HAT-TRICK hero Dimitar Berbatov showed he's still got it as he inspired a five-star demolition of 10-man Wigan.
The Bulgarian, whose future at Old Trafford is anything but certain, added to Ji-Sung Park's opener with a clinical finish, before toe-poking home a classy effort after the break.
Antonio Valencia drilled in late on to pile more misery on his former team before Berbatov completed his fifth Premier League treble from the penalty spot. It was a victory that put Manchester United level on points with their noisy neighbours City, but Roberto Martinez will feel aggrieved as he saw Conor Sammon harshly dismissed by Phil Dowd.
Ryan Giggs was making his 756th United start, equalling Sir Bobby Charlton's record, but wasted an early chance to apply some pressure when he curled a free-kick into the Wigan wall.
The hosts did not have to wait long for their opener though.
Stand-in skipper Patrice Evra slalomed around Victor Moses and Antolin Alcaraz before cutting a pass back to Park, who calmly side-footed into the corner.
It was a clinical start to the game from United but Wigan could have been level straight after as a neat passing move ended with Conor Sammon just failing to reach Ronnie Stam's curling cross.
Javier Hernandez went down under Alcaraz's tackle but referee Dowd was unimpressed by the penalty claims, before Ali Al-Habsi slid out to prevent Park reaching Nani's chip.
Wigan suffered a hammer blow six minutes before the break when Sammon was sent off after catching Carrick in the face.
It seemed like a harsh call from Dowd as the Wigan man seemed to be trying to shield the ball, rather than actually thrusting his elbow into Carrick's face.
Within two minutes, United had bagged their second when Hernandez got the faintest of flicks to Gibson's cross, which took it on to Berbatov.
Although it took the Bulgarian a while to bring the ball under control, he had the strength to hold off Alcaraz, eventually beating Al Habsi with a low shot.
United had started with only one fit centre-back in Evans and even he was replaced at half-time with an injury, but it didn't matter as the game was won.
Valencia was having a quietly effective afternoon and his prodding pass left Berbatov with enough space and time to smash his shot beyond Al Habsi for United's third.
Valencia then had his name on the scoresheet as a corner was half-cleared to Michael Carrick who played in the Ecuadorian to smash the ball into the far corner.
And the rout was complete as Park was tripped in the box by Alcaraz. Up stepped Berbatov, who coolly passed the ball into the corner for his third.
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