lay-off being mis-kicked by Cristiano Ronaldo before Wigan responded with Jimmy Bullard shooting at Edwin van der Sar from distance.
A wonderfully open game witnessed its first goal on 33 minutes. De Zeeuw and Pascal Chimbonda collided in trying to deal with Saha's flick-on, Rooney picked up the loose ball and confidently steered his shot past Filan to end a run of 12 games without a goal.
Rooney could have had a second goal within a minute of the restart after Ryan Giggs galloped down the left wing to cross to the near post for the youngster to volley at Filan.
Wigan, though, recovered from the setback to finish the half strongly as United skipper Neville was given a torrid few minutes.
He sloppily gave the ball to Leighton Baines, whose cross was superbly headed away by Wes Brown, he was then fortunate to escape punishment for a handball and then failed to deal with the muscular threat of Jason Roberts, only for The Latics to be unable to take advantage.
The Latics continued that momentum into the early stages of the second half as Camara forced a smart save out of van der Sar after chasing a hopeful Bullard pass and outfoxing Rio Ferdinand.
But Paul Jewell's men were then undone by a three-goal blitz in the space of six minutes, with Saha scoring United's second on 55 minutes.
Giggs sprayed the ball out wide to Ronaldo, who fed the overlapping Neville. With Chimbonda snoozing at the far post, Neville's cross picked out the unmarked Saha, and though Filan blocked brilliantly, the ball ricocheted off the French striker and into the net.
Van der Sar had to punch the ball off the top of Roberts' head before Wigan gifted The Red Devils a third goal on 59 minutes. Henchoz's clearance was straight to Saha and he slipped in Ronaldo to drill a clean shot past Filan.
Wigan contributed further to their own downfall two minutes later as Giggs' free kick was flicked on by Saha, nodded down by Ferdinand and swept in by Rooney, with Paul Scharner preferring to appeal for offside, rather than get in a crucial block.
Rooney should probably have completed his hat-trick moments later when sent clear by Saha, but his impudent chip drifted just wide of the upright, while he then crossed for Park to poke a sliding effort wide.
The Latics, to their credit, never gave up and the lively Teale flashed a cross-cum-shot across the face of goal before letting rip from 25 yards out as they lost 4-0 to United for the second time this season.
Here's the link to see quite a few pictures from the final and the celebrations which followed: http://home.skysports.com/gallery.asp?cpid=&lid=6694