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Monday, Aug. 24, 2009

United bounces back with win against Wigan

LONDON (AP) Manchester United recovered from its shocking midweek defeat with a 5-0 Premier League win at Wigan, while Arsenal defeated visiting Portsmouth 4-1.

News photo
Off on the right foot: Michael Owen celebrates his goal for Manchester United in their victory against Wigan on Saturday. AP PHOTO

Wayne Rooney hit his 100th and 101st club goals and Michael Owen struck his first to help give defending champion United the victory it desperately wanted after Wednesday's 1-0 loss at newly promoted Burnley.

"You have to react to a defeat," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "We got a performance there. We had six chances in the first half and we didn't take any of them. The important thing is to have patience and we did that."

Victory kept United, which is chasing a record fourth straight title, even with Arsenal on six points, but the Gunners have played two games to United's three ahead of the teams' meeting next weekend.

Manchester City kept pace on six points after Emmanuel Adebayor scored for the second straight match to lead his new team to a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, while U.S. striker Jozy Altidore set up a goal on his debut to give Hull a 1-0 win over Bolton.

Altidore came on as a 60th-minute substitute and set up a goal for Kamel Fathi Ghilas with his first touch a minute later.

"The fans will take to him," Hull manager Phil Brown said. "He's a big, bubbly character."

Manchester United has started the season slowly following the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid and struggled to break down Wigan for 56 minutes on Saturday.

But former Wigan winger Antonio Valencia then crossed from the left for Rooney to head in and become the 21st player to score 100 goals for United.

Wigan then hit the bar before Rooney and Paul Scholes combined in the 58th to set up Dimitar Berbatov, who lifted the ball over goalkeeper Chris Kirkland and into the net.

Rooney made it 3-0 in the 65th with a deflected shot to move to 101 goals in 241 appearances and Owen replaced his former England teammate before beating Kirkland with a near-post shot.

Also Saturday, Sunderland beat Bolton 2-1, while Birmingham and Stoke drew 0-0.

Pato carries Milan

MILAN , Italy (AP) Alexandre Pato scored twice to lead AC Milan to a 2-1 victory over Siena and give new coach Leonardo a winning start to the Serie A season.

Milan had struggled in the preseason with seven losses in eight games, but Pato's goals in the 29th and 48th minutes provided a fairly comfortable win. Abled Ghezzal had equalized for Siena in the 34th.

"We have won which is good, because we seemed to have forgotten how to," Pato said. "We had a great game and I have to thank my teammates for all the chances they made for me."

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