David Moyes avoided a potential banana skin on his first competitive game in charge of Manchester United, with a Robin Van Persie double enough to see off a spirited but limited Wigan Athletic.
The performance was more workmanlike than sparkling though and punters weren’t exactly rushing online to place their bets for Man United to win the Premier League.
In fact, if wasn’t for Van Persie’s individual brilliance then it would have been hard to see where the United creative spark would have come from.
Danny Welbeck put in his usual hard-working display, without the end product, while Tom Cleverly failed to really stamp his authority on the game. However, there were positive signs from new signing Wilfried Zaha as he showed the same tricks, flicks and enthusiasm that triggered United to pay Crystal Palace £10 million for his services.
Moyes’ men remain joint favourites at 3.2 along with Chelsea and Manchester City in the outright Premier League betting.
Van Persie doesn’t agree, though.
He said: “I don’t want to be funny but we are the champions. So third favourites? Can you explain that? I don’t really care. I believe in this team and I believe that we will compete until the end again.”
Punters may not believe entirely with United as a Premier League force under Moyes but they certainly have faith in the talents of Van Persie.
Last year’s Premier League top scorer took both his goals – especially the first – in typical classy fashion and is very strong at the head of the league’s top goalscorer betting. The Dutchman is available at 4.00.
Meanwhile, Wigan, who remain at 10.0 to win the Championship, will have been relatively happy with their day’s work. New signing James McLean fitted in well on his debut and bustling striker Grant Holt was his usual dangerous-self.
It will be surprising if the Latics aren’t in the promotion shake-up come the end of the season.