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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 February 2006, 17:14 GMT
Carling Cup final clockwatch

Manchester United secured victory in the last Carling Cup final in Cardiff after three goals in seven minutes put them on the road to a 4-0 win.

United led courtesy of Wayne Rooney's 33rd-minute goal after the Wigan defence failed to deal with a long ball and the striker fired past John Filan.

They fell 2-0 down when Gary Neville crossed and Louis Saha bundled home.

Cristiano Ronaldo blasted in a third after a poor Stephane Henchoz clearance and then Rooney tapped home a fourth.

Goalflashes and major incidents (all times GMT):

1709: The players embark on the customary lap of honour. There are happy faces all around, except for striker Ruud van Nistelrooy. Left out of the team, the Dutchman clearly feels out of place as he leaves the lap of honour and heads down the tunnel.

1708: Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is given the man-of-the-match award to go alongside his first winner's medal.

1707: "Glory, glory Man Utd" rings around the stadium as the victorious players cover each other in champagne and take turn lifting up the trophy.

1703: Darkness falls upon the Millennium Stadium falls for Manchester United to collect their winner's medals. Gary Neville lifts his first trophy since taking over from Roy Keane as skipper of the club.

1700: Wigan go up first to collect their runners-up medals. The players look bitterly disappointed but it is a tremendous achievement for the club, who 10 years ago were in the old Third Division.

1657: The Manchester United players all put on shirts saying "For you Smudge" to pay tribute to team-mate Alan Smith, who recently suffered a badly broken leg.

Referee Alan Wiley blows his whistle to signal the end of the final Carling Cup final at the Millennium Stadium. Manchester United were comfortable 4-0 winners of the trophy for only the second time in Sir Alex Ferguson's time in charge.

1652: The fourth official signals there will be two minutes of injury time - Wigan's misery is almost over.

1643: Sir Alex Ferguson makes a double substitution as Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra come on for Mikael Silvestre and Wes Brown. It means there will be no appearance for Ruud van Nistelrooy, who looks far from happy on the United bench.

1640: Wigan are not throwing in the towel yet as Gary Teale's pace takes him into the box before flashing a ball across the face of the goal.

1638: United are yards away from goal number five as Wayne Rooney squares for a stretching Park Ji-Sung whose effort just rolls wide.

1635: The outstanding Cristiano Ronaldo goes off to a standing ovation from the United fans, to be replaced by Kieran Richardson.

1633: Wigan throw on their final substitute as Graham Kavanagh goes off for Reto Ziegler. But the game is effectively over and their fans, so determined to enjoy their day out, are left speechless.

1629: Cristiano Ronaldo starts the showboating and is brought to ground by a clearly frustrated Jason Roberts. Ronaldo is given a telling off by team-mate Ryan Giggs for taking the mickey.

1625: Wayne Rooney goes looking for his hat-trick and is only just off the target with a neat chip that ends up in the side netting.

1623: GOAL Man Utd 4-0 Wigan
You have to feel for Wigan as Wayne Rooney gets his second of the game. Wigan fail to deal with a free-kick and when Rio Ferdinand wins the ball in the box Rooney is in the right place to steer it into the net.

1621: GOAL Man Utd 3-0 Wigan
It looks to be game over as United go 3-0 up. Again it comes from dreadful defending as Stephane Henchoz's poor clearance falls to the feet of Louis Saha and he slips it in for Cristiano Ronaldo to blast home.

1616: GOAL Man Utd 2-0 Wigan
Just as Wigan looked to be on top they fall victim to the sucker-punch. Ryan Giggs did brilliantly in the centre of the field before picking out Cristiano Ronaldo, who found an overlapping Gary Neville and his cross was bundled home at the second attempt by Louis Saha.

1612: Henri Camara carves out a chance for himself by slipping the ball past Rio Ferdinand, but from a narrow angle he drives his shot straight into the legs of Edwin van der Sar. The Latics' best chance of the game.

1609: From first impressions it looks to be a different Wigan side that has come out for the second half. Jason Roberts earns a free-kick from a promising position but a cleverly-worked move ends with Leighton Baines' shot being blocked.

1607: The second half is under way with neither side opting to make a change at the break.

1549: The half-time whistle goes at the Millennium Stadium with Manchester United leading 1-0.

