Reds increase lead as Chelsea slip up
Despite second-placed Chelsea being held to a surprise 2-2 home draw by Reading in one of the early kick-offs, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson rested a number of big names against Latics.
One of those was Ronaldo but, after a goalless first half at Old Trafford, the wing wizard entered the fray.
Barely a minute later, a bullet header from Paul Scholes' corner gave United the lead.
And four minutes after that, the Portuguese star was taking a penalty after Ji-Sung Park was clipped by Gary Teale.
It was a poor effort and Chris Kirkland saved, but Ronaldo was on hand to net the rebound.
United went route one for their third, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer marking his first Premiership start for almost two months by flashing home Wayne Rooney's knockdown.
Leighton Baines scored a stoppage-time consolation from the spot after Mikael Silvestre felled David Wright - but United moved four points clear at the top of the Premiership.