Wigan Athletic 1 – 0 Sunderland
Barclays Premier League – DW Stadium
Ref: Andre Marriner | Weather: Drizzle, 6°C
Wigan Athletic got their first win in four matches to move up to fourth in the Premier League with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Sunderland, revenge for a 3-1 mauling at the Stadium of Light in November. Latics moved away from their preferred flat 4-4-2 to a five-man midfield with wingers Beausejour and Reginaldo pushing forward to support lone striker John Guidetti.
The central trio of McCarthy-Watson-Mariga dominated the middle of the park for the first hour until being broken up with the introduction of Arouna Kone, but the real damage was done 70 seconds before the break when Beausejour cut in from the left and scooped a ball over the top of two Sunderland defenders. Guidetti reacted quicker than Mignolet in the Sunderland goal and stroked the ball into the back of the net from ten yards.
The hosts came out of the blocks fastest after the interval but a Sunderland defence not afraid to get stuck in thwarted most of the positive attacking play. As Wigan looked to close out the game, Sunderland attacked with vigour for the only time since the opening quarter of an hour, with Al-Habsi making two fantastic saves in stoppage time to keep all three points in Wigan.
HOME: Mike Pollitt (unregistered)
AWAY: Lee Cattermole (chest), Keiran Westwood (thigh, doubtful)
ODDS: Wigan 5-4F, Draw 11-5, Sunderland 7-4
LAST: Sunderland 3-1 Wigan (03.11.12)
KEY PLAYERS: HOME: Ivan Ramis, AWAY: John O’Shea
FORM: Wigan Athletic LXLWWW, Sunderland WLWDLL
FIRST HALF – livetweets from @realtimeFM:
0′ Andre Marriner blows for kick-off and the hosts get us underway here at the DW Stadium against Sunderland.
4′ Sunderland are first to have a shot, a route one ball from the keeper is flicked on by Dong-Won for Sessegnon to lash a shot just over.
8′ Daisy-cutter from Ji Dong-Won spins away off the turf wide of Al-Habsi’s goal.
13′ Beausejour floats a free-kick in from the left butBen Watson heads Wigan’s first attempt at goal six yards wide.
17′ Guidetti is brought down 30 yards out but Ben Watson’s free kick curls wide.
23′ Sunderland’s win the first corner of the game, and immediately the second. It ends with Sessegnon firing over appealing for a penalty.
34′ Sessegnon does well down the right to get past Garcia who dives in (again), and he wins the corner off Beausejour who tracks back.
39′ McCarthy finds Guidetti but he’s isolated upfront on his own tonight. Wigan’s wide players aren’t getting forward enough in support.
41′ Carlos Cuéllar brings down John Guidetti 20 yards out as the striker surges forward, and rightly gets the first booking of the game.
41′ Gary Caldwell hits the free-kick way wide.
43′ Sessegnon again dangerous coming forward, his shot fizzes across the face of goal, closest of the game so far.
44′ 1-0 WIGAN: Beausejour cuts inside from the left and chips the ball over Brown for John GUIDETTI to run on to and slot under Mignolet.
HALF TIME: Wigan Athletic 1-0 Sunderland. John Guidetti’s goal one minute before the break the difference.
SECOND HALF – livetweets from @realtimeFM:
Change at the break for Sunderland: Fraizer Campbell replaces Carlos Cuéllar. Wigan sticking with their 4-1-4-1 formation.
46′ Sunderland start the second half.
47′ Adam Johnson is cautioned for pushing Ben Watson after a tussle in the middle of the park.
53′ Sunderland giving away free kicks as Wigan start the half brightly. A move ends with Mariga letting fly from 25 yards, pushed wide.
54′ Santiago Garciá cautioned for clattering Larsson. Shaun Maloney warming-up for the hosts.
59′ Shaun Maloney replaces Santiago Garcia, with Jean Beausejour dropping to left-back.
62′ Arouna Koné on for Ben Watson, Wigan switch to a diamond in the middle, two up front.
67′ After being pegged back in their half for the last ten minutes, Sunderland break and Larsson curls a shot inches wide from 25 yards.
72′ Wigan breakdown a Sunderland attack and launch a 5-man counter, it ends with Vaughan scrambling the ball off the line from Reginaldo.
76′ Mariga plays a lovely ball over the top of the Sunderland back four which McCarthy controls well and slams home. Flag up for offside.
77′ Gardner doesn’t give up chasing a ball and from an impossible angle beats Al-Habsi at his near post and the ball is hacked off the line.
85′ Wes Brown fouls Arouna Koné for the third time in five minutes and gets a booking for his troubles.
90′ The fourth official indicates a minimum of three minutes to be added on.
90+1′ Craig Gardner is left unmarked on the edge of the box and his thunderous first-time drive is superbly beaten away by Al-Habsi.
90+2′ Matt Kilgallon’s cross towards Dong-Won almost evades everyone and Al-Habsi has to push it over the bar. Wigan hanging on.
FULL TIME: Wigan Athletic 1-0 Sunderland. Latics cling on at the end but deserve it over the 90 minutes.
Man of the Match: Gary Caldwell (Wigan). Wigan up one place to 4th.