1547: There will be three minutes of injury time with Wigan showing some signs of life.

1545: Jason Roberts does well to skip past Gary Neville and fires in a dangerous cross that is headed clear from two yards out by Rio Ferdinand.

1544: Wigan are almost handed a chance to level when Gary Neville leaves a pass well short and Leighton Baines is gifted a chance to pick out a man but United back in numbers and able to clear.

1541: Henri Camara gets a sight on goal, but his strike from the edge of the area is wild and safely clears the bar by some distance.

1537: Wigan are really struggling to settle and desperately need to make it to half-time without conceding again. They are being reduced to long-range efforts and Jimmy Bullard again sees a shot from outside the box straight at Edwin van der Sar.

1533: GOAL Man Utd 1-0 Wigan
Manchester United go in front through Wayne Rooney. It was poor defending by the Wigan backline, with Pascal Chimbonda and Arjan de Zeeuw both make a horrible mess of attempting to deal with an Edwin van der Sar long ball and Rooney is left free to go on and fire past John Filan.

1526: Cristiano Ronaldo tries his luck from a 35-yard free-kick but his swerving effort is wide of the goal.

1523: Wigan get a rare sight on goal as Jimmy Bullard tries his luck from long-range, but Edwin van der Sar gathers comfortably.

1520: A great run from Wayne Rooney takes the young striker into the box but when he squares it for Cristiano Ronaldo the winger fluffs his attempt at goal.

1518: Louis Saha spins Arjan de Zeeuw and goes down in the box but again Alan Wiley waves play on.

1515: Wigan are forced into a change as Mike Pollitt is unable to continue. John Filan comes on to replace the unfortunate Pollitt, who looks to have pulled a hamstring.

1514: United appeal for a penalty for a handball in the area but referee Alan Wiley is not interested.

1513: Wigan earn the first corner of the game but from it United break and Park Ji-Sung slips the ball in for Louis Saha who wastes a great chance to shoot.

1508: Manchester United are off to a flying start as Louis Saha is free in the box but cannot direct a difficult volley on goal. But when the ball comes back in from Gary Neville, Wayne Rooney smacks a header against the bar.

1504: There is an early scare as Wigan keeper Mike Pollitt goes down injured. He eventually gets to his feet but looks to be struggling.

1500: The game gets under way in front of a packed house at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

1454: The teams run out onto the field and line-up to meet the guest of honours and for the national anthem, sung by Keedie.

Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Brown, Ferdinand, Silvestre, Ronaldo, O'Shea, Giggs, Park, Saha, Rooney. Subs: Howard, Evra, van Nistelrooy, Vidic, Richardson.

Wigan: Pollitt, Chimbonda, De Zeeuw, Henchoz, Baines, Bullard, Kavanagh, Scharner, Teale, Camara, Roberts. Subs: Filan, Jackson, Johansson, McCulloch, Ziegler.

1423: Both teams are out on the pitch warming up. The atmosphere inside the ground is also beginning to warm up, even if the weather isn't.

The Wigan end is more than half full - with the Latics fans keen to soak up what is sure to be a special day for them.

The United end is still pretty empty but both sets of fans are getting into the spirit of things by bouncing around huge inflatable balls.

1406: The early reports prove true as Manchester United name striker Ruud van Nistelrooy on the bench for the game. Sir Alex Ferguson has surprisingly opted to play Louis Saha alongside Wayne Rooney up front.

United also recalled John O'Shea to central midfield with Ryan Giggs, Park Ji-sung and Cristiano Ronaldo occupying the flank positions.

January arrivals Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra are both on the bench.

Wigan boss Paul Jewell sprang no surprises in his starting line-up, handing a return to 13-goal striker Jason Roberts, whose last-gasp goal against Arsenal earned Wigan a place in the final.

1351: The teams have yet to be confirmed but Manchester United are expected to start Rio Ferdinand, who is available after he was passed fit following a hamstring injury.

Newspaper reports suggested United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy could be dropped.

Wigan are likely to hand a recall to striker and top scorer Jason Roberts after completing a three-game suspension.

Man Utd ease to Carling Cup glory
26 Feb 06 |  League Cup
Carling Cup photos
26 Feb 06 |  Photo Galleries
Roberts' countdown to Cardiff
25 Feb 06 |  League Cup


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